Non-profits facing labour shortage

Retired boomers represent a potential labour source: Conference Board

Non-profit organizations are already facing talent shortages and the wave of retiring baby boomers could make it worse. However, retired baby boomers could present an untapped talent source, according to a new report.

“While growth in the non-profit sector is outpacing growth in the rest of the economy, talent shortages are already affecting critical service sectors, including health care and social services, in which non-profits are heavily represented,” said Jill Casner-Lotto, author of the Conference Board's report Boomers are Ready for Non-profits, But are Non-profits Ready for Them?

“Also, widespread executive-level and leadership skill shortages currently affecting many non-profits are predicted to get much worse as the sector expands and experienced executives retire.”

The advent of retirement for a vast majority of baby boomers presents an opportunity for non-profit organizations.

“Baby boomers, compared with previous generations, are healthier, more educated, and wealthier than any previous generation, and more inclined to stay in the workforce,” said Diane Piktialis, mature workforce program leader at the Conference Board.

“Many current older employees plan to work past traditional retirement age, but not always with their current employers. This burgeoning trend provides a time-tested source of labour for non-profits.”

A considerable number of baby boomer employees in the private sector are considering a move to the non-profit sector where they can use their experience and skills in social purpose work.

This generation came of age during tremendous social change and some want to return to their roots in bringing about social changes, said Casner-Lotto. Non-profits can tap into other sectors’ talent pools and their own mature workers to recruit experienced leaders, staff, and volunteers.

“But action is needed now,” said Casner-Lotto. “Evidence suggests that non-profits are seriously lagging behind the government and private sectors in efforts to both retain highly skilled potential retirees within their organizations and actively recruit older hires from other industry sectors.”

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