Your best bet is to retain the experienced workers you have, for at least long enough to get you through knowledge capture. If those workers are already out the door, then you must actively seek similarly experienced workers, who also might be nearing retirement, because capturing EXPERIENCE is a critical part of capturing knowledge.
HOW DO YOU RETAIN EXPERIENCE?
Demonstrate that you value experience. Prove to those older, seasoned workers that they are important to you and to future workers. Consider incentives:
- Phased retirement with built-in mentoring obligations.
- Offer post retirement contracts or consulting opportunities, related to knowledge transfer.
- Create an in-house knowledge sharing culture in order to give knowledge transfer a natural flow.
Countless models are theorized and in-use world-wide. Sorting through those might require help.
HOW DO YOU RECRUIT EXPERIENCE?
- Throw out your recruiting handbook and forget your assessment process – the experienced worked doesn’t need you as badly as you need him or her. They are not coming to you.
- First identify the job(s) you need to fill with experience. Then send your recruiters to scour LinkedIn and all those worker bank websites that you’ve come to ignore. Look in other cities for specific skills, such as other port cities, if seeking a tugboat captain. Actively court older workers. Buy an ad! You need to go to them.
(See the “Recruiting” section of this site for other issues.)
PINPOINT YOUR NEED. Grab those lists from the previous page. Compare them to these.
- The type of knowledge loss: Leadership, Scientific, Sales and Supply, Organizational Development, Relationship, other.
- The type of skills loss: Job-Specific, General Industrial, Basic Skills, Professionalism, Community Relations, other.
Now, match up the needed skill, with a possible knowledge capture and transfer system.
For example: Sales, Organizational Development, Leadership, Professionalism, Community Relationships and other skills certainly need to be transferred through mentoring. While scientific jobs, job-specific tasks and general industrial knowledge and more can, possibly, be transferred by codified information on hand-held video devices. List your need for someone to help transfer knowledge and skills in your talent search campaign. We earned this gray hair and most of us love to tell others what we know.
The seasoned holders of skills and knowledge, that you retain or recruit, can help you determine the best way to “offload” their knowledge.
They know what they know. Ask them.