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Many Executives Unconcerned About Near-Term Baby Boomer Retirements

Survey Finds Chief Financial Officers Who Are Worried Fear Losing Leadership, Legacy Knowledge

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One-fifth of the U.S. workforce has passed or is nearing retirement age, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yet research suggests many executives aren't too concerned with losing baby boomer employees to retirement in the next couple of years. Only 31 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a recent Robert Half survey said they were worried about this possibility. Sixty-three percent of financial executives reported being unconcerned.

Among CFOs who are worried about losing baby boomers to retirement, executives most commonly cited leadership (39 percent) and legacy knowledge (23 percent) as the greatest potential losses to their organization.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on interviews with more than 2,100 CFOs from a random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.

CFOs were asked, "How concerned are you about losing employees from the baby boomer generation to retirement in the next two years?" Their responses:

Not at all concerned

42%

Somewhat unconcerned 

21%

Somewhat concerned

25%

Very concerned

6%

Don't know/no answer

6%

Total

100%

CFOs concerned about those retirements also were asked, "What is the greatest potential loss to your business due to the retirement of baby boomer employees?" Their responses:

Leadership

39%

Legacy knowledge

23%

Functional skills

15%

Nontechnical attributes (e.g., soft skills)

15%

Contacts outside the organization

5%

Other

1%

Don't know/no answer

3%

Total

     101%*

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

View an infographic featuring the research findings.

"Although losing baby boomers to retirement may not be a universal concern yet, employers, as a best practice, should prepare themselves for the exit of experienced professionals from the workforce," said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. "Mentorship and succession plans can be effective means of passing on legacy knowledge, and retaining and developing a company's next generation of leaders."

McDonald added that businesses of all sizes can benefit by implementing programs that allow professionals to transition into retirement and remain engaged with the firm. "Even as they move closer to retirement, many people want to continue contributing their skills and expertise," he added. "Companies can take advantage of working with these employees on a consulting basis, who can in turn train other staff members on both the needed technical and nontechnical attributes."

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at roberthalf.com. For career and management advice, follow our blog at blog.roberthalf.com.

SOURCE Robert Half

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