American Public Sector Needs to Brace for ‘Silver Tsunami’ in Next Five Years

According to a latest survey conducted by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), nearly 40% human resource professionals in the public sector expect that their organizations will lose about 20% of their employees to retirement over the next five years. Despite this anticipated drop in employee numbers, only a little over 25% respondents of the survey said that their organizations had a succession plan to tackle this manpower shortage. The results of this survey reiterate that the effects of an impending silver tsunami could be graver than expected.

This year, the study focused on veterans, succession planning, military recruitment and national guard. Another important focus area of the survey was that of recruiting and retaining millennial talent.

According to the executive director of IPMA-HR, Neil Reichenberg, putting an effective succession plan in place is an issue that will need to be addressed by the government workforce. Given that this process is anything but overnight, government agencies must start early. Data on how a shortfall in staffing can affect the bottom line of government organizations will likely help them take preventative measures.

The study also reveals that the over 60% respondents from government organizations opined that the silent generation (56 to 64 years) and older boomers (65 to 73 years) were highly unlikely to opt for voluntary retirement, as compared to their cohorts from other generations.

Human resources professionals in the public sector are bracing for this change by gradually initiating campaigns for military and millennial recruitment. These two large demographics have not yet been tapped to their full potential by the public sector.


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