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A number of factors, including the economy and older workers’ desire to not bail out of the workforce entirely, has made retiree re-staffing an emerging trend. This series examines the trend and provides ways that recruiters can take advantage of it.

As the economic recovery plods ahead, companies have a need for hard-working, conscientious, quality, talented, and experienced candidates, but they are still not willing to make the commitment to permanent hires. Many are turning to contract staffing, but how can they find the qualities they seek in a temporary workforce?

Many employers and recruiters don’t realize that there is a plentiful crop of perfect contract candidates – recent retirees! According to recruiter and industry trainer Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS, of Good as Gold Training, Inc., Baby Boomers are often referred to as “bungee retirees” because they often have a desire or a need to return to work after they have retired. Some may be bored or feel the need to be useful. Others saw their retirement savings dwindle during the Stock Market meltdown and have no choice but to supplement their income. Either way, contracting is a perfect fit because most retirees don’t want to go back to full-time work. They want the flexibility contracting offers so they can enjoy other things in their lives, such as family and hobbies.

Better yet, they have the characteristics that companies are seeking. According to Bruno, Baby Boomers are known for being hardworking, independent, competitive, and goal-oriented.

“Imagine a contractor who always showed up for work, did an excellent job, and brought a wealth of experience, talents, and skills to the table,” Bruno said. “When you’re filling a contract position for your clients with a Baby Boomer, that is what you get.”

And companies can hire contractors who retired from their own companies, so they not only get someone with a wealth of knowledge about the industry but also about the company itself! Why wouldn’t a company want to keep all of that and not have to incur the costs associated with maintaining and training a direct-hire employee?

So how can you tap into this source of prime contract candidates? For starters, Bruno strongly recommends that recruiters ask their current clients if they have anyone retiring in the next 12 months, and if so, inquiring if they would be interested in bringing them back on a contract basis. She also urges recruiters to pro-actively seek retired candidates.

“It’s time for recruiters to seriously consider incorporating Baby Boomers into their business,” Bruno said. “You should attract them and make them part of your business plan. If you don’t get them, your competition is going to.”

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