Nov 25, 2021
Considerations for your 2022 hiring strategy
Despite hopes it would be different, 2021 has posed many of the same challenges for organisations as last year: continued restrictions, persisting uncertainty, managing hybrid workforces and closed borders. What was perhaps not quite so expected, however, was the turbulent effect the pandemic had on the job market that has resulted in a current candidate shortage across such a diverse range of roles that is expected to continue.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that as of the second quarter of 2021 there were 362,500 job vacancies in Australia, up from 288,700 in the first quarter of the year. This is the highest number of vacancies ever recorded by the ABS. It is not just limited to Australia either, with a US Bureau of Labor Statistics report revealing that the number of job openings nationwide was a historic 10.9 million, while hiring remained stagnant.
The “Great Resignation” along with higher candidate confidence, burnout and a re-evaluation of employees’ values are impacting companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry. Furthermore, with school and childcare becoming unpredictable, many parents, women in particular, have left the workforce. And while it’s hard to say what the future will hold, there is the general consensus that employers will continue to face challenges when it comes to filling roles next year.
Here, we share the “five i’s” that may be poignant for you to consider when devising your 2022 hiring strategy based on the current employment market and candidate sentiment: Identifying Top Talent, Immediacy when Hiring, Investing in Existing Talent, International Hiring and Incentives for your Workforce.
Identifying top talent: use talent mapping for future success
Many organisations focus on workforce mapping to understand their internal strengths and weaknesses, aligning skills with current and future organisational plans. Workforce mapping is also used to improve workforce learning collectively and provide pathways for employees to develop and grow within the organisation.
However, in a highly competitive market with significant employee movement, it helps to regularly map skill sets externally as well, in order to understand who has the skills you require, what they’re looking for in a career and employer, and the salaries they’re earning. This knowledge can be very powerful in strategically shaping recruitment, training and retention programs to realistically meet the needs of the business.
Immediacy when hiring: start the process now
You’ve likely heard the adage “failing to prepare means preparing to fail”, and while it may sound dramatic, it’s not too far off the truth in this instance. One of the best ways for employers to confront the challenge of hiring in a candidate-short market is to begin thinking about their organisation’s hiring needs now.
Begin by anticipating the number of new hires you will require, and the roles that need to be filled or created based on your organisational trajectory. Then you can meet with your recruitment partners to discuss your hiring needs, niche roles and how you can attract these individuals in the current market. Identifying recruitment professionals with specific expertise within your industry will be beneficial when hiring for hard-to-fill roles, given their experience and extended networks.
Working with a professional agency will also help you to adjust your hiring process. Bayside Group National Manager Wayne Eaton says that while your recruitment process may have extended beyond a month in the past, this is unlikely to serve you well in such a highly competitive market.
“Because there’s such high demand and a short supply of candidates, one of the best things employers can do is ensure they are responsive during the hiring process,” he says.
“It’s a competitive market, so candidates are likely to have several job offers and opportunities available to them at any one time, and if an employer isn’t as responsive during the selection and onboarding process, they potentially run the risk of a candidate going to a competitor who has responded faster.”
Investing in existing talent: by strengthening your training and retention strategies
Not only are employers facing challenges when it comes to attracting talent, but also retaining their current workforce. Employees are quitting their jobs at such a rapid rate in what has become known as “The Great Resignation”. According to a McKinsey study that surveyed 5,774 employees from Australia, Canada, the UK and Singapore, 40 percent of the employees said they are at least somewhat likely to quit in the next three to six months, while 18 percent of respondents said their intentions range from “likely” to “almost certain”.
With organisations struggling to hire new talent, holding onto the employees you already have – who already understand your organisation’s processes, products and systems – will be vital. To do this, organisations should consider building tailored retention strategies based on the current demands and values of the workforce. These have changed quite significantly since the start of the pandemic, with more employees placing greater value on things such as purpose, professional development and flexibility.
Furthermore, employers could consider upskilling and reskilling current employees, giving them the skills and knowledge they require to move into roles that would otherwise require a new hire. This will not only keep employees engaged in their job (thus aiding retention), but also minimises the need for as many new hires.
International hiring: take advantage of borders reopening
Hiring employees from overseas can be a fast way to import necessary skills, if not always a sustainable solution, and with borders opening this is now an option. However, Australia has some of the strictest regulations for working visas in the world and it is essential to understand how they work.
The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482) allows employers to address labour shortages by bringing in skilled workers where employers cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian worker. Its original iteration was the 457 Visa, and it similarly allows employees to work in Australia for up to 2 years or up to 4 years if an International Trade Obligation (ITO) applies. Hong Kong passport holders may stay up to 5 years.
Applying for the 482 visa involves three steps:
- Sponsorship: Approval of the sponsoring entity for a 5-year period.
- Nomination: Approval of the occupation and vacancy within the sponsors business on the basis of there being a genuine need for the position, that there is no suitable Australian available to fill the vacancy and that the terms and conditions of employment are in line with market rates.
- Visa: Approval of the actual employee you wish to hire, assessing their skills, English, character, and health to meet the requirements of entry to Australia.
If you don’t have the knowledge or resources, Bayside Group is one of the few companies approved by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department) to hire and on-hire international workers, having sponsored more than 600 international professionals in the last decade.
To ensure more sustainable outcomes for your business, it is worth incorporating mentoring and training into the job description of talent from overseas when viable. This way, skills are transferred to local employees.
Incentivise the workforce: creating an enticing employee value proposition
Employees are not just resigning from companies that don’t provide them with adequate incentives, but they’re also not applying for roles within those companies. Just like strengthening your retention strategy, employers need to assess the current drivers that are attracting candidates to roles and address these within their Employee Value Proposition.
More than ever, candidates are wanting a job that gives them an opportunity to make a difference to society. In fact, a survey by Accenture found that an employee’s sense of purpose or impact on society is the second-most important criteria for young talent when considering new jobs.
Flexibility and the ability to work from home, along with mental health support and recognition, have also become increasingly important priorities for candidates when it comes to applying for and accepting a job offer.
As the economy continues to grow, competition for talent will be fierce, so timing is critical. While finding the next great hire may seem like a monumental task, it’s not impossible, if you start early, have a plan in place and partner with recruitment specialists who understand your candidate market. Contact Bayside Group today, so we can help you identify, hire and retain key talent into the future.