by Lisa Banks

Employers made ‘too many’ layoffs during GFC: report

Aug 24, 2010
CareersGovernmentGovernment IT

A survey of Australian and New Zealand employers found 84 per cent believe they made too many redundancies during the GFC and a skills shortage and lack of IT talent has resulted, according to one survey.

Hudson’s Positioning for growth report found the market has become more competitive, with national practice director at Hudson ICT, Martin Retschko, saying rebuilding IT teams is an uphill battle.

“Employers cannot afford to make hiring mistakes as they endeavour to rebuild their teams and position their organisations for growth,” he said.

The survey is based on the responses of 605 employers and 1690 employees in both Australia and New Zealand.

Despite a tighter market, Retschko said the outlook from employers is buoyant, with 88 per cent of employers and 87 per cent of employees saying they are feeling positive about the future of the economy.

“This is a very buoyant outlook, considering the mood recorded only one year ago. But despite this, the fact remains that many employers experienced minimal growth, in some cases decline, throughout the last 12 months,” Retschko said.

The report also found 45 per cent of ICT employers believe their current hires are “not good”, while 80 per cent have an active focus on growth but see their workforce as “falling flat”.

“During the downturn many organisations ‘cut the fat’ but these results suggest that many also ‘cut into the muscle’. Employers desperately need to bolster not only the size, but also the strength of their teams to bring their businesses back to a place where they can compete effectively in their markets and establish a solid foundation for sustainable, long-term growth,” Retschko said.

A skills shortage is also imminent, with the report revealing 44 per cent of employers surveyed said they were battling a skills shortage in their industry.

“The talent exodus we predicted last year is clearly gaining momentum. It’s quality, not quantity that will make the difference. The effects of a poor hire go way beyond simply the cost of back filling the role. A bad hire will damage a team and have a negative effect on existing high performers,” he said.