Australian CEO’s Need a Radical Rethink on Talent Management

Posted on: 19.06.2011    10:53:26

We all know that Australia merely slowed down in the recession, which led to a fall in people demand but still this couldn’t be satisfied from the internal market and resulted in migrant workers being recruited to fill skills shortages, but this barely scratched the surface.

Now with world demand picking up for natural resources Australia’s requirements have gone through the roof but so have those of the competition who are all chasing the same talent, which is becoming scarcer and more expensive. Basic principles of economics in action.

So what should the enlightened CEO have been doing in the past 12 months, as leadership on talent management has to come from the top?

  • Make sure you know what you want, when and where and for what. Fail to plan, plan to fail!
  • Look after your own. This is so obvious, but so often overlooked. Mobility of labour has never been easier and hired guns look for top $ packages if you don’t provide them somebody else will.
  • If your love HR departments make sure they are working for you rather than against you. What do I mean by that? Read this link. If you’re not a fan take a hatchet to them and concentrate on outsourcing selection. We’ll deliver you people not paperwork.
  • Get quality information together. This needs to be much more than a job description! Guys you’ve got to sell yourselves to the candidate.
  • Sure you want everybody to speak fluent English – get over it , you need the on the job talent, you can teach them English or demand a competence level that is acceptable but does an IELTS ( score of 6 rather than 7 makes a great engineer a poor craftsman.
  • Get through to your workforce that you have an inclusive culture and that prejudice will not be tolerated. Workers in Australia can be rainbow coloured or with spots on if they can do the job.
  • Look at the global picture, you’ve got real competition on your hands. Ask yourself why would I come and do ???? in X location for $Y , if you wouldn’t then why should anybody else?
  • There are plenty of young graduates around and those with limited experience. Think about a buddy system of teaming two three youngsters looking for a chance with a 5 year plus guy. With every graduate you get a free brain as well as a set of hands. Give youth its chance – isn’t that the Australian way?
  • Get an outsourcing/placement strategy in place chose 2 upwards teams to work with depending on the numbers needed , give them the ammunition, let them load the guns and go hunting but be visible, approachable and communicative. Keep the lines of communication as short as possible, don’t wrap yourself in bureaucracy.

No one said it was easy being a CEO and sometimes you need to think outside of the box to succeed. If you don’t, others will. All the political rhetoric about home grown skills will take a generation to bear fruit. The low hanging fruit that you needed yesterday, today and tomorrow has been grown around the world but you need to reach out to it and equally make sure your back door is well and truly bolted.

Without people none of us can profit.


Author: Chris Slay

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