). Keep working! Yes, I am older, but I am earning, productive, and like my coworkers

This case study examined motives of older US IT workers about remaining in the workforce. Intrinsically, many delay their retirement to maintain the camaraderie, knowledge, expertise, challenge to themselves, a leadership role, and feelings of being needed. Extrinsically, they also want to earn income and avoid loss of existing lifestyle.


The problem is the U.S. workforce is aging with older employees reconsidering the traditional option of exiting the workforce to create opportunities for early career workers in favor of continuing employment and maintaining their intellectual property (Ng & Law, 2014; Riach, 2007). This qualitative exploratory case study explored older IT workers’ perspectives on remaining in the workforce and delaying retirement to satisfy intrinsic or extrinsic needs. In addition, the study explored the perspectives of different IT company human resource leaders’ retention and recruitment strategies for the aging workforce. The research illustrated the sample of US IT older workers want to prolong retirement and stay in the workforce for primarily intrinsic reasons of camaraderie, knowledge and expertise sharing, challenging oneself, and feeling necessary. Secondarily, extrinsic reasons of earning more income and avoiding loss of existing lifestyle guided the decision to stay in the workforce for some participants. In parallel, HR leaders and talent managers are inclined to position the age-protected class of IT workers as mentors for the next generation of workers to address the issue of succession planning but have not explored the demographic for non-conventional position types (e.g., interns, contractors, consultants, or part-time). In addition, the HR leaders and talent managers do not have specific recruitment or retention strategies for older workers and prefer to emphasize creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, while engaging older workers in key positions to stay and share their knowledge.


This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Rollins-Smith, Leslye. J.
Hakim, Amy
Miller, Leslie M.
Conrad, Kelley A.
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
[APS Poster Showcase]. APS 2020 Convention, Chicago, IL
[APS Poster Showcase]. APS 2020 Convention, Chicago, IL
Date Published: 
Monday, June 1, 2020
Place Published: 
Publication Language: 
Boyer's Domain: 

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