Skills Shortages Create HR Meltdown

Posted on: 12.05.2011    08:50:10

This headline could apply to many countries around the globe as the world wrestles with record levels of the unemployed as well as the unemployable at a time when there are international skills shortages that transcend national borders.

As an international recruiter my pet hate is myopic, intransigent, inflexible, inward looking HR departments more concerned with butt covering than solving their raison d’etre, the solution of skills shortages. I hear you say this could apply anywhere as HR’s failings are usually disguised by operating in a buyer’s market where HR holds the balance of power and dictates to the supply base to the detriment of their own employers.

Why senior management and Boards of Directors cannot recognise this failing has always been a corporate mystery to me.

When market conditions change, as they have in Australia. the ineffectiveness of HR becomes evident as demand exceeds supply. As businesses creak under skills shortages line management begin to step outside the regimented recruitment matrix prescribed by HR in the search for solutions. It is their neck on the line for missed production targets not HR.

This is the time when entrepreneurial international recruitment companies and their business partners can take well researched and documented solutions to the end user and negotiate appropriate commercial terms without the dead hand of HR being present as a drag anchor.

Line management know what they want – let them interact with the market place and the most effective way is direct presentation of well researched candidates to those that hold the job strings without going through levels of bureaucracy dictated by HR.

Working in Australia is a dream for many but individuals need help from international recruiters like ourselves and we equally need our partners on the ground in Australia that have the direct contacts at decision maker level in corporate Australia.

If Australia wants to lessen its skills shortages then Boards of Directors should be allowing line management to seek direct solutions, supported by a streamlined and outward facing HR function rather than being strangulated in a bureaucratic quagmire.

What is you opinion?


Author: Chris Slay

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