Calm before the storm for NZ employers

Kiwi employers may currently be in a talent “sweet spot” but it may be the calm before the storm, says Manpower New Zealand general manager Chris Riley.According to the latest Manpower survey, 89% of firms believe they have the talent they need to execute their business strategy.Mr Riley said the figure is so high because New Zealand employers are still thinking in the short term.

Kiwi employers may currently be in a talent “sweet spot” but it may be the calm before the storm, says Manpower New Zealand general manager Chris Riley.

According to the latest Manpower survey, 89% of firms believe they have the talent they need to execute their business strategy.

Mr Riley said the figure is so high because New Zealand employers are still thinking in the short term.

“There are still displaced candidates looking for work, so it’s not a stretch to say that hiring in the present environment is relatively easy. However, employers are mistaken if they think this sweet spot is going to last.”

The booming resources sector, tightening immigration policies and rapidly returning skills shortages are all going to take their toll on the employment market and to secure future growth companies must reassess their workforce strategies, said Mr Riley.

Businesses that still have a recession mindset trying to do “more with less” may soon find themselves in the midst of a “talent war”.

“If [employers] are not acting now to alleviate the risk and working this into their workforce strategy, they will find themselves grossly unprepared.”

To stay on top of the game, businesses should develop a long-term workforce plan that looks at how it will attract, develop, engage and retain talent over the long term and how market changes will impact on talent demands.

Aligning workforce strategy to business strategy is not a “once-and-done” activity, said Mr Riley.

“Employers must regularly revisit and challenge their workforce strategies, taking a wide-lens approach to identify changes in the market before they occur – it’s an ongoing process.

“But companies who do it well are the ones who won’t be caught off guard when the skills shortage barks over their own fence.”