Such is the case as we enter 2023, with Australia experiencing a labour shortage that is presenting untold HR challenges for businesses across the country. The National Skills Commission recently declared there is a ‘staggering’ skills shortage in Australia1, with nearly a third of all sectors facing serious worker shortfalls1. The organisation’s annual Skills Priority List2 revealed the number of occupations struggling to fill positions had almost doubled from 153 to 286 in only a year2, forcing almost half of all businesses to increase wages, salaries or bonuses for existing staff to mitigate workforce shortages3.
A global labour shortage may be the key reason for recruiter frustrations but it is not simply a case of not enough people having the skills to meet demand. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a major role in exacerbating the employment crisis, with the likes of The Great Reshuffle and The Great Resignation inspiring many people to question the role work should play in their lives. From changing careers or scaling back hours to dropping out of the workforce altogether, employees have collectively created a situation where businesses face increasing challenges to fill roles, let alone recruit the best people for them.
Compounding this is the fact that, on the back of border closures and travel restrictions, Australia experienced a net outflow of almost 89,000 people in the 2020-21 financial year4. This was the greatest number of people to leave the country since World War I and included a significant drop in temporary skilled migrants, along with working holiday-makers and international students who are crucial to filling many lower-level positions.
All of these factors have created a difficult recruitment market, with many employers forced to pay higher wages to attract talent or, in some cases, leave positions unfilled or scale back operations.
History has shown the most successful organisations are typically those that approach difficult times not as crises but opportunities. So it is with the current labour market and many companies are already using innovative thinking to overcome recruitment challenges.
Target future leaders: with skilled labour becoming more difficult to find, companies should put energy into identifying candidates who have the potential to learn quickly and grow into their roles. This requires an investment in training but also the ability to pinpoint people with key soft skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and adaptability.
Invest in technology: studies have shown that nearly half of today’s applicants are considering at least two job offers at once5, which makes it all the more important that recruiters do all they can to stand out from their rivals. Advanced HR platforms are allowing employers to stay at the forefront of candidates’ minds, including automated workflows that seamlessly provide them with engaging content during the interview process. Customer experience experts such as Probe CX are also able to deploy automation tools that find and screen the best available talent for their clients.
A new year is an exciting time for any business but, given the challenges outlined above, 2023 has the potential to quickly turn sour for those that fail to meet them head-on. The good news is it is not too late to take action and put your best recruitment foot forward.
Attracting and retaining quality talent can come down to ensuring candidates get the remuneration they feel they deserve. Learn the strategies contact centre recruitment channels can use to stand out from the crowd and how to correctly compensate staff whether they are in-office, working remote or in a hybrid capacity.
1 Australia suffering dire skills deficit with occupation shortages doubling in 2022 - ABC News
2 2022 Skills Priority List Key Findings Report | National Skills Commission
3 Occupations facing skills shortages in Australia almost doubled in past year | Australia news | The Guardian
4 Explainer: Why does Australia have a labour shortage? (afr.com)
5 Gartner Survey Reveals 91% of HR Leaders Are Concerned About Employee Turnover in the Immediate Future
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