Future Friday: Are you really paying attention to demographics?


The future of you company is going to be much more diverse than it is now. Are you prepared?
The future of you company is going to be much more diverse than it is now. Are you prepared?

Everyone in HR knows about demographics. We can sit around the table and spout off some of the better known facts. But are you really paying attention to these demographics beyond these simple facts? You should be. CEOs are starting to pay attention.
The CEO should not know
Your CEO should not know more about demographics than you do as an HR professional. You want to be strategic? Then you should be the ready resource for the CEO. Why are they concerned with demographics? Demographics drive the marketplace. Everyone is a consumer and consumer trends vary according to demographics. Here is a series of statements written by CEO and thought leaders on demographics.
Beyond consumers the composition of our workforce is driven by demographics and it is changing radically and more rapidly than we realize. The workforce, your workforce, is going to be very diverse. According to the Census Bureau Projections:

    • The non-Hispanic white population is projected to peak in 2024, at 199.6 million, up from 197.8 million in 2012. Unlike other race or ethnic groups, however, its population is projected to slowly decrease, falling by nearly 20.6 million from 2024 to 2060.
    • Meanwhile, the Hispanic population would more than double, from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. Consequently, by the end of the period, nearly one in three U.S. residents would be Hispanic, up from about one in six today.
    • The black population is expected to increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million over the same period. Its share of the total population would rise slightly, from 13.1 percent in 2012 to 14.7 percent in 2060.
    • The Asian population is projected to more than double, from 15.9 million in 2012 to 34.4 million in 2060, with its share of nation’s total population climbing from 5.1 percent to 8.2 percent in the same period.

What are you doing today
If your CEO came up to you today and asked you about demographics what could you tell her? If she asked these questions would you be prepared to answer them?

  • What is our demographic make-up by race, age, sex and educational level?
  • What is the demographic make-up of the prime population we draw upon for our candidates?
  • What are the projections for how OUR labor force is going to change in the next 10, 15 or 20 years?
  • What plans do we have in place to effectively deal with the changes that are projected?

Can you answer these questions now? Why not? Here is a suggestion for you. Prepare a report for the CEO that answers these questions and present it as a strategic decision making tool. Prove you are strategic. Prove you are valuable. Prove you have some foresight. Larger companies can get internal data from the EEO 1, smaller companies can just count. To help you out I have provided some resources for you.
U.S. Census Bureau Projections Show a Slower Growing, Older, More Diverse Nation a Half Century from Now
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050
You can also generally find state information as well, usually associated with the economic development divisions.
Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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