Defining Major Shifts in the Workforce

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“HR and Changing External Factors.” Students will respond to the following:

Define the major shifts in the workforce that require updated HR practices. As noted in our text, there have been major shifts in the American workforce that require the HR professional and the company to continually update their practices. Of these are: an aging workforce, a diverse workforce and skill deficiencies of the workforce.

Aging Workforce: Some employees are now working past normal retirement age while there is also an exodus of the baby boomers from the workforce. Employees that choose to work past the normal retirement age begin to focus in on health-care concerns and retirement planning. HR professionals must be abreast in the area of retirement planning and health care laws and how they affect older workers. With the technological age comes the need to retrain older workers and to continually motivate those older works whose careers have plateaued. HR professionals will need to possess the ability to define what skills older workers need to be retained on as well as how to go about motivating older workers. The things that motivate a younger workforce may not be the same things that motivate an older workforce.

Along with the exodus of older workers from the workforce comes the possible shortage of available talent. Corporations, along with HR, must plan strategically to attract and retain skilled younger workers if they choose to remain competitive. Many corporations have partnered with local colleges and schools to initiate an intern program so that a pool of qualified candidates will be available for future job openings.

Diverse Workforce: Today’s workforce is diversified in terms of gender, ethnicity and race. More women today are employed in the workforce and immigration serves as a source for increased racial and ethnical diversity. HR professionals must be aware of current and emerging immigration laws to ensure company compliance. HRIS systems...
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