I came across an interesting article on CNBC.com about the number of public sector employees who are filing for retirement and the resulting talent shortage. With states facing massive budget shortfalls, it is guaranteed not all these positions will be backfilled, but many of them will as states look to save salary dollars through eliminating higher earners and replacing with a $30K employee.
Monitoring emerging retirement trends is another strategy one can use when evaluating the job market. Knowing there are massive impending retirements for these state agencies, one can reasonably expect hiring to occur in the near future. And while the hiring will most likely not be at the same level or numbers of the retirees, it is a sign of possible job openings.
Retirement spikes, such as the one many states are experiencing, should be noted by current employees as well. The retirements create opportunities to move within an organization as it is easier for an employer to realign someone internally to a new position as opposed to hiring talent from outside the company. By noting which departments are experiencing the retirements, one can anticipate where future needs will exist. For example, Notre Dame is going through an early retirement package process, for those at the University, this is an opportunity to possibly make a move to another department or position.
In addition to new roles/positions, retirements will create opportunities for current employees to be assigned new projects. If you have been feeling like you are doing the same thing year in and year out, new opportunities may exist within your division due to a retirement. When a former employee left my department a while back, other staff members were able to express interest in taking over aspects of her job. This can help keep your job fresh and challenging, and allow you the opportunity to grow your skill sets.
One person’s end (retirement) can be your beginning.