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A whopping total of 70 million Americans were born between the years 1946 and 1964. These 41- to 59-year olds make up what is known, of course, as the “Baby Boomer Generation.”

Recruiters everywhere are waiting for the Baby Boomers to start retiring in droves, because when they do, there will be a huge talent vacuum in the workforce. Companies, unable to find the talent that they need, will be clamoring for the specialized services that only recruiters can offer. However, as time goes on, one thing has become increasingly clear: due to a number of factors, Baby Boomers aren’t able or willing to retire as early as was initially forecast.

While this might have some negative connotations for the recruiting industry, it has some positive ones, as well, and those positive ones revolve around contracting. The fact of the matter is that what Boomers are looking for in the way of employment and what contracting jobs can offer are almost a perfect fit.

Is retirement realistic?
In actuality, according to numerous studies, only a small percentage of Boomers (less than 20%) hope to never work again and a certain percentage even envisions the need to work full-time. So that opens the doors for part-time work and/or cycles of work and leisure. In either case, contract staffing can be appealing.

Is contract staffing realistic?
Statistics show that Boomers are hunting for work for the first time in decades. But their own personal circumstances are different than they were 20+ years ago. Part-time work or cycles of work can meet most of their needs. Many are limited in their ability to relocate and are pressured to provide for their children or elderly parents. Some other important factors include the following:

1. Money—The ability to financially supplement a retirement plan or Social Security income is an important factor. Contractors are paid for every hour they work, and they are often paid at a very acceptable rate because of their experience and knowledge.

2. Flexibility—Flexibility is critical to these Baby Boomers, and contract staffing offers that option. They can set their own schedules, work as many or as few hours as they like, take the summer off or time at Christmas, arrange for job sharing, etc. The decision can be made based upon their own unique situations at home.

3. Health Care—Another consideration is health insurance. Although Boomers are healthier than they used to be, certain chronic conditions become more common and usually grow worse with age. And we all know that Americans are living longer than they used to.

What do companies say?
Studies show that older employees tend to be more loyal, detail-oriented, and reliable than younger people. In many cases, Baby Boomers provide a competitive edge because they already have a required skill or knowledge base to handle a specific task or project. Many companies actually try to recruit Boomers and retirees back into the workforce. They have the experience and expertise the client needs, plus if he/she is a retiree, they’re familiar with the company’s operation guidelines, internal procedures, etc.

What’s the bottom line?
Offer your client companies a solution. Contract staffing is an excellent alternative for both the Boomers and the clients. Consider this option the next time your client has a specific need. You may be surprised to find that clients aren’t always looking to hire people, but rather a specific person, to be the solution to their problem.

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