Australia and New Zealand are facing their greatest talent shortages in their employment markets since the Second World War. There are a number of factors behind it – most notably the pandemic, which led to closed borders, plummeting international students and reduced international employment mobility, as well as shifting the lifestyle expectations of many employees.
It is most definitely an employees’ market rather than an employers’ market at present, and that is not likely to change for at least a year or so.
What does that mean for employers?
It means retention of your existing staff is critical – if they leave you may not be able to replace them. And if you have quality employees – those headhunters mentioned above will be contacting them. Be prepared to make counter offers to hold critical staff if they are being offered more money. Those offers may also include a promotion or development path to one.
Most employees leave employers due to poor management. Ensure your middle managers really are ethical, professional and competent – if they are not they will almost certainly be costing your bottom line already. When a headhunter calls your staff they will probably offer them more money – but unless the increase is significant the real reason they will leave will be for better working conditions (including a better manager) and/or career opportunities.
Employers will also need to be more creative in how they lure employees to them. Workplace flexibility is a key. We are also seeing sign-on bonuses becoming more commonplace, or extra weeks’ of annual leave. One of our clients is now offering all their staff 6 weeks annual leave as standard.
In summary – ensure your employees are working in good conditions, managed well, and paid appropriately for the current market to minimise departures. If you do need to recruit – partner with a professional search consultant and be creative and flexible in how you attract and bring employees on board. Your business will need to compete for talent just as hard as it needs to compete in its own market – maybe even harder.
If you need objective external support to understand how your employees really feel about working for your organisation, or need help sourcing key staff, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Locum People.