Most organisations are dealing with the challenge of not having enough people to get through the work, and this seems to be impacting almost every industry within our region. An example that really made me question this shortage was when my son purchased some upgrades for his four-wheel drive (bulbar, winch and suspension), he had a six week wait on the parts but there was a 16 week wait on the services to install the upgrades. I was astounded by the wait, I understood that Covid may have added to a delay on goods, but I was just starting to realise the impact it was having on our labour market. This has certainly worsened and become the norm for the time being. It leaves me wondering, how long will this last? How does a business keep its promises?

 

What has it meant for us? In the IT sector we have seen unprecedented demands for technical skills to help deliver and support customer projects. In the past year, our staff numbers have grown by over 30%. Even hiring extra people hasn’t been enough, we have had to ask our people to double down on training to learn new skills. We find like our customers we are looking for any tools or innovations that can simplify and speed up the delivery process giving us some efficiencies and a competitive edge. We are also doing everything we can to make Truis a great place to work to retain our people and create a desirable place for candidates to move to. With unemployment in Australia being at a low of 4.0% and likely to go lower, its going to get worse before it gets better. Sometimes we have had to say no to projects or ask our customers to wait a little longer so that we don’t break our people. A leader must be looking after and caring for their people so that they can safely go on and look after our customers.

 

What has it meant for you? We are seeing customers start the planning and procurement process much earlier than they normally would. For those time critical projects, they are making sure the goods are delivered well ahead of time and the services they need are allocated well in advance to ensure deadlines are met. Many organisations are outsourcing work that they would normally do themselves (often to protect their own staff from burning out). Most organisations are placing a higher value on relationships looking for partners that they can trust to deliver the support they need. Organisations are taking a closer look at cloud-based solutions to help simplify their IT and free up their people.

 

Sadly, I don’t think the skills shortage will be improving anytime soon and will probably last many years. We are all going to have to find new ways to look after our people and ensure that they are happy.

 

– Norm Jefferies