Addressing talent shortages in Australian markets

Article by APAC Globalization Partners Managing Director Charles Ferguson.

“The workforce, I believe, is the biggest challenge facing the Australian economy. You’ll hear me talk about it until you get tired of hearing me say it, about the importance of developing the skills our workforce needs. “

That’s what Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during his budget speech in June – and on several occasions since. He detailed the skills shortage in critical industries as the main problem preventing Australia from stronger economic development.

The government has launched a series of initiatives to address this skills gap. However, the underlying problem remains – without a significant migration of white-collar workers to Australia, in the short term there simply aren’t enough qualified and trained professionals to fill certain sectors.

For jobs in various fields such as teaching, mechanics, programming and software development, and construction, there simply aren’t enough qualified professionals to meet the demand. According to a report by Hays, the most desirable jobs in Australia today are those deemed critical to project delivery or business operations, and technology and finance dominate the list of industries seeking to fill these positions.

However, this list now also includes jobs that emerge after Covid, as well as other ‘economy-sensitive’ roles that continuing education cannot realistically follow: functions such as contact tracers, filters temperature, COVID-19 testers, social media Distancing desktop modulators.

Companies are also looking for consultants who can help them modify the interior design of offices, restaurants, schools and stores to facilitate social distancing. Another emerging trend in talent is the need for help coordinating virtual events using video conferencing technology.

Research by PwC and the World Economic Forum has found that closing the skills gap could result in a gain of US $ 90 billion for the Australian economy or 5.2% of its GDP by 2030. Conversely, do not not closing the gap could cost the country US $ 587.56. billions of dollars in unrealized economic output – all directly due to the talent shortage. This equates to about a quarter of Australia’s potential growth over the next decade.

This problem is compounded by the fact that – for the first time since 1916 – Australia’s population declined last year. The decrease in the number of migrants coupled with the aging of the population seem to weigh heavily on the economy. By breaking down this information, it becomes evident that the demand exceeds the supply of labor and cannot represent the total addressable market. Despite this, a relatively dynamic economy and technologically advanced industries create demand, despite this scarcity of talent.

The Australian government, as well as various state governments, have started the process of solving this problem, but the road ahead is long and difficult. Initiatives such as encouraging regionalization are a good start – effectively activating talent pools in new areas. However, this also introduces the potential problem of changing standard working practices, as many organizations simply won’t consider hiring remotely.

However, the pandemic has undoubtedly brought down many obstacles, and it is now evident that remote and hybrid working models are increasingly adopted. According to Dell Technologies’ Remote Work Readiness Index, for example, 84% of respondents in the APAC region felt ready for long-term remote work. In addition, according to Deloitte, 50 million potential jobs could shift to remote work in ASEAN-6 countries.

This leads to the inevitable conclusion that individuals and organizations are starting to adopt a more flexible working model. As a result, the old boundaries between work and home, city and country, or even the local and international workforce are crumbling.

The Australian government is also supporting this search for talent by setting up initiatives such as The Australian Global Talent Program, which essentially encourages talented individuals to consider emigration to our shores. The ultimate goal is to attract “high-value, reputable companies and exceptionally talented individuals to Australia with their ideas, networks and capital”.

As the current pandemic, business conditions limit or inhibit travel TO Australia, and companies begin to embrace remote working, it just as makes sense to view ‘talent without borders’ as another viable way to address these issues. challenges. In essence, if a skilled migrant workforce cannot arrive on these coasts to help support business growth and productivity, then it is perfectly possible to find this talent in other jurisdictions.

Additionally, in a recent survey by CFO Research of Industry Dive and Globalization Partners, 94% of executives surveyed in APAC said they plan to expand into new countries as part of their long-term growth strategy. . The combination of the need for a skilled workforce to support the Australian economy with longer term export growth indicates a real need to break down barriers and consider talent without borders.

This in itself has been a problem in the past. Remote hiring involved finding suitable talent with the right skills and then integrating them in a compliant manner, which involved handling taxes, payroll, insurance and other legal aspects of employment in this region. particular. This was often a very time-consuming process that placed a significant hurdle in front of a growing organization, or even brought it to a standstill.

A global employer registration platform effectively counteracts this problem. Rather than bringing talent directly into the business – with all the payroll, insurance, taxes and legal aspects taken into account for that jurisdiction and all the risks assumed by the organization – it allows businesses to employ talent across the board. a new country on their behalf, in full compliance with all local laws and regulations.

Without it, companies looking for international talent will not be able to grow as quickly as they should and, therefore, in the longer term, will not employ as many people as they would otherwise.

With the global acceptance of remote working, business leaders must lose the fear of hiring internationally and practice the agility that is talked about so often but not always. With true foresight, finding the right talent in regional regions or in new jurisdictions will lead to stronger local businesses, local job growth and a vibrant economy. Now is the perfect time to cast a wider net and find the quality global talent needed to move forward.