5 tips to overcome the 2021 hiring struggle
Before the COVID-19 pandemic started sending shockwaves through the global economy, Australia was in fine economic shape. Its labour participation rate had been trending upward for years, unemployment remained at near-historic lows, and wages were on the rise.
However, the sudden business shutdowns made necessary by the pandemic brought the Australian economy to a standstill. The consensus among most experts was that it would take years for the nation to recover. Although now, a little more than a year later, Australia’s economy has roared back to life and recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
That’s leading to a situation that Australian businesses never expected – a growing number of job openings with no candidates to fill them. And to compensate, businesses now need to re-evaluate their recruiting and hiring practices to overcome a pressing labour shortage. To help, here are 5 tips to overcome the 2021 hiring struggle that Australian businesses can use right now.
1. Consider Remote Workers and Flex-Time
During the pandemic-driven lockdowns, most businesses had little choice but to let employees work remotely if they wanted to keep operating. This was a revelation for a large percentage of the workforce. That’s why even when local restrictions eased, a full two-thirds of Australians kept on working from home.
Businesses looking to overcome their hiring struggles should consider making their temporary remote work provisions permanent. It’s even advisable to expand them whenever possible to encompass a greater portion of their workforce. Australian workers now see the ability to work from home as a must-have when considering a new job, so giving them what they’re looking for is
2. Expand the Candidate Search Area
Another way that Australian businesses can fill their open positions is to broaden their search to include a wider geographical area. This tactic makes an excellent follow-on strategy to embracing remote and flex work. Through, unmooring open positions from a particular office location, businesses can access previously unavailable talent pools and find suitable candidates with ease. As as an added benefit, growing a remote workforce offers the chance at expansion without some of the overhead costs typically associated with it.
3. Offer Opportunities for Professional Development
Although most companies don’t see it as a recruitment tactic, expanding opportunities for professional development can have a profound effect on recruitment. This is because having the ability to better themselves is one of the key factors workers now look for when evaluating a job opportunity.Thus, a job that offers an applicant a clear path to grow and expand their skill set will always win over one that doesn’t. Plus, developing skilled employees is good for businesses – so it’s a win-win for all involved.
4. Track Candidate Sources
In a competitive labour environment, businesses need to focus their attention on where they’re finding their most effective workers. By tracking which sources deliver skilled employees with the greatest frequency, a business can adjust its resources to maximise its talent pipeline. In other words, instead of posting endless job descriptions on underperforming job aggregator sites, narrowing efforts to just the ones that deliver results is a much better strategy. Then, the business can use the resources it frees up for more productive recruiting tasks, thus improving overall results significantly.
5. Promote from Within
Even though there’s a labour shortage, not all positions are hard to fill. For that reason, businesses can increase their willingness to promote from within to fill their most critical positions. Not only does this lead to better performance outcomes and shorter onboarding times, but it shifts job openings into less-competitive skills categories. It’s a practice that fits neatly with the aforementioned professional development opportunities. In this way, businesses can train their workers to have exactly the needed skills to handle critical job roles and lower their overall external talent needs.
The Bottom Line
Although several factors are contributing to the current tight labour market in Australia, businesses can put the above tips into action to get better results. Together, they should help businesses satisfy their workforce needs through a combination of internal promotion, focused recruiting tactics, and creating the ability to draw from the largest possible talent pool. And since there’s no end in sight to the present labour market conditions, businesses that take action now will be well-positioned to deal with market conditions in the years to come.