Report: Boeing asks retirees to return temporarily, fix production delays
- Boeing is calling ex-employees out of retirement to help fix a production delay, Reuters reports. The company began temporarily hiring retired mechanics and inspectors on Aug. 15 under an agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a union spokeswoman told Reuters.
- Engine and fuselage shortages triggered production snags for one of Boeing's biggest-selling jetliners, the 737. Timely delivery of aircraft is critical for airplane manufacturers, Reuters said, because that's when airlines pay most of what they owe for the aircrafts.
- The company entered into a similar agreement in the fall of 2017 after a round of voluntary layoffs, Reuters said. Boeing hit record-high production levels in June, but the latest delays could hurt third-quarter results and the company's efforts to increase production.
To overcome labor and skills shortages, employers might expand their recruiting efforts beyond the traditional pools of candidates. And among the often overlooked candidates — including former employees, ex-convicts, disabled workers, veterans, customers and highly skilled but non-degree applicants — are retirees.
As workers retire, they often take with them valuable skills and information, creating a "brain drain." Boeing might not be calling back retired workers because of information lapses in production, but the company apparently needs retirees' expertise to get production back on track. Employers can also proactively fight brain drain through phased retirement, which typically allows seasoned workers to continue earning a wage while gradually adjusting to reduce workload, hours or both.
Retired workers aren't necessarily ready to leave the workforce entirely, however. Many either want to work to stay active or need the income. In fact, older workers are key component of the gig economy; an Indeed Hiring Lab study found that a growing number workers over age 65 show interest in new jobs. As workers across age groups report being open to contingent work, retirees could be an important source for short-term hiring.