Organisations will increasingly be forced to seek employees for their skills, not to suit a role, in order to counter the ongoing skills shortage, says Matthew Franceschini, CEO of contractor management specialist Entity Solutions.
Franceschini spoke at a recent HR Forum in Sydney alongside expert panelists Craig Osborne, managing director of Sage MicrOpay, and Daniel Sheahan, general manager of ComOps, with moderator Mark Dougan of research firm Frost & Sullivan.
The contractor specialist said the focus on skills over roles would better suit what he predicted would become a project-led business environment.
“Rather than seeking to fill a title, companies will find they need to search for particular skills. They’ll have to spread the net far and wide to find the right talent and then work out the terms of engagement that best suit both parties,” said Franceschini.
“While there will always be a role for permanent staff, our expectation is that skills shortages and changing work practices will lead to a greater prevalence of assignment and project-based engagements.”
The panelists also discussed the challenge of remote workers, including the conflict between the benefits and risks of using new technology such as mobile devices and cloud computing.
“We are likely to witness a strong continuation of the trend for mobility devices like tablets and smartphones to be used for business,” said Dougan. “This creates opportunities for employers to use their workforces more flexibly and more productively, while creating a fresh set of challenges in areas like data security.”
He added that employees, especially remote and mobile workers, were also looking to be compensated for being ‘always on’.
The panel agreed the skills shortage would continue to be a challenge into the medium term, prompting organisations to become creative in their staffing arrangements. This would include the creation of part-time, contracting or mentoring roles for personnel nearing retirement and a switch to project-based business operations for better resource management.