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Seven strategies for attracting and managing returners

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In a competitive market, an increasing number of organisations are embracing generational diversity as a way to overcome talent shortages. More and more companies are actively looking to hire so-called “un-retirees” or “boomerang workers” – people who are coming out of retirement or are returning to work for a previous position.

Yet according to research by ManpowerGroup Solutions, over a third (34%) of job seekers worldwide still perceive their age as their biggest barrier to career development.

To help employers better understand how they can attract and manage returners based on their those perceptions and preferences, the company surveyed nearly 4,500 job seekers across China, Australia, Mexico, the US, and the UK.

“Whether motivated financially or intellectually, more retirees are returning to work than ever before,” said Kate Donovan, senior vice president of ManpowerGroup Solutions and global RPO president.

“Employers should see this largely untapped talent pool of boomerang workers as a valuable source for filling talent gaps.”

The results of the survey are presented in the paper Clocking Back In: Boomerang Workers, which offers the following seven strategies for building a talent pool of boomerang workers:

1. Open the door before they walk out of it.
Planting the seed for future part-time work with employees who are about to retire opens the door for potential opportunities later on. Employers who broach the idea first can put their companies at the top of the list for returning talent.

2. Outsource it.
Sourcing retirees can prove especially challenging since it is a group with lots of time on their hands and they may not be found in some of the places recruiters normally look. Outsourcing the search for returners to specialists can yield better results while taking some of the pressure off your HR team.

3. Align reward structures and emphasise flexibility.
One of the greatest benefits of retirement is the freedom it provides to pursue hobbies, travel, and design your own schedule. Having experienced these perks, it would be hard to go back. As such, for returning workers flexibility is as important as compensation.

4. Leverage referrals.
Providing incentives for un-retirees to refer other potential hires can be a great way to tap industry talent from competitive organisations.

5. Targeted outreach.
Companies that wish to cultivate their own retiree talent communities rather than outsource can look for partners to enhance the reach and effectiveness of their initiatives.

6. Traditional interview formats.
Those who perceive ageism as a top career challenge also prefer phone or in-person interviews over video interviews. Focusing on more traditional formats will allow these candidates to focus on content of the interview, instead of worrying about the technology.

7. Screen for team players.
To decrease the potential for tension between mature, experienced staff  and their younger, less experienced managers, hiring managers seeking to leverage un-retirees and boomerang workers should seek out candidates who are open-minded, believe in ongoing learning and are willing to work as a team.

ALSO READ: Is your organisation ready to combat “talent poaching”?

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