Four ways to overcome the labour shortage




Media outlets, think tanks, and employers have come to a consensus: the nation is suffering one of its worst labour shortages in history.

Since the early 2000s, the Australian labour market has been projected to slow due to our ageing population according to the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission.

This is a far cry from the current position, with Australia experiencing the strongest jobs market in almost five decades, meaning the number of occupations experiencing a shortage of skilled workers is increasing. According to the National Skills Commission, almost one in three (31 per cent) occupations assessed in late 2022 are experiencing a labour shortage. This is up from 19 per cent in 2021. This is up from 19 per cent in 2021.

A report from the Australian Financial Review found registered nurses, software and application programmers, and aged care and disability carers are the top 3 occupations in demand. Manufacturing and many other industries have also been struggling to hire both skilled and unskilled workers.

Research conducted by the National Bank of Australia (NAB) found business owners are yet to see an improvement to this issue, while some believe it has worsened.

With this projected trajectory, many companies will be scrambling to find solutions to their workforce shortages. Fortunately, there are non-conventional solutions that can work for your business. Here are a few to consider:

Upskill and offer training pathways

Australian recruitment company, Hays has found that regular upskilling can assist employers to fill skills gaps while ensuring staff are performing effectively in their current role amidst the constantly evolving world of work.

Essentially, organisations need to prioritise upskilling to keep afloat during Australia’s skills shortage. Providing training pathways and resources to employees not only fills skills gaps, but future-proofs employee careers.

For example, a recent report released by Tent Australia found that upskilling refugees is a smart business choice for Australian employers.

The Australian Red Cross reports that 60 per cent of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia have the educational equivalent of secondary education or above. At least 34 per cent have university or other tertiary qualifications and 55 per cent are engaged currently in learning or training.

Tent works closely with businesses to support them to identify and understand opportunities to help refugees.

If you’d like to explore this possibility, the Australian Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees is a practical toolkit intended to help companies design and implement refugee employment programs.

Offer the benefits selective candidates seek

Job candidates have more leverage and options in a market with a surplus of unfilled jobs. Many are opting to work with companies that up the ante with perks. Millennials and younger workers are especially interested in childcare assistance, tuition reimbursement, customised well-being programs, longer maternity and paternity leave, flexible working hours, the option to work-from-home at least part-time, and flexible paid time off (PTO). Many surveys show that the younger generations value such perks, in many cases, more than salary. Consider calibrating salaries and perks to attract this new generation, based on their expressed values.

Tap into different labour markets

There are a variety of ways to access talent pools other than traditional means, including online job boards like Indeed and Seek. One way is by sourcing job candidates that are still in school. Get a jump on soon-to-be graduates by setting up apprenticeship and internship programs and working with local colleges and universities to source talent. Talk with schools, including high schools if you need less skilled labour, about setting up programs for students who would like to prepare for a career. Another way to access talent is by sourcing passive candidates: work with employment agencies in your region and industry to source talent that is currently working but could make a move for a greater opportunity. Use online tools like LinkedIn or in-person resources like professional association events to find the working professionals with the skills you seek. Then reach out.

Streamline processes and work more efficiently.

While the above solutions are a necessary part of your talent acquisition strategy, none will produce overnight results. Technology can bridge your talent gaps effectively, and one powerful tool for this is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. ERP software brings up-to-date industry best practices to your business, enabling efficient operations.

As part of these efficient practices, ECI Solutions offers industry-specific ERP solutions designed to empower businesses in different sectors. For the manufacturing industry, ECI Solutions’ M1 software is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that optimizes visibility, coordination, and management across your organization’s manufacturing processes. M1 is a cloud-based business management software that minimizes workflow struggles, providing invaluable insight into your entire manufacturing operation. By streamlining pain points such as quoting, scheduling, inventory management, shipping, and invoicing, M1 helps manufacturing SMEs maintain high productivity levels while keeping their workforce lean.

For the construction and building supply industry, ECI Solutions offers Spruce, an industry-specific ERP solution tailored to the unique needs of this sector. Spruce provides comprehensive tools for managing operations, inventory, sales, financials, and other critical aspects of construction and building supply businesses. By implementing Spruce, your business can effectively streamline processes and improve efficiency within the construction industry.

These technology solutions make processes more efficient and enable each individual to be more productive. You may even find that your labour needs are significantly lower once your ERP solution is in place.

The new paradigm in hiring is simple. Whatever solutions you choose to implement, the more proactive you are, the better. Don’t wait to fill positions when they open. Instead, continuously fill your pipeline with available talent by having conversations and building relationships. Then take the final steps when you have an urgent need to hire.

Find out more about ECI Software Solutions here.


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