“Current skill shortages are rife within agriculture, construction, engineering, HR, IT and the skilled trades. In recruitment circles, we're also seeing skills gaps emerge in the realms of digital communications and customer services,” Kennelly told The NZ Herald
“A substantial number of companies are describing themselves as 'passive' in the skills shortage debate… but by not preparing to manage the skills shortage challenge any time soon, these companies have the prevailing 'we'll be right' attitude, and consequently skills gaps are being pushed to one side.”
The could lead to outcomes that detrimentally impact New Zealand business, Kennelly said, citing a recent scenario in Canterbury.
“A very real example of the consequence of inaction was evidenced by one Christchurch employer, who admitted that he had to turn down $6.5 million of work due to a shortage of skilled employees,” said Kennelly, director of Frog Recruitment Ltd.
“Add to this the lack of a proactive plan to attract the skilled people needed, and the impact on the size of the competitive pie is plain to see.”
In a recent Frog Recruitment survey, she said the main challenges for “passive” companies were identified as being challenges locating the skilled talent required; limited resources; and concerns over staff turnover, with just 11 per cent boasting low turnover levels.
To counter these complaints, Kennelly said the “days of highly reactionary recruitment activity and a lack of workforce planning” are over, as they “could spell disaster for business owners in New Zealand”.
“If, as an employer, you're 'active' in the skills debate, well done. If you're 'passive', it's time to get your skates on,” she said.
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Failing to address skill shortages “could spell disaster for business owners in New Zealand”, according to recruitment professional Jane Kennelly.