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It’s not easy being an employer in 2021

As employers we are currently facing challenging times. We navigated our way through the trials that 2020 brought, with luckily fewer job losses than estimated and since then, business is seemingly booming.

But how can business thrive and grow if the demand vs supply for staff is not met. Over the past 18 months there have been several employment-related legislative changes announced, rising compliance costs, and now skill shortages are becoming apparent across almost all sectors.

Skill shortages are a very real business risk in today’s climate. Businesses are busy – many more so than ever before. Wait times for services and trades are lengthy – is this our new norm? How can a business grow and prosper if they can’t find quality people to fill key roles.

With our borders being closed and the supply of migrant workers limited to those who are already in the country, the demand for workers is high. With an increase in vacancies and a decrease in job seekers, as employers this is one of our biggest challenges for this year and beyond.

Taking a regional hit

The skill shortages within the labour market are not only affecting the major cities, but are very real right here in the Bay of Plenty – and potentially worse. The regions tend to get hit hardest in times such as these. Shortages are being experienced across a broad range of industries and sectors and are no longer contained to technical roles.

In a candidate-driven market, becoming an employer of choice is one way in which you can ensure that you are at the top of candidates list of company’s they want to be employed by. This can be achieved by developing your employer “brand”, which will help you to attract top candidates to your business and differentiate your company from your competitors.

This can help you to attract, recruit, and retain the best available talent, which ultimately will have financial benefit and payback for your company. It’s walking the talk, providing genuine and real benefits – “treating your valued employees more like your valued customers” – your vital resource in sustaining your business and its future prosperity.

The real costs of replacement

Having a robust reputation as an employer goes beyond attracting the best employees to your vacancy, it will provide positive opportunities and financial advantages to your company.

Employees that stay with your company can be trained and developed, retaining essential skills and knowledge.

Do you know the real cost of having to replace an employee in a key role who has been with your company for several years and is leaving to work for a competitor?

Some of the ways in which you can look at enhancing your employer brand include adopting Equal Employer Opportunity practices, community involvement and engagement, flexibility with work options, health and wellness policies, environmental and sustainability policies, providing a point of difference as an employer from your competitors, real benefits, genuine commitment, and care of your employer brand through company integrity and leadership.

Recruitment is about attracting the most talented and capable people to your role, therefore any positive messages and demonstrable behaviours that you can communicate about your employment practices may give you the edge you need to become a preferred employer in the eyes of the candidate.

It goes beyond just the attraction of candidates, also encompassing retention and development.

Do you know what your employer brand is – how your business is perceived by those not in the marketplace but those who are already working for you.

Starting in-house with an initial employee survey could be the first step in researching current perception and what you might take on board as feedback to improve your employer brand for the future.

Read more about Human Resources: Inducting new employees the right way

Kellie Hamlett
Director, Recruitment & HR Specialist, Talent ID Recruitment Ltd. She can be contacted on kellie@talentid.co.nz or 027 227 7736

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