Australia still well positioned in Global unemployment
By Simon Lane 11th October 2014.
Potential candidates have more options and can therefore be pickier about the salary and benefits they want in a marketplace experiencing low unemployment rates, such as Australia. This can make things tougher for businesses where it is essentially a seller’s market. Countries such as Singapore have an unemployment rate of only 3.1%, making it very difficult to fill skilled roles. Australia is not far behind in this dilemma.
Australia’s unemployment rate has been up and down over the last 5 years where it rose from 4.2% to 5.6%. It is projected to remain steady at a peak of 5.7%. This is far less than most European nations where double digit unemployment is commonplace. The USA and UK are also much higher than Australia. Conversely, most Asian nations have a lower unemployment rate than Australia but still have similar issues around key roles and talent.
Dr.Caroline Hong, President of China HR Australia says that having the right skills on your resume is becoming a “cost of entry” criterion these days. “Finding the right person in Singapore, Shang Hai or Sydney still has the same issues connected to it. They must be the right fit for all the right reasons. Being highly skilled is just part of the equation”. Dr Hong points to the requirements of businesses to engage in a more multi-cultural approach to broaden their growth strategy. “Too many times I see Asian-centric organisations hire local Asian employees rather than embrace other locals in their workforce make-up. As such, they often find it harder to do business with non-Asian based businesses.”
Dr Hong suggests that most new businesses from Asia hire Asians because they feel more comfortable dealing with the language and cultural issues. However, she pointed to the impacts on the company’s growth as a result. “I often find Asian-centric businesses in Australia struggling to do well outside the Chinese community because they don’t feel comfortable hiring Australians or in fact can’t attract Australians to their business. They have to be at a significant disadvantage to those businesses that can.”
Dr Hong stated that China HR Australia adopts many cutting edge strategies to break this issue on behalf of Asian businesses. However, she did point to the tight employment market in Australia and suggested that only well-presented businesses with a strong employee engagement strategy could attract key talent, whether they were local or from overseas.
The latest international unemployment rates show the following:
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