Romania’s economy will be hit harder by rapid population aging, youth migration, and authorities and employers must take urgent action to ensure the stability of the labor market and social security budget, according to the latest Inovantage report by Adecco.
Rapid population aging in Eastern Europe puts economies in the region in a delicate situation. Low birth rates, improved life expectancy and labor migration are the key factors of aging. The peaks of migration are at the age of 30-55 years, which unfortunately also represents the population at maximum reproductive capacity.
Therefore, the societies in this region are not prepared to cope with the growing number of seniors, nor to provide them with the necessary infrastructure to work and care for their needs.
The Inovantage report, second edition, shows that the countries in the region need to adopt a series of measures that, successfully applied, can allow Romania to develop and catch up with European countries in Western Europe.
In the case of seniors’ careers, flexibility and support measures for lifelong learning are needed. Thus, people on retirement age can work up to older part-time or fixed-term ages and can increase their chances of staying in work if they can be respected at work. This creates a transition period during which seniors can remain active, based on a program agreed by them.
In parallel, Romania and other CEE countries have to stop the early retirement policies that have caused artificial migration before the retirement age of hundreds of thousands of people on the labor market to the pension system.
Employers must rediscover this hidden treasure of senior employees. The law prohibits any employer from refusing a candidate because of his or her age, and if there was a general feeling among HR professionals that younger candidates are more willing to work hard, accept overtime and learn sooner new things, this culture has to change, and in many places it is already changing.
Automation can help senior employees
The job market is booming and employers find out that young candidates are more mobile than the older workforce.
”The increased mobility of young people brings the need for pillars – of older candidates, seniors, with special abilities to communicate with the millenials generation and to play a mentor role.But many others have to change to have a proper attitude towards the older workforce. First, as mentioned at the beginning, we need to see the hidden treasure – people with work experience, not necessarily the exact experience you need – are trained to learn and know how to learn, because they have changed more jobs and maybe more than one specialty. So be ready to change your corporate culture into one that is inclusive and open to more than one generation, ”said Florin Godean, country manager, Adecco Romania.
As employers in Eastern Europe find the right candidates more and more difficult, the Inovantage report shows that automation can help keep older people in the longer term. For example, jobs that involve repetitive work or involving weight handling can be automated, and employees can handle machine scrutiny or document review.
In addition, replacing older people with young people, a method of reducing youth unemployment across many countries, is no longer effective because innovation creates new jobs based on knowledge and skills different from those developed by seniors . In addition, as compared to young people, older employees are more suited to management tasks, even mentoring.
Also, unlike conventional thinking, older workers can actually be a treasure trove of experience, adaptability and productivity if they are given the right environment and opportunities. The Adecco report mentions that older workers tend to outperform the performance of younger workers in semantic memory and speech and language skills. Older workers also offer crucial skills for business development, knowledge consolidation, and the continuity of technology processes. An aging workforce can thus even reduce costs by increasing organizational commitment.