According to research conducted by recruitment firm Robert Half, which surveyed 300 hiring managers, 47 per cent believe the pandemic has increased the skills shortage in Australia.
The recruiter said that as businesses continue to prioritise digital transformation and recovery from COVID, attracting and retaining niche skillsets will be a top priority. At the same time, the reduced flow of foreign talent is placing mounting pressure on the limited domestic skills supply. Increased competition for talent is the reason it’s so difficult to find the right skills, according to 63 per cent of business leaders surveyed, while 54 per cent said it was due to rising demand for specialist skills and 23 per cent an inability to recruit talent from overseas.
To solve this issue, 41 per cent are turning to reskilling their existing employees.
“While there currently might be no shortage of job opportunities in the Australian professional sectors, there is most certainly a shortage of talent. Until the flow of foreign talent is reintroduced back into the Australian labour market, employers will continue to be challenged by demand for specialised workers exceeding the supply,” said Nicole Gorton, director of Robert Half.
With high competition likely to carry on for some time, Ms Gorton recommended employers hire on attitude and potential rather than experience.
“They should recruit from a talent pool of candidates whose skills levels are slightly less developed than the role requires with the intention of developing technical capabilities internally through upskilling and professional development,” she said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Job Vacancies Survey, released in August, the level of job vacancies was 46.5 per cent higher than in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.