Wednesday, 23 May 2018 21:19

Recruiting new staff more effective than training, say Aussie businesses

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Recruiting new staff more effective than training, say Aussie businesses Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Almost half (48%) of Australian businesses would rather recruit new talent than train existing employees, despite 70% recognising it is becoming more difficult to hire workers with the specific skills needed, according to a newly published report.

The Skills and Australian Business Report 2018 by TAFE NSW reveals that the majority of Australian businesses (80%) believe they should invest more in staff training, while 79% believe the lack of skilled staff is inhibiting their business growth potential.

And 55% stated that managers do not have sufficient time to train their staff effectively and 57% hire new staff because it’s difficult to find appropriate training.

Key findings from the report include:

  • A majority of Australian businesses (80%) believe they should invest more in staff training;
  • Seventy-nine percent believe the lack of skilled staff is inhibiting their business growth potential;
  • Fifty-five percent stated that managers do not have sufficient time to train their staff effectively;
  • Fifty-seven percent hire new staff because it’s difficult to find appropriate training;
  • Training is the second most effective way of keeping staff (20%), behind pay and incentives; and
  • Australian businesses with more than 100 employees view good quality training in job-specific technical skills as critical to their success.

Jon Black, managing director at TAFE NSW, said that there is a growing need for Australian businesses to upskill their staff.

 “Now more than ever, having the right skills within a business is critical to its survival. While the need for transformation is recognised within Australian businesses, too few are offering staff strong training and development packages, under the belief that it’s easier, cheaper and less-time consuming to hire new recruits," he said.

“When we speak to corporations about their training needs, there is a strong appetite for customised, flexible programs delivered by expert trainers that meet the specific needs of the business and can also be delivered to staff on-site. With two thirds of businesses indicating that holding onto their best employees is becoming harder, training will continue to be an effective tool to retain high performing staff as the workplace evolves and competition for skilled employees intensifies.”

The TAFE Enterprise Skills and Australian Business Report 2018 shows that training is the second most effective way of  keeping staff (20%), behind pay and incentives, and Australian businesses with more than 100 employees view good quality training in job-specific technical skills as critical to their success.  

“Organisations understand that they should invest in people rather that hiring new staff but unfortunately when training is left to managers who don’t have sufficient time or expertise in training to offer a strong remit, it is often ineffective and staff are left with a poor experience. This is where the need for bespoke, flexible training delivered by experts in their individual fields becomes some important,” Black suggests.  

The report also reveals that in 2018, technical, management and IT skills are expected to be the top areas for training investment, with significant investment across industry compliance and health and safety.

And despite improving customer experience being found to be the top business priority, it was the category that businesses are least likely to invest in, being nominated by only 19% of respondents as a focus area.

“Businesses need to identify the skills they need not just for today, but also for the future; providing existing staff with ‘on the job’ learning and helping them to upskill with expert trainers. Organisations that invest in customised, specialist training for their staff will help to set themselves up for growth and success by developing an agile workforce  of the future,” Black said.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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