Home Uncategorized Talent quest: Setting up for success in the skills shortage – Sydney Morning Herald

Talent quest: Setting up for success in the skills shortage – Sydney Morning Herald

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By Sue White

While a low unemployment rate has undoubted benefits for employees, the tight market is causing difficulties for many employers. The worker scarcity is already impacting their business, say close to two-thirds of Australian employers surveyed for the Randstad Sourceright 2022 Global Talent report.

And when it’s difficult to attract new staff, the last thing employers want is for workers to leave. No wonder then that 82 per cent of respondents in that survey said they were now – more than ever – focused on how their staff felt about their workplace.

Trying to attract and retain staff, Microsoft has decided its work future is hybrid.

Trying to attract and retain staff, Microsoft has decided its work future is hybrid.Credit:James Alcock

One of these workplaces is Microsoft.

“Like many organisations, we’re thinking deeply about the future of work and how we can create the right environment for our people to flourish,” says Katherine Mitchell, talent acquisition leader at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand. “It’s not easy, and we don’t have all the answers, but the journey over the past few years has taught us a lot.”

Like at many Australian employers, the future at Microsoft is hybrid.

“We’re focused on creating a hybrid work environment that welcomes and enables diverse ways of working, balances business and individual needs, delivers great outcomes for our customers and is built on trust and technology,” Mitchell says.

Measuring outcomes

As many organisations are now finding out, hybrid work is about more than simply supporting employees working remotely.

“[Now] when we think about performance, we’ve shifted the mindset from measuring activity to impact, working on the principle that you don’t need to see the activity to be able to see the impact and the outcomes,” says Mitchell.

The Microsoft leader says the pandemic has also shown her organisation the value of leaders who care.

“Our other learning is that inclusion is essential, so we’re working on everything from how we incorporate that into our hiring processes to how we can leverage technology to ensure hybrid meetings operate inclusively,” Mitchell says.

Randstad’s Angela Anasis says hiring on potential is becoming increasingly common in the skills shortage.

Randstad’s Angela Anasis says hiring on potential is becoming increasingly common in the skills shortage.

For Angela Anasis, an executive general manager at Randstad ANZ, getting through the talent crisis means making sure each workplace is tailored to the individual.

“At Randstad, we have a team member who is a marathon runner, so we work around his training schedule because that’s important to him, and as a member of our team we want to support that,” she says.

Hiring on potential

Reskilling an existing workforce can also help employers to try to mitigate the scarcity of talent.

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Anasis says Australia had been traditionally strong in this area, although we’ve dropped the ball over the past few years as the pandemic left many organisations stuck in reactive mode.

“Areas like construction, apprenticeships, healthcare, catering, digital, tech and STEM face acute talent shortages … businesses are forced to train employees to wear various hats as the talent pool is not big enough to keep up with the growth of businesses,” Anasis says.

Hiring on potential — expectations how much a prospective employee can grow in their role — is also set to become increasingly popular as the skills shortage sets in.

“When hiring on potential, there is more room to upskill employees in certain areas,” Anasis says.

It’s an approach Microsoft is now building into its recruitment processes.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to challenge our assumptions about what we’re looking for when we hire … focusing on how we can hire for potential and set people up for success as they grow into the role,” says Mitchell.

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