FLEXIBILITY THE KEY

Written on the 18 March 2010

EMPLOYERS will need to be more flexible than ever to adapt to an increasingly specialised job market, says recruitment guru Robert Walters.

While it might sound counter intuitive to the nature of specialisation, the CEO of Robert Walters Global Recruitment Consultants says the need to ‘think outside the box’ has risen as job descriptions become more complicated.

“It used to be like ‘I’ll have a pink one or I’ll have a green one’ and that would be it, but now the process is a bit more consultative – you’re going to have to take a different perspective,” he says.

“For instance, if you want someone with water management skills and you’re not sure where to find them, the best solution is to look for people doing PhDs in the universities — you’re not going to be able to find people as easily in an industry that’s new.”

Walters says many employers hold an in-built tendency to only look for people already working, but this is a mentality that will need to change.

“A year ago in some parts of the world there were plenty of people in the market, but ironically people hiring didn’t want to take on the unemployed.”

He attributes the current situation partly to the demographic issues of the ageing population and generation Y leading to a skills shortage.

“I think people want to get on quicker than in the past, when you did your traineeship, your articles and so on, but that’s changed and with the current demographic, they’ll probably get it,” he says.

“What’s a job? It’s like a box with lots of stuff in it, but you might only get a half box - there’s a skills shortage and people are going to have to pay more money.”

Robert Walters Global Recruitment Consultants engage in skilled recruitment in the $80,000 to $250,000 salary bracket.

He says the main industries hiring at the moment are IT and banking, with legal professions yet to recover. The recruitment company has five offices in Australia including Brisbane, out of a total of 38 offices in 17 countries.


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