Elvis Has Left The Building … More Retirements – Where Will It End?

Filed in Uncategorized by on July 2, 2017

image001Two more great guys were added to the list of retiring municipal managers this month: Dan Carnegie, CAO of St Catharines, and Murray Clarke of Kincardine, Ontario. Last month it was Julian de Cocq, of Cochrane Alberta … and the list goes on!

The reality of an aging work force means succession planning is becoming more and more important for towns and cities across Canada. And it’s not just at the CAO level. All sorts of individuals who have essential know-how about planning, public works, and the efficient and effective workings of municipal government are disappearing at the same rate.  We recently did a lightning-fast search to replace a Manager of Revenue and Taxation who retired as soon as she could last month … age 57!

image002The big challenge is not that there aren’t millennials coming along to fill some of those chairs. But you’re not going to get someone out of school who has the knowledge that some of your senior staff has. It takes planning … and time!

Recently, I chatted about succession planning with a CAO who said, “In the next three or four years, I’ll hire my replacement, or groom my replacement from within. My goal,” he said, “is to leave the municipality in a much stronger place, with a very good, sustainable future.”

But reaching that goal is a challenge – not just for my friend, the CAO, but for the entire Canadian economy, as the biggest demographic wave in the country’s history surfs into retirement. The “Boomers”, perhaps the most important cohort for economic, technological and social development in human history, have now begun the transition into their golden years.


Who are the Boomers?

image005image004The result will be a dramatic greying of Canada’s demography – one that has serious implications for the national economy, government policy and the well-being of its citizens. Without significant adjustments, we could be headed for decades of anemic economic growth, shrinking per capita incomes, and eroding wealth. Governments could face skyrocketing deficits and tough choices about what kinds of health care and social supports we can afford, as a smaller pool of taxpayers must fund the rising costs of the growing numbers of seniors. The gaps between the wealthy and poor may widen into gaping social wounds, as the adequacy of pensions and private savings are tested to their limits.

As of this year, for the first time, Canada has more people over the age of 65 –the traditional retirement age in this country – than under 15. They make up 16 per cent of the population – double their proportion in 1971. The age group that now encompasses the boomer generation makes up 27 per cent of the population, compared with 18 per cent in that age group two decades ago.

So, if you or your municipality are facing the inevitable loss of the baby boomer knowledge and experience, don’t despair! Ravenhill Group will help! We know who the best passive candidates are (they’re the ones not looking – but who might consider a change under the right circumstances), and we can help you sell them on working in your community. Call us today.

bruce@ravenhillgroup.com 1-888-447-5910 ext. 727

Bruce Malcolm

About the Author ()

Bruce's background includes 30+ years of human resource management experience covering all aspects of HR administration with a clear specialty in team building and recruiting. He created and developed the concept of “Ethical Head-Hunting™”. Bruce began his recruiting career in 1971 with Prudential Assurance.

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