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Smart people strategies to beat the labour shortage

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Posted on November 9, 2022

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Flexible approaches are key to hiring great talent and keeping them

One of the critical issues facing organisations worldwide is the much-touted labour shortage. Businesses large and small, governments and NGOs are all finding their ability to perform and thrive is being hampered, in some cases catastrophically, by a lack of skilled employees. We’re all hearing about it and experiencing it either at work or in service and product delivery delays. In the latest Directors Sentiment Survey from AICD, 60% of directors surveyed reported labour shortage as their top economic challenge. Organisations have been hit from several sides. During COVID, staff moved on due to a lack of work or reduced hours. Visa holders went home. Now we’re back and trying to fire on all cylinders; we want those people back. But do they want to return to their old career or the country that didn’t support them during COVID? In the meantime, they have set up new lives, re-skilled, job hunted to advance or change careers, or switched to do something more personally meaningful. Migrants are cautious about returning, and the complexity and costs of migration to Australia are, in many cases, prohibitive. We’re also hearing about higher-than-usual turnover (the ‘great resignation’), culture, and engagement issues with a more remote, online workforce. It’s no surprise that many organisations focus on boosting culture and creating a sense of community within their teams and the wider organisation, as well as amping up recruitment drives and turning to increased automation and process improvements to reduce their physical labour requirements.

Hybrid can be a game changer

At a recent global Meetings and Events industry conference in Las Vegas (IMEX), one of the key game changers discussed the requirement of including hybrid elements in events to ensure the event was inclusive if you couldn’t attend in person or didn’t want to. Organisations and event planners noted a key driver for business events was to build culture, engagement and community within their organisations or customer base. Gone are the days of ‘show up and show off’ your product, service, solution or achievements. Or provide endless PowerPoint-based training and knowledge sessions. Now organisations (and staff) are looking for meaningful engagement. To get people together, to come together as a team and not just ‘dial in’ remotely, we need to provide opportunities to build lasting connections. Creating a sense of occasion can happen in person and online – if it is planned and delivered well. Hybrid meetings can now provide engagement and interactivity that we couldn’t imagine even just a few years ago. Our hybrid event capabilities have grown exponentially, with a range of options to suit your organisation and the needs of your people. You can connect your people across multiple cities or provide opportunities for remote workers to join from anywhere with broadcast quality recordings and incredible technology that can allow for a range of interaction and engagement, like online chat, polls, Q&A, virtual team building and more.

Rethinking events for retention, training and recruitment

From a staff retention perspective for old and new recruits, we need to work hard to build a connected culture and run regular events focusing on engagement and team cohesion. Events that foster deeper team bonds and connections are more important than ever. With a dispersed and diverse workforce, Friday night drinks at the pub just don’t cut it anymore. Smart companies need to provide options for employees working from varied locations, either with “destination” events that will encourage people to meet in person or with engaging virtual options. We’ve developed team building options to cover a range of needs, with ideas that are great for addressing problems like problem-solving or cooperation, as well as things that are just for fun, both in face-to-face and virtual formats.

Another approach to boosting your labour force is quite simple – be prepared to hire for attitude and aptitude and provide training. The most under-employed segments of our labour market are the over 55s and the young and inexperienced. A recent article from AICD outlines how a 5G workplace (5 generations, not your mobile network) hugely impacts business. And OECD data shows a direct link between improved company productivity and having employees over 55.

Training and induction days can take a range of formats, with options for virtual training using our virtual classroom or in-venue with computer training rooms, seminar spaces and more. Similarly, when planning recruitment days, think about catering for local candidates with our face-to-face and virtual solutions spaces. As well as letting you reach candidates in regional areas, interstate or overseas, digital recruitment and induction events mean you can tap into a wider talent pool, including meeting the preferred communication styles of different generations and candidates with a range of disabilities (including but not limited to physical limitations or neurodiversity).

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