How many S.E.T.H’s are there? Not enough…

In the western world, we have been talking about the boomers since, Boom, Bust and Echo came out in the 90’s.  This demographic bulge is pervasive and will have these implications on HR:

  • Fewer Seth’s to fill jobs – the number of bodies in North America entering the labour force as we know is much smaller than the boomers.  The large-scale retirements may not happen, however HR needs to pretend this isn’t the case.  What we’ll need to do is increase participation in the workforce.  Seniors, women of child-bearing age, Aboriginals, etc.  But, we need to consider what they’d be looking for – is it a 9-5 full-time job?  Or, are there alternatives we are not considering?
  • Immigration/migration – if jobs don’t go to people, people will go to jobs – there will be cultural implications here, which HR should be preparing for and building contingencies. 
  • Sandwich generation – there may be those in management/leadership positions (those poor Gen Xers) that are dealing with kids and aging parents simultaneously. 
  • Diversity – age, place, experience, gender, work status, etc may be a dimension for job design.  Segmenting workers by diversity class might help distinguish what they’d prefer out of a job. 

Holly MacDonald is an independent consultant with well over 15 years of experience in the learning & development field.  Holly is a bit of a techno-geek and can often be found playing online.  When she steps away from her computer, she spends time outside: hiking, kayaking, gardening and of course walking the dog.  She lives on Saltspring Island and is a leader in the live/work revolution.


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