Greetings from Gayleen

– September 2022

Our industry professional governing body the RCSA, held a much-anticipated conference after Covid cancellations the last 2 years. Daria joined me in Hobart, and we enjoyed some great speakers and catching up with friends and colleagues in the industry. It was reinforced by all participants that the critical shortage of skilled workers is widespread across the country. It was also interesting that there was a focus on working life post-Covid which is still a serious issue in capital city markets. Everyone was discussing ‘Working From Home’ (WFH) and the challenges they still face including the face to face contact and daily interaction that they miss. On that front, regional Queensland has fared well. We have all mostly moved on with our work life, it’s much back to normal.

Discussions were focused on how we meet the hiring needs of our clients in this unprecedented market. Flexibility, training, and education were the key takeaways. Flexibility, what does that mean? It is strongly advised we need to genuinely consider thinking outside the square when recruiting. Diversity in the workplace must be given serious review and consideration in the mix of recruitment. This includes older workers who previously we may have decided were ‘overqualified’ for a role or might be looking to retire in 5 or so years, or that may need some retraining of skills or flexibility of working hours. Older workers offer a great pool of experience and knowledge. As recently announced, retirees can now re-join the workforce again with changes to allowable income caps against pensions. Don’t forget older employees you already employ and consider restructuring their job rather than retirement. Consider: flexibility around time off for them to travel, have an extended break or to work less hours. Think twice before you lose this valuable resource who  may have years of company information ‘in their head’; consider migrants that do not have much or any ‘Australian’ experience but otherwise have good skills and may just need some training or courses to meet Australian certification standards or qualifications; consider the benefits of Trainees, Apprentices and Graduates to fill gaps in the work place and reap the benefit of having fresh eyes, energy and ideas in your business.

Precruitment has always championed the importance of building strong relationships with our clients and candidates. In our 25 year of operations in regional Queensland we have built an extensive base of candidates, many who are passively interested in new career opportunities. Our clients and candidates can benefit from this network of solid contacts in this unprecedented employment market. ‘Relationships for life’ has always been our motto and undertaking.

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At a recent Chamber presentation, exciting economic prospects for all of regional Queensland were explored with the newly announced Ports development plan. There are vast opportunities with increased defence and navy capacity, expanded marine maintenance, export opportunities including live cattle, agriculture, fishing, minerals, sugar and the expansion of tourism. There are plans for extended import capacity   including for fuel, fertilizers and general cargo. This could be a game changer with diversity and depth in economic drivers for our economy. Very exciting, and it is expected we will see developments begin in the near future.

After 70 years reign, the passing of the Queen has been a very sad occasion. The celebrations of her life and achievements have been just beautiful and inspiring, she was a remarkable woman. RIP our Queen, we will miss you at the helm.