As leading executive placement consultants in Sacramento, CA, Pacific ExecSearch knows that for many years, the retirement of baby boomers has been a looming economic threat. Today, that threat is here – with more than a quarter million Americans turning 65 each month.

Organizations that don’t address this issue now may find themselves unable to sustain their missions in just a few years, particularly if key executives begin to retire en masse. Don’t be one of them. Here are some steps you can take to start planning now:

Evaluate the potential for knowledge loss.

When people retire, they take their knowledge with them. Do you know where your company is most vulnerable to knowledge loss? Evaluate the situation by conducting an analysis of where talent losses are likely to occur and what information and expertise those people have. First, determine how many people at your company are eligible to retire within the next few years. Then document the specific types of knowledge and expertise those people possess.

Talk with the key players most at risk.

Once you know the people (they will generally be senior managers, high level technicians, and knowledge connectors) who possess the knowledge that is most critical to your company’s future, sit down and talk with them at an appropriate time. Discuss their future and develop plans to ensure their knowledge is retained within your company.

Focus on knowledge transfer.

You can transfer knowledge in any number of ways, including:

  • Job shadowing. Identify the less experienced managers or professionals that are best qualified to move up. Pair them with the senior managers for help with personal and career development.
  • Documenting processes. You can actually hire people to chart and document processes that do not currently have formal documentation.
  • Investing in technology. Use technological tools, like electronic discussion groups to capture “shoptalk” and the knowledge that only comes with time on the job.

Create policies to retain senior employees.

Not everyone wants to retire when they turn 65, but some may want to slow down or enjoy a more flexible work schedule. Consider modifying your policies and procedures for part-time work or telecommuting, or consider hiring retiring workers as consultants.

While the stakes are high, those companies that prepare ahead for baby boomer retirement, and have a succession plan in place for key executives, will not only survive this historic wave, but thrive within it.

If your company needs help replacing key talent, call Pacific ExecSearch. As leading executive placement consultants in Sacramento, CA, our team of recruiters has extensive experience in sourcing, evaluating and helping companies hire mission critical professionals for top positions.

To learn more about how we can help your organization, please contact us today.