Here’s an amazing statistic that will soon affect virtually every company in America: 57 million baby boomers are expected to retire in the next few years, according to the US Department of Labor.

Fifty-seven million!

Overall, there are only about 150 million people in the American workforce. That means that more than a third of all workers in the United States will soon be retired!

On top of all that, many of these 57 million people are established leaders within companies. They are CEOs, presidents, heads of human resources, etc. The vast majority of them have at least 30 years of experience in the workplace, and some much more than that.

In a few years, that brain trust will be gone. So I go back to the question in the headline: how will you deal with the 57 million-person exodus?

The Solution

Many companies have succession plans in place, which is a necessary practice. However, these plans are becoming less reliable than ever today, as people switch from job to job quicker than ever before. Quite frankly, the days of hiring an employee and then developing them over a course of years is just behind the baby boomers on its way out of the door.

So that means companies are going to have hire new talent to fill these roles. While this certainly isn’t as ideal as promoting from within, it is quickly becoming the reality. And what will separate businesses in the years to come is their ability to hire these soon-to-be-vacant positions.

Keys To Hiring Intelligently

The reason companies prefer to promote from within as opposed to bring in new people is because they already have an understanding of the person and know their strengths and weakness, so they can put them in a position to succeed. The key to hiring successfully is to get that knowledge quickly, so both the right people are hired and they are put in the right roles.

There are new technologies out there that help that cause: candidate screening software like VoiceGlance, gamification, personality tests, etc. These will become key, because they allow companies to gain some valuable insights into new people without a) having to spend hours and hours of precious time; but also b) having a long hiring process, because if that’s the case there is a good chance the best talent will be gone before you make an offer.

The point is that the world is changing rapidly, and again many companies are going to have to rely on technology for solutions. The key is to figure out a plan now, both for succession and how to bring in new people, before the 57 million are gone.