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Australian Skill Utilisation

By / March 26, 2014 / / 0 Comments

The 17th Annual Global CEO Survey by PwC was recently released and it found that access to skills are key concerns of CEOs.

  • 63% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills.
  • 93% recognise the need to change, or are changing, their strategies for attracting and retaining talent
  • 64% of CEOs say creating a skilled workforce is a priority for their organisation over the next three years.

These figures have not changed must over the last few years, even across several different CEO surveys. Overall CEOs globally are concerned about the skills available to them in their organisation.

Locally this is supported by a newly released white paper from HR Services provider Chandler Macleod entitled Skills Utilisation: how effectively are Australian businesses utilising the skills at their disposal. The research found 91% of Australian businesses are reporting a skills shortage within their organisation.

What is a truly amazing is that 64% employees covered by Chandler Macleod’s research say they have skills which their employers are not utilising! It gets worse with 74% claiming their employer does not know all their skills. Even more staggering is the fact that 42% of employes felt that if they advertised their true skills they would be perceived as overqualified.

So while CEOs lament a lack of skills their employees have many under utilised skills available.

When employees feel they are under utilised they get the following three feelings:

  1. Loss of job satisfaction
  2. Boredom
  3. Feeling of being unappreciated

All of these three feelings start to lead to engagement issues. Recent Gallop research has found that organisations with an engaged workforce have 147% higher earnings per share than those that don’t. So CEO’s should really be focusing on how can they tap into the skills they have within their existing workforce.

Chandler Macleod have created a very short slideshare covering a summary of the white paper, with some key recommendations on how to approach leveraging the skills in our workforce.

What is encouraging is many organisations can start to close the gap between what employees and employers think. While technology (number 3 on Chandler Macleod’s recommendations) is a minor part of the challenge it will help organisations in addressing skills underutilisation.

Most modern (I use that word with trepidation) talent management systems are actually laying the foundations to assist in closing the gap. Many allow employees to register their expertise and organisations can “mine” this data to find untapped resources. At the same time we are starting to see workforce management solutions that help organisations measure and manage their workforce for better utilisation.