The world of work has changed and changing employee attitudes means businesses need to adapt their workplace strategy. Also, the way we work has radically altered and we now face a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine, rethink work and explore better ways of creating value. It isn't about everyone working from home or the office, but instead defining a new, hybrid world. What is key when planning a hybrid workplace is to recognise most of our working culture are after a hybrid workplace. However, there will be differences due to generation, job security and gender.
Mobility is here to stay, and organizations need a combination of in-office and flexible remote work options.
Meanwhile, Australian employers are hiring more talent however, the right skills do not appear easy to find. Vertical industries are currently suffering from a severe skills shortage.
The ongoing lockdowns have resulted in next to no skilled migration into our Country, as well as some people on visas returning home for personal reasons are unable to return.
With an increase of job openings, which has been driven by COVID slowing the economy in 2020, and now companies are willing to spend. In the past we relied on skilled immigrants, however, none of this is happening in the current market.
Research published by Deloitte Access Economics published in February 2021, shows Australia needs 156,000 new technology workers by 2025 to ensure economic growth is not harmed by the skill shortages.
Australia’s skills shortage has pushed wages, however, there is a gap between the expectations of employees and employers, while pay rises are important, people also want:
To work for a company with a compelling purpose and aligned values.
Work with a manager they can trust.
Feel valued, have a voice.
Be able to learn, grow and develop new skills.
Work in a job they are good at.
The future of recruitment is here, and we need to start changing our mindset to come up with solutions that challenge the status quo.
Ways to overcome skills shortage:
Expand the search - The new era of the remote and hybrid workforce means where an employee lives will be less tied to where their employer is. Consider candidates who are in different locations and are open to full-time remote working.
Consider taking on graduates – Organizations have begun to aggressively recruit university students before they graduate and mentoring them to elevate their skills that are in demand.It is a process as graduates cannot hit the ground running on day one.
Rethink your workforce – For some organizations that have traditionally had a heavy contract environment have shifted their workforce to a more balanced permanent to avoid loss of IP when turnover occurs. However, the challenge of this is converting contractors who have been on attractive daily pay rates to a permanent salary. On the flip side of this, some organizations are developing a more contingent workforce to give them access to highly trained non-permanent workers, that offer your business expertise, flexibility, and the ability to fill the workforce gaps on short notice.
Part-time workforce – is an enabler of gender equality. Allowing access to flexible working will enhance attracting and retainer employees, which will assist in future-proofing the workplace and increase the proportion of women in leadership roles.
Engage in more mature workers – The landscape of our workforce is changing as we are living longer. The older workers are critical for the success of a multigenerational workforce, investing in re-skilling or upskilling.
Oversees employment pathways - Consider alternative options as a longer-term plan that could fill critical skills shortages once the international borders start to reopen, it's key to start thinking ahead. Equally important is not to be reactive in your approach and work towards engaging skilled overseas workers that can be tapped once the travel restrictions lift.
Demonstrate diverse thinking – Diverse your hiring practice, consider more transferable skills, you may find an excellent candidate who is motivated and with the right training, they could easily help your team reach its goals. Employing candidates with different professional backgrounds can boost your company by contributing to diversity. Candidates coming from a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds will be offering a fresh perspective and new ideas to the business. This will give your company a competitive edge and opens the door to innovation which will bring fresh ideas into the workplace.
Adaptability – Many organizations have discovered they already have people but are merely using them in an effective way. It’s important to keep an open mind when looking at your available skill sets, pay close attention to skills that could be transferable.
Train existing employees – Many organizations have begun offering training to their existing employees, to tailor them to fill current gaps.
Re-evaluate your recruiting practices – Hire applicants with all the right skills, but ones with less experience than you were initially looking for. You need to be asking yourself, do they have transferable skills? do they have the right soft skills to engage with the business? do they have business acumen?
Forward-thinking - Leaders are being much more open to career gaps over the last couple of years and showing empathy to the career gaps, or choices that people have made to take a step back for family reasons.
Focus on staff retention – Employee retention is fast becoming a key to an organisations ability to hold on to its talent. Many organizations have been ramping up efforts to retain valuable employees. Create the right culture with competitive compensation and flexible work options.
People are the priority – Provide ongoing education and clear paths to advancement. Development should be modelled to fit the needs, profiles and goals of each individual. Learning cannot be an afterthought; it must be a core focus.
Engage your workers – Connect with your employees to update them on the organization and its direction and get their feedback. Do they feel their suggestions, concerns, challenges are acknowledged? Do they feel valued? People want to feel they are being included in decision making and that their input is valued.
Leadership – Managing teams isn't easy, it's important to manage each individual and invest time into discovering what each member of a team needs both at work and outside of work to do their job to the best of their ability. Build strong relationships that have trust, especially in these unprecedented times. There is no such thing as overcommunicating.
Be authentic and transparent - This is a key factor to making employees want to stay. You don’t want employees left wondering, as that’s when they start to wonder, what else is out there?
Competitive offers - Many organisations are creating more attractive job offers. Candidates on average have applied for around 10 other companies, this means the probability is high, that they have received more than one offer. Ensure the job opportunity is attractive for them to consider in the first instance and reduce the risk of counteroffers.
Fast and personal process - Making a great job offer is about being personal, responsive, and timely. It is important to reflect or review your recruitment process and how well is your process reflecting on your brand. Sell the position from the start, move fast on the talent, and give a detailed offer.