Many organisations will always strive for the best – the best products, offices, brand image, etc. Achieving this also means having employees who can similarly be called "the best" at what they do.
However, many companies – big and small – are finding it difficult to attract the right talent.
According to a new survey by Manpower Group Australia, almost half (42 per cent) of Australian businesses say they are struggling to find the people to fill their roles. Perhaps more concerning, the number of employers who are addressing this with an effective strategy has fallen 5 per cent since last year.
So, are businesses giving up?
Managing Director at Manpower Group Australia and New Zealand Lincoln Crawley believes so, and says that Australian employers can do more to compete for staff worldwide.
Australian businesses lacking innovation
"Globally we have seen the number of businesses taking on strategies to counter the talent shortage increase; while on home soil this number has dropped dramatically over a 12-month period. Australian employers are giving up," Mr Crawley explained.
"It is imperative to the local economy that our workforce is able to compete on the world stage. There has never been a better time for business to focus on developing work practices that will enable them to compete for talent long-term."
The researchers explained that innovation could hold the solution, by using practices that encourage greater attraction, retention and engagement.
"We are observing a divergence across the economy: employers that fail to adopt non-traditional work practices risk becoming irrelevant to the new generation of workers; while those that innovate will succeed." he said.
With around half of all Australians being private health insurance policyholders, there's a gap that employers are failing to fill. A corporate health plan can give people the health care benefits that they either pay for already or cannot afford, which is an attractive incentive for many.
Aiding business recruitment
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have particular trouble in recruitment. Lacking the budgets to splash out on a wider recruitment strategy, they are often lost at sea when trying to bring new talent into the company.
Manpower Group's survey even found which positions were proving difficult to fill, with IT staff, management/executive positions and skilled trades all making the top 10.
According to a research piece by Entrepreneur titled 'How to Attract – And Retain – Staff When You Can't Pay Big Bucks', a corporate health plan could be just what SMEs – and, more importantly, their staff – are looking for.
"We needed IT staff and programmers, and we knew that in our area, we'd have to take them from larger companies," explained the human resources director at online store FatWallet to Entrepreneur.
"We knew we couldn't compete if we didn't offer, at the very least, health insurance. So we immediately began putting an employee benefits plan in place."
The result was an increase in recruitment and retention for the company. However, as we know, each company is different, so it's important to get to know employees a little better too.
What employees want
It's easy to assume that a person's paycheck is the most attractive proposition for rewarding their hard work and engagement. But this might not necessarily be so.
A Harvard Business Review study found that an attractive benefits package outranks many other perks. In fact, with 60 per cent of respondents ranking it as "highly important", initiatives such as a company health plan were placed above a high base salary (38 per cent) and even job security (50 per cent).
So, if your company is struggling to attract and retain talent, you may wish to look to Australia's competitive health insurance industry for a cost-effective solution.
If you need free and impartial advice in finding the right policy, contact HICA today on 1300 44 22 01.