Optimistic business owners beat the skills shortage

beat skills shortage
Business owners are refreshing their recruitment strategies. Image Bigstock.

New Westpac research shows that 69 per cent of business owners are optimistic about the business environment despite skills shortages.

The survey of more than 500 businesses found that employers are switching to new ways to recruit staff.

More than a third (35 per cent) of business owners looking to fill staff vacancies invested in upskilling existing employees.

Twenty five per cent looked afresh at the pool of candidates and hired employees with different skill sets.

And 13 per cent of business owners are also boosting remote working to fill their skills gaps.

Employers take action to beat the skills shortage

Shane Howell, managing director, business lending at Westpac, said “While the skills shortage that developed throughout the pandemic remains a genuine issue for small and medium sized Australian businesses, it’s fantastic to see business leaders thinking outside the box, either investing in existing staff or hiring employees with different backgrounds and capabilities.

“We’re seeing businesses find new and creative ways to retain and recruit employees, as well as support pipeline talent in getting internal promotions and development opportunities. For example, one Westpac customer has created its own certified training program to attract and retain staff, which serves as a win-win for the employee and business.

“While there are headwinds facing Australian businesses, with pressure on profitability due to rising costs and interest rates, businesses are resilient and still feeling optimistic about their outlook. Many businesses are also benefitting from strong cash positions and a better understanding of their business drivers than ever before.”

Aussies are backing local business and locally made products

Consumers continue to support local shops and stores which has contributed to the high levels of optimism.

Four out of five (81 per cent) businesses said they felt encouraged by their community and customers’ support for local businesses.

And 79 per cent of businesses have seen an increased customer interest in Australian owned and made products and services.