What to do about resource…

We have heard it all before – you have probably read it somewhere already today: Doom and gloom in the employment market; The Great NZ OE; Graduates just pouncing at the opportunity to leave NZ shores for ‘greener’ pastures…

Perhaps not those exact headlines – but I am sure you are picking up what I am putting down.

But I want to come at this resourcing conundrum from a different angle and ask these two questions:

1. What are younger people in the employment market so attracted to elsewhere?

2. With the change in mindset towards work especially in the younger generations, what is your business doing to move with the change?

I think we may have truly underestimated the massive shift in mindset that the likes of the recent pandemic has had on entire nations. People are not chasing the same things that perhaps were considered cool to chase before…

The value set has shifted from:

  • climbing corporate ladders to being more present at home with the kids;
  • more money in the bank account to more time away from a desk;
  • titles on a business card to experiences notched up in a passport;
  • the acquisition of material items to making memories and chasing adventures…

This list can go on.

To reinforce this shift in mindset was a recent conversation I had. I spoke with a dear friend across the Tasman this past week and he mentioned that Australia also seems to be having an existential employment crisis on its hands. And then he said something that really stuck with me:

He said: “I think the younger generation may have got it right. I see more happy young families around who are happier with less ‘stuff’. Our generation was different. Maybe we need to change.”

As you can probably tell, it was a deep conversation. And whilst we may have been trying to solve the world’s problems in that chat, what occurred to me is that change is not coming – it is here.

And how we as businesses respond to the change is important if we are to be resource-relevant in the generations to come.

So what does this mean for you/us and how do we answer the two questions posed at the start of this blog?

Below are just a couple of strategies that I believe could help in the near term to get

through this next phase:

1. Think slow, act fast: take your time really understanding the resourcing needs for your business, play through a few scenarios and stress test the thinking with trusted partners (like us). And when the time is right – act with speed, because that resource will move on quickly to another business if you are too slow to act.

2. Learn/research what other businesses (abroad) are offering candidates to lure them away from NZ. This is not to replicate here necessarily – but rather to get insights into what is making it so appealing and then to take those insights to the drawing board to incorporate into your EVP for the medium to long term. For example, it could be offering a #WFH but abroad for a few months – because we can do that now 😉

3. Talk to your people and spend time online. I mean it. Talk to your team/s to get a sense of what might be their aspirations/dreams/goals. Their responses might surprise you. Take some time a scroll through a few Instagram Reels (we have a few you might find interesting) or TikTok’s – you will be entertained for sure, but also, you will get a sense of what is driving people, especially younger people – the future workforce and leaders of industry.

I realise that as I type this, I may be making you – the reader – feel old. I am not trying to offend you through assuming you know nothing about social media and the like. What I am suggesting and recommending is that you consciously engage these online platforms and use it as a tool to read the temperature of the room and to try better understand the individuals who will eventually lead corporate New Zealand. I think through that lens, social media can be a powerful tool and resource.

Lastly, I will leave you with this thought:

We can’t redirect or alter the wave of change, but maybe we can pick a rad surfboard and ride it for as long as possible.

One thing is for sure, you don’t want to miss the wave – so get paddling!

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