Employers squeezing workers harder
Employees are working more overtime, often unpaid, as companies look to get more out of their staff before hiring.
But squeezing employees too hard may be counterproductive, says a recruitment expert.
Recruitment firm Hays found more than a quarter of employers surveyed said they had increased the amount of overtime staff were working since last year, and 48 per cent of those were not paying staff for the extra hours.
However, relief may be coming in the form of new recruits, as almost half of the 399 employers surveyed expected to increase full-time, permanent staff in the next year, significantly higher than last year.
Hays New Zealand managing director Jason Walker said it was common for employers to increase casual staff numbers and overtime hours at the beginning of a recovery before committing to boosting permanent staff numbers.
He said businesses were still unsure about whether they could rely on any increased revenue continuing so they increased temporary and contract staff as a first step and also boosted the hours worked by current employees.
"Then unfortunately we start to see an increase in workplace stress and employee burnout which can be more costly in the long run."
When that started to happen, there was a good business case for increasing head count, he said.
"If you reward it, it gives staff an opportunity to make the choice if they want to earn extra income, but it can reach breaking point, particularly if they are not being remunerated. Unfortunately, that breaking point can be too late and employee churn can increase."
The survey found a quarter of employers had seen higher staff turnover in the previous year, compared with 16 per cent who saw lower turnover.
- © Fairfax NZ News