One of the more consistent messages I also heard over the summer is that there is a lack of both workers and volunteers to meet the growing demands of employers and society. Edward Stanford sent me some great comments at the end of May and I want to share some of them with you:
“We see these employment challenges with virtually all of our clients. It’s not that we as an employer are immune to the challenge, but more about staying out ahead (see who is # 12 in Canada http://www.greatplacetowork.ca/best-workplaces/best-workplaces-in-canada… ) . For generations, consultants placed a close second to Lawyers for workplace jokes, but the reality today is that the void is being filled by specific expertise on an on-call/ retainer basis rather than trying to fill the fulltime position with a B-list employee. The “Best Workplace” is a good start to seeing what leading employers are finding to be increasingly innovative ways of attracting and retaining the best folks out there.”
Thanks Edward for these thoughts as they are spot on. As people retire, employers are facing the crunch of finding the expertise they need to continue on. If you look at most construction projects these days, delays are being caused by two things- weather and lack of workers. And they are now tending to lean more and more towards Boomers who have the expertise and skills to fill some of the void. Now we all don’t want to pick up hammers or become plumbers but we can provide advice, counsel and assistance to employers to help move them forward.
Not everyone wants to retire at the age of 60+ so employers can take advantage of that situation but be prepared to treat them differently than those 20+ year olds. They don’t like to be worked into the ground and want employers to value our contribution (hmm, sounds like the 20 year olds!). What you don’t want to do is end up like a story I heard some years ago about a 77 year old carpenter being approached to be a foreman on a construction job. When the old timer stated that he didn’t want to pick up a hammer anymore, the employer told him that he wouldn’t have to. He had lots of employees to do that. When he showed up for the work the first day, he discovered that most of his new crew of carpenters were over 60! The advantage he had was that he had a lot of experience available to him but he learned that he had to treat his crew much differently that if he had a crew of 20 or 30 year olds.
Next month we will focus on how you can market your skills. I often find that people with great skills, including new graduates from university, have little idea on how to market themselves including writing a great resume.