Written in collaboration with Pulse Software.
As if the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t challenging enough for businesses, Australia is also experiencing a shortage of job candidates. It’s a sharp flip from a year ago, when freelancers and candidates were scrambling to lock down roles in a time of unprecedented uncertainty.
Now, what once caused an abundance of candidates is creating a noticeable scarcity of job-seekers.
According to research commissioned by SEEK, a full two-thirds of workers are still focused on job security over other career priorities. 41% are nervous about changing jobs.
It’s hardly surprising either. The prospect of joining a new company without ever leaving your living room is daunting for the majority of us.
Meanwhile, the usually reliable stopgap of overseas talent has been reduced to a trickle thanks to closed borders. Not to mention, the economy not only recovered from the COVID recession, it grew by 1.1%.
All-in-all, the situation can feel a little dire for growing businesses. Yet it shouldn’t.
Many workers are still passively looking for work, keeping their eyes open for possibilities without activity searching. And for the right role, they’d be willing to move.
Meanwhile, there are ways to boost the satisfaction and retention of your current teams.
How to attract top talent in a competitive market
If you’re using the same job description from the past two or three times you advertised for a role, it’s time to give it a refresh.
In a competitive labour market, companies need to be clear and focused on what they can offer employees.
And you may need to reevaluate your value propositions in the process. Many traditional, office-based perks are no longer available for employees working from home. Flexibility in working hours and work-from-home arrangements is also rapidly becoming an expectation rather than a bonus.
Consequently, many of the top hiring gurus are turning to focus on the factor that young workers have been reporting as one of their top priorities for the past several years: development opportunities.
A full 59% of millennials report that development opportunities are extremely important when choosing to apply for a position, and 76% of employees say that companies offering additional skills training to its staff are more appealing.
The statistics fly in the face of the old myth that investing in the upskilling of employees could lead to them taking their new skills elsewhere. In reality, the opposite is true.
Career development programs boost talent retention
Not only does actively developing the talent of your team members directly benefit the effectiveness and productivity of your business, it also increases the satisfaction and retention rates of your employees.
This starts from the moment an employee first joins your company. Organisations with a standardised onboarding process experience 62% greater new hire productivity.
Even more importantly, a quality onboarding program can boost the retention of new hires by 50%. With 1 in 4 new hires expected to leave within the first 180 days, this can save your organisation a huge amount of effort and investment.
Sadly, few businesses give onboarding the attention it needs. Instead, they rely on methods such as shadowing, endless meetings and piles of disconnected documents. This leaves new hires feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to find the information they need.
Once a new hire is settled, it’s important to direct them towards formalised structures to continue their upskilling and development. Few employees are likely to speak up if they feel they have no way to grow in their role - they’re far more likely to speak with their feet by walking out the door.
How to create top-quality onboarding and upskilling programs
One of the quickest and easiest ways to create high quality onboarding and upskilling programs with an impressive branded touch is with online training modules, such as Pulse Software’s Onboarding, Induction and Engagement module.
Online training modules allow businesses to begin onboarding new hires quickly and easily. Using platforms such as HowToo, onboarding course templates can be tailored to your business with personalised details and branding. Onboarding courses can be sent to new hires before their first official day, helping to reduce first-day burdens, solidify their place in the company and reduce the chance that they will be poached by a better offer.
Onboarding courses can also be combined with courses on critical compliance topics such as Cyber Security, Social Media Use and Safety in the Office or Field. By delivering this critical content as an online course, you can transfer dry content into an engaging and interactive experience, track their progress and confirm their completion.
From there, your business can build out a suite of short courses designed to upskill team members.
Tap into the experience and expertise of your senior or long-term employees by encouraging them to develop short courses on topics and skills they excel at, such as a piece of software, or positive leadership practices. These courses can then be shared with your newer and junior members to take them to the next level.
Including incentives in a program like this can ensure that every team member feels invested and rewarded by the program.
Investing in your talent pays dividends
In a job market that favours candidates, companies need to take extra care with their recruitment strategy. Reviewing and refreshing your job advertisements can be the first step, and may expose the need to offer new incentives to attract candidates.