Retirees get back to work

But do employers appreciate their value?
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/31/2011

For three years, Les Dakens has enjoyed his own style of retirement, playing golf and tennis while also being an executive coach in human resources and doing charity work. But in late 2010, he was offered a tantalizing job — senior vice-president and chief HR officer at Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto.

The position was appealing for several reasons. For one, Dakens had 20 years of experience at a food company. He also liked that the head of HR would have a strong relationship with the CEO, as was the case when he worked at CN Rail as senior vice-president of HR. There was also an opportunity to take HR to the next level at the company.

Dakens’ wife said if he lived another 30 years, and worked five of those 30 years, this job would be a drop in the bucket. It was too hard to resist, so Dakens, 56, stepped out of retirement to accept the position at the end of 2010.