Plant & Equipment

Hiring optimism drops for Q4

Twenty-nine per cent of companies expect to increase hiring over the next quarter, as compared to 34 per cent last quarter, while companies planning to decrease hiring jumped from 10 to 13 per cent. Manpower also reports the Net Employment Outlook for the sector has dropped 10 per cent to +15 per cent, its lowest score since 2009.

Manpower?s managing director Lincoln Crawley claims businesses are concerned about the impending carbon and resources taxes, along with higher export costs and volatile commodity pricing.

?The mining and construction sector has been heralded as the superhero of the Australian economy,? said Crawley. ?But it?s wrong to assume past strong performance makes the sector immune to the impact of global uncertainty and challenges to profitability that come from the resources and carbon taxes.?

However, Crawley was quick to point out that while optimism about hiring staff had fallen over the last quarter, skills shortages are yet to have eased.

?It would be a mistake to assume that the skills drought is over,? he said. ?Though employment expectations have decreased for the next three months, we still don?t have enough skilled workers to fix our skills shortage. There may be plenty of people, but the majority simply don?t fit the job description.?

In order to address the skills shortage, the group suggests that a three-pronged approach is required, involving retraining facilities, incentives for foreign workers and to allow other skilled workers to take on broader roles.

?Employers need to consider candidates who match most of, but not all of their requirements, and training or developing that last 10 to 20 per cent,? said Crawley. ?They should also consider ?unbundling? traditional job roles so that highly skilled employees only undertake specialist tasks. Other employees could then be hired on the back of targeted short courses to do the semi-skilled portion of the role. This arrangement means the most highly skilled people ? who are the most difficult to find – are much more efficient in their roles and we start to tap into a ready pool of unskilled or semi-skilled workers who are in oversupply in other sectors. ?

SOURCE: Manpower Group

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