Published Date: 21st February 2024
With much uncertainty in New Zealand and the broader economy, a proactive and strategic approach to workforce management will see your organisation through what could be a tumultuous year.
The hiring trends and insights uncovered in our most recent Beyond Recruitment Economic & Labour Report show the pressures New Zealand businesses faced last year look set to continue in 2024. The top concern remains the lack of available talent (48%), followed by worries about the increased cost of living (40%) – factors which necessitate a hands-on people strategy. We’ll explore what that looks like in detail.
Invest in good HR Practices
Sensible workforce planning can give you the best chance at handling the unexpected and navigating through an uncertain market and economic climate.
Recognising this, as many as 54% of New Zealand organisations we’ve surveyed say they engage in this strategic practice, while another 50% stated they also actively succession plan. To follow their lead, consider how you can implement measures for identifying employee skills gaps and addressing them. Training programs and career progression initiatives are two crucial components in this strategy.
Training for tomorrow
Developing a comprehensive long-term training plan for employees ensures your organisation is well prepared for disruptions – a key lesson from our recent past.
Consider first the strategic needs of your business and what skills it requires to meet its goals. With company strategy at front and centre, you can then assess current and future employee skills needs, which will allow you to identify gaps and create roadmaps for talent development.
This proactive approach ideally positions your company to weather any market storms and emerge even stronger.
Career progression as a retention strategy
There’s ample evidence that clearly defined career paths and advancement opportunities are strong motivators for employees. Supporting employees’ career development inspires them to invest in their roles for the long term – and is a powerful talent attraction tool. We found clear evidence of this in our research – company paid training ranked third in the ‘top 5 non-cash benefits’ for employees.
Regular training sessions, workshops and online courses enable your teams to stay ahead of industry trends and emerging technologies. This not only helps prepare them for upcoming challenges but also fosters a culture of continuous learning within your organisation.
At the end of the day, as uncertainties loom, a stable and motivated workforce becomes an invaluable asset. It therefore makes good business sense to treat career progression as a powerful retention tool.
Win HR a seat in your C-Suite
HR leaders often face an ongoing battle to gain the figurative ‘seat at the table’, where they can become a strategic partner to the C-suite team. As the external environment becomes more volatile, HR leaders have opportunities to argue for more input in business decisions.
Gaining more buy-in for HR initiatives at C-suite level requires a combination of effective negotiation and data. With real-time data, HR can provide key insights into current hiring trends, workforce challenges and future needs – all factors that have a direct impact on company strategy and budgets. As such, there’s a real case for making your HR team a strategic partner by taking the lead with workforce planning.
Bolster your Leadership
In unpredictable times, strong leadership is indispensable. Investing in a leadership development program ensures your teams are well-equipped with the skills and mindset to guide you through challenges.
Here are some suggestions to bolster your leadership team:
Adaptivity focus: Provide your management team with training that enhances their ability to navigate ambiguity, make informed decisions, and lead with confidence in changeable situations.
Succession planning: Build a pipeline of future leaders through succession planning to maintain organisational stability. Identify high-potential employees and nurture their talents to prepare them for leadership roles. This not only safeguards against sudden leadership gaps, but also instils a sense of purpose and direction among your employees.
Mentorship and coaching: Develop a culture of mentorship and coaching, by encouraging leaders to share their wisdom with emerging talent. This extends to fostering a collaborative and knowledge-sharing environment. This approach not only accelerates leadership development but also strengthens bonds among team members.
Prioritise a Healthy Culture: Workforce planning isn’t just about knowing who and when to recruit. Nurturing a positive workplace culture is also part of the equation. It has knock-on effects for an organisation’s ability to attract and retain talent, ultimately impacting business growth and resilience. Regularly checking in with employees, implementing well-being initiatives, and creating a supportive environment that encourages open communication are all key in this market.
New Zealand Recruitment Support
These actionable strategies are an effective starting point you can use to navigate ongoing market ambiguity with foresight and resilience. For more advice that is tailored to your organisation, please connect with one of our New Zealand recruitment specialists here at Beyond Recruitment. With a well-informed understanding of the obstacles you face in the HR space, our team is well-equipped to provide further insights into this ever-changing business landscape. Reach out to Sandy Eaton in Wellington or Kris Attewell in Auckland for HR and recruitment support. To understand more about current hiring trends, you can request the Beyond Recruitment Economic & Labour Report 2023/24 here.