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Author's profile photo John Harrison

Upcoming skills shortage? Is your work force transforming? Do you have the analytics to identify if you have a problem?

For those of you who read my blogs know that I am mostly concerned about operations and maintenance, and particularly, the analytics that support these operations. As part of my interest in these areas I recently started to focus on Human Capital Management and have written a number of postings, focusing on the shortage of skilled workers.

Is your work force transitioning to a younger work force?

Do you need to start thinking of focusing  Human Resources policies on a  younger workforce?

Do you need to start thinking about additional skill training for a younger work force?

Are you monitoring your generational ratio?

Do you even know what a generational ration is?

I certainly did not until I started delving into the analytics that success factors delivers.

The generational ration is a measure that is most useful for organizations that expect to experience significant knowledge drain from retirements in future periods or those that believe their labor flow dynamics are changing the age composition of their workforce. This, based on my conversations with my  colleagues describes the chemical industry.

Generation Ratio – Silent & Boomers/Generation XY. The ratio of mature workers (Silent and Boomer generations) to younger workers (Generations X and Y).

That is End of Period Headcount: Silent & Boomers / End of Period Headcount: Generations XY


  • End of Period Headcount – Silent & Boomers
    • Actual number of people classed as silent or boomers employed at the end of the reporting period.
  • End of Period Headcount – Generations XY
    • Actual number of people classed as generation X or Y employed at the end of the reporting period


For the purpose of this ratio, employees are classified into a generation group based on their year of birth, as follows:

  • Silent: 1925-1945
  • Early Boomers: 1946-1954
  • Late Boomers: 1955-1963
  • Generation X: 1964-1978
  • Generation Y: 1979-1994
  • Generation Z: 1995-

As this ratio decreases, you will have a larger number of new workers compared to older workers.  How steep is the slope? Do you need to look at additional retention policies? As this ratio changes, can you compensate for the knowledge that leaves the company with each retirement? Are you looking at additional training and recruitment policies, or are you counting on sub contractors to replace the skills?


If you are interested understanding other key work force metrics and how they can be applied to an organization for example:

  1. Retention Rate
  2. Staffing Rate – Approaching Retirement Eligibility
  3. Aging Workforce Tenure
  4. Unscheduled Absence Rate
  5. New Recruitment Ratio
  6. Career Path Ratio
  7. Recruitment Source Ratio – Permanent
  8. Total Separation Rate
  9. Employee Initiated Separation Rate

  Please take a look at this SuccessFactors 10 Key Metrics Report

   Does your HR department calculate these KPIs? If not would they be of use for you? For more information on SuccsessFactors please use the
following link

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