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Jobs trends – Staff attraction and retention during ‘The Great Resignation’ Posted on November 14, 2021

jobs

Whether you employ staff or are an employee, jobs trends make interesting viewing during a pandemic. The headlines this month show us that trends are very much influenced by industry and health orders, and that we need to cut through the noise, like ‘The Great Resignation’ to discover how to attract and retain the best talent.

Small business growth is down

New data from Xero shows that jobs growth is down 0.9 per cent year-on-year in September across small businesses of Australia.

According to Xero economist Louise Southall, “the decline in jobs growth is not consistent across industries and states…Small businesses in hospitality and arts and recreation continue to be the most impacted by lockdowns. Following a number of months of solid growth we even saw jobs in the retail sector down 0.7 per cent year-on-year.”

Easing restrictions will likely tick things up

Many hospitality businesses are anticipated a huge summer of pent up demand, and sourcing the staff for that is well under way, although not without its challenges including vaccination status and skills shortages.

Vaccination status continues to matter

COVID vaccinations seem to be forcing the hand of jobs movement in some industries, especially the professions such as health, care-providers and education, and where a corporation has decided to mandate vaccination. While vaccination rates are high, a small percentage of people can leave a large resources gap.

Beware alarming headlines

The media’s ability to hyperbolise situations may have bosses and staff worried about a mass exodus of staff. It has been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ – a term that comes out of the USA where Texas A&M University recorded and reported a climbing monthly quit rate from about 2.4% in 2019 to 2.9% in August – the highest rate ever recorded.

However, there is no evidence of this in Australia. Data collected each year by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that in the 12 months to February 2021 almost 1.1 million Australians left their jobs. That’s not unusual. In most years more than a million Australians leave their jobs. Leaving and changing jobs is a sign of a healthy, well-functioning labour market.

In the year to February 2021 the proportion of Australian workers switching jobs fell to an all-time low: 7.6% of employed Australians changed jobs that year, down from a peak of 19.5% in 1988-89.

We await figures next February to show the impact of the recent lockdown.

What employers and employees need to do to attract and retain the best team

In the simplest terms, invest in your team engagement and your employer brand. This is not a top-down approach, rather a full team commitment and will take a unique shape depending on your business needs. If people and organisation is one of your business focus areas right now, contact us for advice about solid strategies for the right people in the right roles doing great work.

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