So who is right? Is there a skills shortage or not? As you would expect, the answer is not definitive. It depends upon who you are and what you are measuring. Let’s look at some typical reasons why a skills shortage might exist.
- Not having to purchase ready-to-go skills at a premium from the open employment market
- Lower staff turnover costs
- Higher innovation
- Higher morale
- High productivity
- Better bottom line results
I wrote in detail about this sort of high performance culture in March 2009 in a feature article What Australia’s Champion Cricket Coach Can Teach Recruiters for recruitment extra . I think an excellent corporate example of what is possible, is evident at Australian publicly listed travel company, Flight Centre . Travel agencies were commonly regarded as a dying sector and choosing a career as a travel agent was seen as a dead-end option, primarily due to the internet being able to provide instant self-service for travel bookings as well as destination information and recommendations. Flight Centre has been very pro-active about the recruitment and development of their people in an industry that has been traditionally characterised by low margins, low pay and high staff turnover. Flight Centre own 50% of high-volume recruiter, Employment Office. They invest heavily in training and development, reward their staff with many non-monetary benefits and provide many opportunities for career advancement, both domestically and internationally.