HR sector expecting growth despite shortages

Australian business leaders are expecting high growth by the end of the year despite a majority admitting there are serious recruitment issues in the sector.

Recruitment firm Robert Half last month published results of a survey asking 100 executives their thoughts on business prosperity in 2014.

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of the executives were confident about their individual organisation's prospects for the year. These are encouraging results after recent years of economic downturn, particularly in the financial sector.

What was more of a concern was 37 per cent saying their firm is currently facing recruitment and retention problems. A current skill shortage in the market is most likely to blame for this.

Managing Director of Robert Half Asia-Pacific David Jones said certain skills are of interest to businesses at present.

"Skills that are highly sought after by employers include sales administration, especially product life cycle experience and high volume data entry," he said.

"In terms of IT capabilities, MS Office is frequently called for and SAP is becoming more desirable."

Eighty-three per cent of executives who are worried about losing their top employees think the lure of bonuses and incentives could be appealing to their most talented workers.

The skill shortage goes some way to explain why certain people are more valuable to a business, but it could mean employees today are more picky about where they work and how much they are paid.

"A third of HR executives surveyed say candidates are more likely to refuse a job these days compared to three years ago, so companies need to think about what they can offer their potential staff," Mr Jones noted.

For businesses to attract and retain the best talent, turning to recruitment software can streamline your system and easily manage and track job applications.

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