Australia, 9 November 2023 - No matter the company, whichever the industry, one thing is more than likely: that they’re currently facing a skills shortage. In fact, nearly one in two white-collar professions are feeling the effects of the national labour shortage in 2023.
Why? Well, the reasons are many and varied. One being that younger workers often can’t match up to the skills and experience accumulated by older workers who then go on to retire.
It could also be chalked up to the fact that many workers, particularly post-pandemic, are placing more emphasis on what they require from their workplace, not just the other way around. Whether this looks like a higher salary, more flexible working practices, or a healthy workplace culture, many companies can struggle to attract staff in what is now a candidate-driven market.
But in an era defined by rapid technological advancements, (hello, AI) the digital skills shortage has become a pressing concern for businesses everywhere.
A new study conducted by RMIT Online and Deloitte Access Economics found that the digital skills gap is costing Australian businesses $9 million a day and $3.1 billion a year.
In just a matter of months, the business landscape has evolved, with industries increasingly reliant on new technologies to keep up with the market challenges. As a result, businesses are struggling to recruit and retain professionals with the digital expertise necessary to thrive in the digital age.
But the question is: just how can businesses remain competitive and maximise productivity and efficiency?
Mollie Eckersley, Operations Manager at BrightHR ANZ, a leading provider of HR and health & safety software and solutions, says:
“Keeping up with the newest tools and technological trends is a tall order for employees and employers alike. But no matter how tough it gets, keeping up is a necessity in this competitive landscape.
“This is when a complete learning management system proves its worth. It allows employers to create and manage bespoke training programmes to meet the needs of their organisation and empower employees to learn and hone their digital skills. This doesn’t just help a business gain more skilled employees, it also increases staff retention because they feel more engaged as a result of the business investing in them and their development.
“Demand for digital talent will only grow in the coming years, which means so will the competition among employers to snag the best talent.
“Attracting necessary skills into your business is one challenge—then comes the ongoing mission to retain them. In the current labour market, job seekers hold the power and employers must respond with more enticing offers. If there’s one thing employers can be sure of, it’s that employees are doing their homework when it comes to prospective employers.
“As the cost of living continues to rise and inflation remains high, Australians across the country will feel the pinch and salary will likely continue to be the most important factor. But staff perks like discount platforms, flexible working options, holiday entitlements, and more learning opportunities all add value to the pay packages of your current and future staff members.
“Now imagine a scenario where you have a strong benefits package and the ideal candidate’s resume lands on your desk. If your recruitment process is too long, you will lose your candidate’s interest and they will focus their attention on opportunities elsewhere.
“A streamlined hiring process improves your recruitment performance by leaps and bounds. Recruitment professionals are increasingly achieving this efficiency through tech. The centralisation of your hiring process makes all the difference between landing your perfect candidate and the best talent for the role slipping through your fingers and into the hands of your competitors.
“Given how quickly technology is advancing, the digital skills shortage will probably get worse before it gets better. But navigating through it is possible. This isn’t the first time it’s felt like tech is lapping businesses and widening the skills gap, and it won’t be the last.
“Employers need only remember when computers first rose to prominence, and years later, when the World Wide Web was introduced. This is just the next frontier that businesses will face and overcome—that is until the next big thing."
Visit BrightHR to learn more about BrightLearn, a Learning Management System and Turbo Talent Navigator a streamlined recruitment platform and BrightExchange: an online marketplace with discounts and offers on global brands.