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Learn some surprising facts about succession planning, and gain a better understanding of why future-proofing your business is more important than ever.If there is one thing the past five years have taught us, it’s that change is happening faster than before. Entire industries have been disrupted by new technologies that seem to appear out of nowhere. Yet, preparing for uncertainty is a strategic imperative.This is especially true with regard to today’s changing workforce. Organizations must be in a position to assess their current talent pool in relation to the types of skills sets likely to be needed in future. This becomes especially challenging in an environment where Baby Boomers are retiring faster than the volume of college graduates to replace them. Only about a third of the generation’s members are still working in some capacity today. This finding contrasts sharply with wide expectations that boomers would defy traditional working patterns and stay in the workplace longer. Not so, said Gallup, which conducted the 2015 survey. Boomers “are retiring at about the same rates as those who were in that age range a few years ago,” the polling organization stated. This faster-than-expected pattern of retirement could have a significant effect on “lowering the overall workforce participation rate,” Gallup added, explaining that the aging of the U.S. population leaves a smaller percentage of the population working. The country “could face a shortage of workers,” the study warned. In other words, as boomers pack up their office belongings, an equal number of qualified workers in the U.S. to replace them in leadership positions will be elusive. More boomers are doing just that. Ten thousand boomers reach the traditional retirement age of 65 every day, according to AARP, the nonprofit advocacy group for older Americans. This trend is expected to continue through the year 2029, when the last of the 73.5 million boomers reach retirement age. The problem is there are only 48.1 million people within Generation X. Obviously, a lot of senior leadership and management positions will go unfilled. Many technical positions also will be vacant. Who will replace these lost skill sets? One answer is contingent workers, comprising more than 40 percent of the workforce today, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Such non-permanent workers include independent contractors, freelancers, and temporary workers, among others. Another fill-the-void solution is the current workforce, assuming proper succession management plans are in place. Regrettably, this is not the case. A 2015 survey by HCM research firm Brandon Hall Group indicates that an eye-popping 84 percent of organizations have a lack of candidates in the pipeline ready to assume open and critical positions. The study provided a culprit, warning that talent management technology is under-utilized across industries, hindering the efficiency of many companies’ succession management practices.To future-proof against the unanticipated loss of high-performing individuals, companies must have a pipeline of candidates on tap, both internally and externally. Such individuals must be aligned with the organization’s mission to ensure productive long-term employment. These demands require ongoing assessment of employee engagement. Predictive and prescriptive data analytics can help a business identify its top performing employees and their respective flight risks, in addition to recommending tactics to head off retention dangers before they rear. In these regards, Ultimate Software has developed such tools as My Leadership Actions™, UltiPro Retention Predictor™, and UltiPro High Performer Predictor™, to ensure your organization is proactively prepared for tomorrow’s talent needs.