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Skills gap hampering business recruitment efforts

26 May 2014

Skills gap hampering business recruitment efforts and threatening growth

More New Zealand organisations are planning a hiring spree over the next 12 months as their growth prospects improve, but four out of five CEOs are concerned they won’t be able to find the people with the skills needed to fill these positions.

PwC’s report The talent challenge: Adapting to growth surveys over 1,300 CEOs in 68 countries, including 43 New Zealand CEOs. It reveals that, after a number of years of headcount cuts, half of these organisations are looking to hire again globally, including 54% of New Zealand’s CEOs.

Although worryingly, 80% of New Zealand CEOs say the availability of key skills is the biggest business threat to their organisation’s growth, compared to 63% globally, with technology and engineering firms struggling the most with the shortage of skilled employees.

PwC New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Bruce Hassall says, “The gap between the skills of the current workforce and the skills businesses need to achieve their growth plans is widening. Despite rising business confidence equating to more jobs, organisations are struggling to find the right people to fill these positions.

“Competition for talent will be intense at the same time as the battleground has been re-drawn. Business leaders are looking for people with a far wider range of skills than ever before and gone are the days of life-time careers; chameleon-like employees who apply their skills whenever and wherever they’re needed are now in high demand.

“Businesses need to get out of the mindset that new skills equals new people. The most successful organisations will combine recruitment with developing their own people to be more adaptable to its changing plans.”

An overwhelming majority of New Zealand’s business leaders (90%) say they need to change their strategy for attracting and retaining talent, although three in five haven’t taken any steps to do this yet.

“CEOs need to re-think the way they think about, look for and value their employees. Taking advantage of the developments in HR data analytics to predict the skills they will need and plan for changes in demand and supply will be crucial,”concludes Mr Hassall.

About PwC
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