Many businesses are outsourcing their functions in an effort to grow without employing more staff. However, Deb Shugg, CEO of franchisor Award Group Australia, warns of some of its perils. “We decided to outsource a key component of our business to specialists who had achieved results for some of our competitors. Unfortunately, it ended up costing us $25,000 in fees and a whole lot more in opportunity costs. Not only did we fail to get the results we expected, we persevered for too long before we abandoned the arrangement, retreating to lick our wounds,” she said. Shugg’s top five tips to avoid disaster are: keep your core business in-house, do your homework, have a honeymoon period, make outsourcing firms accountable and be ready for things to go “pear-shaped”.
Australian cities among best in world
Big Australian and New Zealand cities rank among the world’s top 35 cities for overall quality of living and dominate the rankings within the Asia Pacific region,according to Mercer’s 2008 Worldwide Quality of Living Index. The survey, which covers 215 cities and is conducted to help governments and major companies when placing employees on international assignments, ranked Sydney in 10th place,Melbourne 17th,Adelaide 19th,Perth 21st and Brisbane 34th. “The fact that our cities enjoy among the best standards of living in the world reinforces the attractiveness of Australia for workers and for multi-national organisations – at a time when Australian employers need skilled overseas workers more than ever,”said Rob Knox, Mercer’s head of information product solutions.
More money and longer hours for miners
The skills shortage in the mining sector has resulted in escalating salaries and more flexible work practices, but also longer working hours. As the production capacity of Australia’s mining industry continues to expand, with a record $70.5 billion in projects either committed or under construction, the professionals who work in the industry are feeling the heat. According to the 2008 AusIMM Remuneration and Employment Survey, there was an increase of 6.3 per cent in the average salary for all respondents since 2007. The highest increase in salary was at graduate commencement level, with an increase of 9.2 per cent.