Workforce New Zealand
I’m not sure that any of us knows exactly what lies ahead for the future of work but one thing is for sure; the employment market has changed and is changing faster than ever before. Many of the changes have not been unexpected but have certainly sped up with the advent of COVID-19 and its lockdowns and new ways of working.
Flexible working, working from home, part-time, contracting, employee benefits, and tenure of permanent roles are just some of the things that employers must get their minds around.
2022 has been described by some as the year of the “Great Resignation” and, in some form, this is likely to be correct as during lockdown and a disrupted working environment people have had time to think about their futures. In some cases, they have realised that they don’t need to work forever, or have such high-pressure roles, that there is life outside of the office or that they just want a change.
This year is certainly one to watch as all of this plays out. It is also a fact that more people are retiring or leaving to take up lessor roles. Alongside this has been the change to public sector salaries (the pay freeze), which has seen people leave one role for another to ensure a salary increase, or in other cases move into the contracting market. This will impact the average tenure of a person in a permanent role, creating even more churn and likely increased remuneration and benefits.
When the borders do open, and we start letting people in from overseas, it is my view that there will not be a flood of Kiwis coming home and that instead many Kiwis who have been unable to travel will leave the country on extended OEs. Although, I would be happy to be proved wrong. These things, coupled with current shortages, will only put more pressure on an already stretched workforce and flow on into increased salaries and benefits, which we are already seeing.
The makeup of our workforce has changed and is becoming much more discerning about employment opportunities. Creating a better environment and work experience is as important and, in many cases, more so than salaries. Working from home, flexible hours/days, pets in the office, providing staff lunches, are just some of the many things we are seeing.
All of this means that if you are employing you must give yourself (or the agency) time to carry out a robust and proper process to give you and any candidate time and space to make informed and considered decisions. This will help ensure that everyone makes the right choice and, although the process may take longer, it will be less costly when you get it right.
And, if we think we are alone in this, all you have to do is look overseas to see that all the things we are dealing with are similar around the world.