Tactics for Dealing with Australia’s Labour Shortage

Employers are facing challenges in attracting and retaining talent.  A skills recession is looming if not already here.

If you need skilled employees for your business, how do you attract them?  And then once you find them how do you keep them in your employ?

Answers to these questions are critically important for businesses of all sizes.


With operations, sales and IT being the highest priority roles to fill, one tactic is to attract top employees from your competitors.  When fewer candidates looking to fill your position, “poaching” from within the industry starts to make sense.

Three-quarters of Australian workers have indicated they are open to being approached by recruiters. As the supply of workers dwindles, the costs of using recruiters have risen.  Recent reports suggest an average of $21,000 is the current rate.  This ranges from a high of $34k for a senior manager to $9.7k for an entry-level position.

Foreign Workers

Employer-Sponsored Visas allow Australian businesses to sponsor highly skilled non-Australian workers to come to Australia to fill vacancies within their business.

It can be a confusing complicated process with requirements and regulations.  You should seek the services of a company knowledgeable in the process of obtaining a skilled migrant visa in Australia.

Internal Sourcing

For employees, job promotions can be excellent tools to motivate and encourage them to work hard.  Promoting from within not only increases employee satisfaction levels, it also increases your employee retention rate.

You likely have talented staff already in your organization who would love the opportunity to advance in their career.

When combined with employee training programs, this approach of promoting from within can solve the problems of finding and retaining qualified staff.

Skills Tests & Working Interviews

Even when you find applicants, you want to ensure you are hiring the most qualified and industrious applicant for the job.

Asking candidates to take a skills test as part of the initial job application can help you identify suitable candidates more quickly.  If you receive a large number of applicants for a position, this can be a cost-effective method of narrowing your hiring choices to only the best candidates.

Working interviews may be appropriate for certain positions.  Once you have narrowed the field of applicants, asking them to work for a few days or a week, will give you insight as to how they perform under live work circumstances.  It can give you a feel as to how they interact with other employees and customers.

Hiring Law

Keep a good labour law attorney on staff or retainer.  Keeping up with current and changing labour laws can be challenging.

Good legal advice in your hiring practices will keep you out of potential trouble.

Be Proactive

You should always keep your eye out for talented people.  You interact with people outside your organization every day.  Develop an eye for talent and develop relationships with individuals you think may be possible employees or partners in the future.

When you candidate plan for future needs in advance, you will be more effective and less stressed.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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