Harnessing the talent of older workers and welcoming alumni back to the workforce after a gap in their CV or work break is vital to solve the global talent shortage.
In the words of Barclays HR Director and Head of Employee Relations Lynne Atkin, “For a long time, organizations have focused on young generations as a way to bring in new talent. Recruitment trends emphasize the hiring and retention of millennials, despite the fact that our population is formed of multiple generations and that the workforce is aging. We are also seeing changes in the needs of the workforce, with more workers needing time out of work for various reasons at different points in their career. How can we ensure we are not missing or excluding this talent?”
Lynne Atkin, HR Director for Barclays UK, shares her experience of being a member of The Women’s Business Council, a government-backed, business-led initiative maximizing the potential contribution of women in the economy. The WBC have created a series of toolkits supporting women and employers in tackling common barriers women face in remaining, returning and progressing in the workplace. In Staying On: Age of Success they turn their attention to the experience of mid-life women, drawing on personal accounts and academic experts to offer top tips for businesses and employees alike. #WBCaction
The Women’s Business Council and UK Government Equalities Office recently published a toolkit on the importance of multi-generational workforces and how to remove barriers in the workplace.
Their aim, like so many other programs, is to ensure real action is taken to maximize women’s contribution to economic growth. Breaking the stigma of work breaks largely remains a female issue, with women taking career breaks to care for children or elderly relatives.
Global returner programs, such as those offered by Pearson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fidelity and Morgan Stanley through Women Returners http://wrpn.womenreturners.com/ help remove barriers and offer help via structures support for those needing to get used to a new working environment. And Ex-Forces Personnel Initiatives and Adult Apprenticeship programs also offer ways for the older workforce to enhance age diversity in the workforce and recruit talent from different generations.
Harnessing a multi-generational workforce and ensuring that barriers are removed for people who want to return to work after a career break or who have a gap in their CV is not just an alumni matter. It’s a global talent matter.
The skills gap is not a problem that will solve itself and removing barriers to get skilled people back into the workforce, whatever their reason for leaving and whatever their age, is invaluable for both employees and employers.