I was recently in Auckland for a 5 year anniversary party with Simon Rudd at Reward Recruitment, a proud occasion celebrating his achievements in growing his business to the success that it now is. During one of the dinners, talk turned to the labour market in New Zealand and the challenges it is currently facing, challenges which equally apply to the Australian market. Someone made a comment about how it could take up to four years to return to the pre Covid levels of available labour. I found this very confronting, thinking about the difficulty everyone is currently having with attracting and retaining staff, particularly those that are of good quality. The thinking around the table was that irrespective of getting visas issued, those with visas are reluctant to take them up as the memory of closed borders hasn’t yet diminished.
But despite this, having myself recently managed to replace a finance manager with a client, whilst it is tough it’s not impossible. And the other side of the coin is that with the strong macroeconomic headwinds facing businesses currently, some are in fact making redundancies as growth targets aren’t being met. We’ve read about the high profile ones in the media. This is freeing up talent that wouldn’t be otherwise available.
I guess my take away from this is to be proactive about your team. In the long run, if they are performing, it will still be cheaper to meet increases requested than to replace and retrain. I also think the salary hikes that we have been seeing are coming to an end as things start to stabilise. So it isn’t all doom and gloom – challenging certainly but focus on forward thinking, look at the bigger picture and take control of your own business.