Three considerations for hiring during the recovery

Hiring after the pandemic is competitive.

The economic recovery is moving ahead, with the latest unemployment figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics putting unemployment around 5.1%. Reports say 53,000 more people became employed last month, putting unemployment 1.9 points lower than in May 2020.

Does this mean there's a hiring frenzy? Perhaps; a recent SEEK Employment Report indicated that in March, the popular job board saw the highest number of job ads posted  — ever — in its 23-year history. This is an increase of 75.1% in national jobs advertised compared to March 2020, it said.

For employers, this surge in hiring means competition for great applicants. If your small-to-medium sized business is going to hire someone soon, you'll want to consider how you'll attract good candidates while making sure to assemble a strong team. And everyone will likely be asking: can they still work remotely some times? It's just one of many big decisions coming up in the hiring process.

When should you add staff?
It's the stuff of an entrepreneur's dreams — that moment when there's enough cash flow on hand to consider adding staff. When thinking about hiring a colleague, consider the skills that benefit your business. Work out a list of tasks and the hours when you want them performed. As far as the costs to you of employing someone, Business Victoria recommends that you consider WorkCover insurance costs and make sure the workplace is OHS-compliant — in addition to wages.

Can your staff telework?
Candidates looking for employment today want to continue with the flexibility to work remotely, at least sometimes. A total of 74% of Australian respondents reported in an April 2021 PwC survey that they wanted a mix of face-to-face and remote working of differing degrees.

This is a condition you'll want to address head on in your job advert. If the new colleague won't be allowed to work remotely, state that clearly. If you are hiring staff who will be able to work remotely sometimes — a hybrid arrangement — you'll want to set clear expectations. Then make sure to hire someone who demonstrates the solid communications skills to be successful off site.

Focus on skills
Many technology companies are placing increased emphasis on the skills they're looking for, and less so qualifications. The idea is to make sure to keep the pool of talent as wide as possible at the top of the funnel. Requiring a certain number of years of experience — or credentials such as a university degree — is less important than how well the candidate can perform the role, suggested Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co. That's particularly essential when considering not all young people have the opportunity to attend university, often owing to circumstances outside their control.

If you want help considering how hiring fits into your business plan, WMC Accounting can work with you to make the best arrangements for your growing business. Contact us today to learn more.

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