The workforce is evolving, embrace the new normal

Let’s start with the facts:

Basically, Australia can’t find people with the right skills, and it’s only going to get worse.
In addition, our next working population is decreasing, yet they want to work more. Not the best news thinking of what my 1-year old son’s career journey is going to look like.
But this isn’t just a future state. Employers are already feeling the pinch! KellyOCG’s latest ‘Workforce Agility Barometer’ research shows 86 percent of Australian business are turning to the Contingent Workforce to deal with Talent shortages.
None of this should be fresh news; it simply highlights the new normal that we are working in.
Are you, as the Talent leader, the employer, and Australia as a nation challenging our thinking and set up to thrive and flourish as the workforce dynamics shift under our very feet?
If you want to get ahead, you’ll need to start.

Shift mindset, facilitate growth

ManpowerGroup Solutions ‘Total Workforce Index’ measures the ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining workers across 75 countries. The index measures 90 varying factors across workforce availability, productivity, regulation & legislation, and cost efficiency to rank the most favourable markets for employers to hire staff. Unfortunately, Australia fell outside of the top 10 desirable countries behind other APAC countries such as New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
From a legislative point of view, change is clearly necessary to cope with our evolving employment landscape, recently highlighted in a Senate Committee hearing.
The Senate Committee on the ‘Future of Work and Workers’ found that “if a company makes money directly as a result of workers’ labour, and if workers are dependent on the company for work and income, then those workers are employees of that company”.
The Senate Committee tabled 24 recommendations to the Government, one of which seeks a review of the definition of “casual” work in light of the large numbers of Australians who are currently in non-standard employment. A further, highly relevant recommendation asks the government to make legislative amendments to broaden the definition of employee to capture gig workers, ensuring they have full access to protection under Australia’s industrial relations system.
These recommendations are still just that, but this Labour-led committee has introduced some fairly controversial moves that will play a key role in the upcoming election battleground.
Looking back at our millennials, 43 percent envision leaving their jobs within two years, only 28 percent seek to stay beyond five years. Within the Gen Z population, 61 percent state they would leave their employer within 2 years. The Deloitte Millennial Survey asked if respondents would consider taking on short-term contracts or freelance work instead of or in addition to their existing full-time employment. Only 17 percent of Millennials and 13 percent of Gen Z rejected the idea outright.
Among the millennials who would willingly leave their employers within two years, 62 percent regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment. Seven in 10 millennials who are members of senior management teams would consider taking on short-term contracts or freelance work as an alternative to full-time employment.
So, we can see that Talent are willing to be flexible in order to be challenged, to continue to learn, and to get the desired level of work that fits their lifestyle. As employers, are we as open and flexible in order to embrace and welcome a fresh influx of skills, values and ideas?
Looking across the globe, we have seen the airline pilot shortage create the need for Contingent Workforce platforms such as hullo Aircrew and Freelance Aircrew. These platforms have become instant successes overnight to meet the skills demand. The Talent is there – you may just have to look through a different lens.
I wonder how the Australian Public Service Commission are looking at flexing their structure with 75 percent of APS senior executives will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years?

Access to Talent first, employment mechanism second

At LiveHire, individuals identify in their own profile their work type preferences. We continue to see the shift away from just Full Time – Permanent to include Casual, Fixed Term, Contract and Temp.
As far as I see it, the key to the Talent Acquisition profession is to find, attract and engage with the best Talent that can do the task at hand. Remove the fixed mindset that vacant roles are permanent because you are replacing a permanent employee, or because that is what the org structure says. Get access to the best Talent and let them tell you how they want to be engaged.
Job families and the way jobs are designed will need to change, legislation will definitely impact our ability to flex fast. The focus must be on getting the most out of individuals whom we are engaging with, productivity is key.
Cover image: Shutterstock

This article is contributed by Livehire.

Struggling to gain visibility & control over your workforce? Join us at the Contingent Workforce Workshop 2018 in Melbourne or Sydney to learn the skills, models and case studies you need to solve these challenges!
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