Skills shortage after redundancies

BY REBECCA STEVENSON
Last updated 10:40 24/08/2010
SKILLS SHORTAGE
SKILLS SHORTAGE: Employers fear a skills shortage may be looming as the economy picks up.

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Employers who "cut into the muscle" and made too many redundancies are facing a skills shortage which will only worsen during any economic recovery, a report out today from recruiter Hudson says.

The annual Hudson 20:20 Series surveyed 605 employers and 1690 employees from around Australasia.

It found 84 per cent of employers felt they had made too many redundancies and two-thirds said their teams were now under resourced.

Hudson executive general manager Marc Burrage said during the downturn many organisations "cut the fat".

"But these results suggest that many also cut the muscle," he says.

The report revealed 80 per cent of employers have an active focus on growth but attempts to rebuild the strength of their workforce are falling short.

"Employers say that almost half of their current hires are not good," Burrage says.

This was reflected in an increase to 57 per cent of the number of bosses experiencing skills shortages, up from 44 per cent last year.

Burrage says quality, not quantity, in hires will make the difference.

"The effects of a poor hire go way beyond the cost of back-filling the role. A bad hire will damage the team and have a negative lasting effect on existing high performers."

Despite the looming skills shortages, particularly in information technology, both employers and employees feel overwhelmingly positive about the economic outlook.

This sense of confidence has seen some 62 of employees seeking new jobs and 93 per cent of those on the move planning to be in a new job within 18 months, the report says.

"These figures forewarn a staggering degree of movement in New Zealand's workforce and a fresh set of challenges ahead for employers," Burrage says.

Employers will face a battle to retain talent against a backdrop of fierce competition and greater movement among employees, he says.

While there was cautious optimism in the marketplace many employers experienced minimal growth over the last 12 months.

Over 50 per cent of employers reported some scheduled business development plans were put on hold during the downturn, 51 per cent recorded a drop in profit or revenue and 38 per cent had downgraded their profit outlook.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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