Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 43


s the overall economy continues to expand and improve, employers in nearly every industry are finding
it increasingly difficult to hire employees. The number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age (estimated to be almost 10,000 each day), makes the labor shortage even more acute. In addition to the loss
of their services, Baby Boomers leave with institutional knowledge, operational know-how and informed best
practices that may be difficult or impossible to replace. Such losses are likely to continue for at least several
more years, if not longer.
Despite spending on average almost
$4,000 to fill an open position, employers
are finding that those tech-savvy millennials, Gen X, Y and Z new hires, often jump
ship in a matter of months, if not sooner.
Studies confirmed millennials change
jobs on average every six months or so,
usually seeking higher salaries or more
responsibility. They rarely, if ever, take a
job intending to make it a career. More
often, they use one job as the jumping off
point for the next. They are always looking for that job with the perfect work/life
balance. In many cases, these job-hopping
Gen Xers and millennials are not staying
on the job for sufficient time to learn from
experienced, older workers. Having grown
up with computers, smartphones, email
and texting, they are more focused on electronic communication and social media
than acquiring practical job experience. As
a consequence, much of the unique knowledge and business awareness possessed by
retiring employees will be lost.
Given the difficulty in finding suitable
applicants to fill open positions, it should
be no surprise employers across most
industries seek to attract and retain older
workers. If they have not already considered
this potential pool of experienced workers,
perhaps they should. There is no question
that, in general, the nature of work permits
employees to be productive much longer
than in the past.

According to Inc. magazine, more than
76,000,000 Americans will soon reach the
age of 60 or older, and many will continue
working-in some cases, out of necessity.
The relaxing retirement so many dreamed
of has become unaffordable on the limited
income from today's pensions or recessionimpacted 401(k) plans. Most workers are

understandably concerned they will outlive
their retirement money. It is estimated that
for an employee to be able to retire comfortably by the age of 67, they should have
10 times their annual earnings in retirement funds. Given life expectancies into
the 80s and older have become the norm,
outliving retirement funds is a legitimate
concern. In light of these realities, the greying of the workforce should come as no surprise. According to the Bureau of Labor and
Statistics, 25 percent of all workers will be
age 55 or older by 2020. In fact, employment of persons 65 or older has more than
doubled today. We will soon, if not already,
have multiple generations working alongside
each other in most workplaces.

There have been numerous studies and
articles over the last several years describing the benefits older workers bring to the
workplace. All consistently agree on the
virtues of employing seasoned employees.
The benefits resulting from employing
such persons described in these articles are
numerous. Many relate to the experience
and dedication they bring to the job. Most
have had a varied work history, utilizing a
range of skills the 20-somethings do not
have today. They require less training for
most jobs and can be mentors or trainers
to less-experienced employees. In addition, older employees are generally less concerned with the work/life balance and time
off most millennials seem to value most.
They rarely take time off and almost always
report to work on time. If some of the seasoned employees who serve as mentors are
also potential retirees who were convinced
to stay longer, keeping them employed has
the added benefit of curtailing the loss of
institutional knowledge.
www.americanfenceassociation.com | 43 | May/June 2018

One blogger on the issue, Lewis Lustman, a
Los Angeles journalist, provided an excellent
summary of the advantages to employing
seasoned talent. He specifically noted that,
among other things, older employees:
* Are a steady and reliable source of skilled
* Bring years and often decades of
* Are more flexible in their work schedule;
* Are not job-hoppers;
* Are more focused on their tasks;
* May have some computer skills and are
eager to learn;
* Are generally willing to mentor younger
He also suggests that in terms of fringe
benefit costs, older workers may have lesser
health insurance requirements than younger
employees with families. Many are on or
eligible for Medicare.
Given the competitive labor market today,
no company can afford to overlook potential employees who could help contribute
to a successful operation, especially those
who come ready to work. Sixty may truly
be the next 40. Perhaps your company can
benefit from this development. Why not
take a chance? ■
Richard D. Alaniz is a partner at Cruickshank
& Alaniz, a labor and employment firm
based in Houston. He has been at the forefront of labor and employment law for over
30 years, including stints with the U.S.
Department of Labor and the National Labor
Relations Board. Rick is a prolific writer on
labor and employment law and conducts
frequent seminars to client companies
and trade associations across the country.
Questions about this article, or requests to
subscribe to receive Rick's monthly articles,
can be addressed to Rick at (281) 381-2219 or


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fencepost - May/June 2018

Editor’s Note
Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
Board of Directors | Chapter Presidents Committee
Fenced In: Best Practices for Farm and Ranch Enclosures
Getting in the Loop
Long-Term Objectives of AFA’s Upcoming Certified Fence Contractor Program
5 Strategies to Give Your Fencing Company a Good Name
New Members
Solving the Puzzle
An Aging Workforce – Is 60 the New 40?
Chapter News
Fence Contractors: Manage Your Auto Fleet Risk
Minding Your Business
Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Intro
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover1
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover2
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 3
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 4
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 5
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 6
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 7
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 8
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 9
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 10
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 11
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 12
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Editor’s Note
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 14
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Executive Director’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 16
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - President’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 18
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Board of Directors | Chapter Presidents Committee
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fencelines
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 21
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fenced In: Best Practices for Farm and Ranch Enclosures
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 23
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 24
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 25
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 26
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - CLFMI
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Getting in the Loop
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 29
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 30
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 31
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 32
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - VMA
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 34
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Long-Term Objectives of AFA’s Upcoming Certified Fence Contractor Program
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 36
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 5 Strategies to Give Your Fencing Company a Good Name
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 38
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - New Members
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Solving the Puzzle
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 41
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - An Aging Workforce – Is 60 the New 40?
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 43
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Chapter News
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 45
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fence Contractors: Manage Your Auto Fleet Risk
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 47
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 48
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Minding Your Business
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover3
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover4