Brain drain likely as baby boomers near retirement

Many employers do not have a clear view of the wide range of skills they could lose as staff of the ‘baby boom’ generation approach retirement age, experts have warned.

Organisations could lose major skill sets and knowledge as employees approach the end of their working career, which could put their competitive advantage at risk, according to IBM’s HR consultancy arm.

Workers over the age of 45 account for the largest segment of the industrialised world’s workforce.

Mary Sue Rogers, global leader of the human capital management group at IBM Business Consulting Services, said the scale of the ‘age-driven change’ would alter the way work and knowledge are managed within companies.

Speaking last week, as IBM announced new consulting services to help firms prepare for the transition, she said: “The maturing population will be one of the major social and business issues of the 21st century and companies worldwide are starting to examine what this means in terms of skills, knowledge and growth.

“Many companies are taking this opportunity to evaluate their workforce skills globally, rethink internal knowledge management and optimise people-based processes,” Rogers added.

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