Employers expect struggles upskilling staff

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Employers expect struggles upskilling staff

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) Australian employers anticipate challenges in upskilling staff to allow them to adopt new technology, research from Robert Half indicates.

A survey conducted by the specialist recruitment company found that Australian employers are much more likely than the global average (78%) to be finding it challenging to adapt their employees to new technologies.

The three biggest challenges facing Australian employers include employees’ resistance to change (33%), insufficient training for employees (33%) and the effort or cost to implement new technologies being greater than the expected benefits (32%).

To address these challenges, more Australian organisations have turned to peer-to-peer knowledge transfer initiatives than their global counterparts, the research found. Such methods include working with a mentor (39% of Australian employers compared to 33% globally) and knowledge transfer from contractors to staff (40% in Australia, 36% globally).

Other popular initiatives among Australian employers include in-person training through seminars and courses (40%) and online study (39%).

Meanwhile, 78% of Australian business leaders believe it is challenging to source professionals skilled in the new technologies their company will be implementing, above the global average of 71%.

Australian employers are accordingly significantly more likely than their global peers to hire additional contract or interim staff who are subject matter experts (38% in Australia, 31% globally) or hire new temporary staff with the requisite skills (34% in Australia, 31% globally).

“While technology is the driver behind business transformation, it is human capital that will determine its success,” Robert Half Australia Director Andrew Morris said.

“Particularly in our market, where 40% of the workforce faces a high probability of being replaced by computers in the coming 15 years, it’s an economic imperative for employees and business alike to be agile and responsive to new technologies in order to remain viable, competitive and profitable.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Drobot Dean

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