Apple's Steve Jobs may be the highest-profile executive to take a medical leave of absence in recent memory, but he's certainly not the only one to do so. (Editor's update: Steve Jobs died Oct. 5, 2011, at age 56). The first members of the Baby Boomer generation hit age 65 in 2011. Since Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1964) make up 26 percent of the IT workforce, according to a 2010 report from staffing firm TekSystems, this means that potentially one quarter of your workforce could be nearing retirement age very soon. Are you making sure that valuable technical know-how and general institutional knowledge doesn't walk out the door with them? You'll be wise to launch a formal "technical talent management" program now in order to avoid the common, transitional mistakes that happen whenever your top tech talent departs, according to the book Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company's Technical Expertise (Amacom/Available Now). Author William Rothwell explains that high-performing engineers, developers and other IT pros not only know all the details of the architecture, applications and processes that drive your company—oftentimes they invented these. A technical talent management program will enable you to capture as much institutional and operational information as possible from departing workers.
1. The institutional memory of those who are, or soon will be, retiring.2. Special knowledge of products, services and/or customers from those who are leaving.3. Insight about work processes/workflow from these departing individuals.
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