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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.

Imagine this: you are in late 50′s or early 60′s and you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel: Retirement. Then the Stock Market goes haywire, and all of the money you so carefully invested is no longer enough to provide a comfortable retirement. The one investment you made that you thought was safe, your house, has also dropped in value. Goodbye family vacations and days on the golf course. You will be working for the foreseeable future.

For many older workers, this isn’t some made up, worst-case scenario. It is reality. A recent U.S. News and World Report article titled “How Boomers Can Act Now to Repair Their Nest Egg” reported that while IRAs and 401(k)s have rebounded, they have only come back to the level they were at during the second half of 2006. The article, which gives an in-depth review of the problem and what Baby Boomers can do to recoup, also states that the number of retirement-age people still in the workforce has risen seven percent over last year.

Behind those statistics are real people who have seen their retirement dreams vanish, like Ed Beltram, who shared his story with Readers’ Digest in the recent article “Retirement at Risk” Instead of spending his days playing 18 holes, he is working at a golf course, scheduling tee times for others and washing their golf carts. He didn’t have any other choice when his 401(k) lost $250,000, and his former employer stopped subsidizing his health insurance.

“We were hoping for retirement to be a to be a time of comfort and ease,” his wife, Sherry, said in the article. “Not to live high, but not have to worry about what would happen next month or next year.”

Unfortunately, there are many other examples of workers who had retirement within their reach, only to see it swiped away. But as a recruiter, you can help by finding retirees or would-be retirees contract positions that will allow them the flexibility to enjoy their “golden years” while providing the stability they need to maintain their lifestyles. Who knows, through contracting, they may even be able to try new careers and take on new challenges that will make them glad they still have a toe in the workforce. And as their recruiter, you of course will enjoy a steady cash-flow from their contract placement, so everyone wins!

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