Sharp falls in hiring intentions

by 06 May 2009

The level of planned hiring across Australia has fallen dramatically over the past year, according to a recent report.

It found that the number of businesses planning to recruit more staff has fallen from 60 per cent to 30 per cent over the past year, while the number of businesses planning to decrease staff has increased from 5 per cent to 18 per cent and businesses planning to retain current staff levels have increased from 35 per cent to 51 per cent.

Despite the difficult economic conditions, many employers were trying to retain their employees in preparation for an economic recovery, according to James Bowmer, managing director for Kelly Services, which conducted the report.

“Before the global financial crisis, employers were desperate to find skilled employees to fill the shortages,” he said. “When the market recovers, it is important that employers have the skills needed to meet growing demand.”

Many employers are putting time and effort into finding ways to retain their employees during tough times, he added.

The report, which took in almost 400 employers, found that half had five or more employees leave in the three months to January. Some 14 per cent had no staff turnover in that period.

When it comes to employee benefits, flexible hours has become the most prominent, followed by salary sacrifice and study allowance. Company benefits such as bonuses have noticeably decreased.

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