Ageing Workforce
Talent Management



Within the next year, more people are predicted to leave the workforce than join it. Talent management is about to enter a challenging new era, and developed countries will be hit hardest.

Mercer has identified six talent management issues that employers should consider now. These are difficulties you might be already experiencing, along with potential solutions.

1: People strategy

As experienced workers leave the workforce, newer employees may lack the skills employers need. The smaller talent pool creates stronger competition for it. And more expense.

Furthermore, the rising talent pipeline might be blocked as older workers cannot afford to retire.

The solutions? Be creative to keep skilled people fully productive and motivated. Train the younger generation early and give them the skills they need to fill the growing gaps.

2: No more "jobs for life"

The traditional model — education, work, leisure — is no longer relevant.  Employment and demographic patterns have changed, and this affects all of us. Employers are struggling to retain experienced workers, while ensuring that they are healthy enough and can afford to retire.

The solutions? Embrace flexibility and adapt HR policies. An effective age management strategy that caters to multiple generations can reduce the costs associated with the new working patterns.

3: No default retirement age

Fixed retirement ages are going away. But if people can’t afford or don’t want to retire, how do organisations ensure succession pathways for emerging talent?

The solutions? Examine your workforce planning and analytics. To react appropriately, you need to understand your retirement-age population and their affordability to retire.

And don’t forget the impact of early or late retirement on your talent pipeline.

4: Longer working lives

As more people postpone retirement, organisations need to maintain productivity. Does your current job design get the best from the available workforce? Is the population maintaining its health? Do you have the right level of employee turnover?

The solutions? Ensure that you have engaging career paths and development opportunities, as well as good health care management options.

5: More mobile workforces

Shifting talent between countries can help fill the skill gaps, but international mobility can be expensive and disruptive. Many companies have outdated mobility policies.

The solutions? Ensure that your mobility policies are relevant, scalable and cost effective.  Understand for which jobs this could be the right answer.

6: Employee engagement

Attitudes towards older people can be detrimental – as can the misconception that employee engagement concerns only the younger workforce. Don’t miss the opportunity to build on the goodwill and positive attitudes your ageing employees have to offer. And take time to understand what motivates and engages workers in all age ranges.


Age-Friendly Research   Challenges of Retirement
Age-Friendly Research Thumb   Challenges of retirement thumb
What does it mean to be an Age Friendly Employer?   Many workers have not saved enough to ensure a financially secure post-working life.
Absence and Age   Future Workplace
Absence and Age thumb   Future Workplace thumb
Does sickness absence really relate to increasing age?   We surveyed over 80 companies to find out how the ageing workforce issue affects them.

If you would like to learn more, please speak with your regular Mercer consultant or contact the expert below.


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