By Minh Ly

    Is change really as good as a holiday? 

    Welcome 2023, having just toasted our glass of champagne and said our goodbyes to 2022. For some, being thrust into a brand new year brings anxiety, as the holidays end and back to work they go! 

    The beginning of another arduous year can make the idea of a career change look appealing and promising. Some people long for something new, knowing deep down it’s time to make the switch when their job no longer brings them joy. In addition, people are looking for better work-life balance and some reduce their work time in favour of more meaningful pursuits. The mood has definitely changed since the first wave of COVID and working from home (WFH) started. Speaking to several industry experts and business operators, here’s what I’ve found out and we hope this information will help our readers to navigate the career change you’ve been seeking. 

    Jeremy Collard who had previously worked with major employers and government on local, state and federal level(s), is now the National Manager of Zoom Recruitment (mostly focused on blue collar) and Rove, a NFP Social Enterprise, running a joint venture with some of the largest corporations in Australia. The program helps the incarcerated and ex-offending cohort in training in civil construction, partnered with the justice system as a larger scheme to support reintegration. Jeremy’s team also works with a refugee training and employment focused program. One of the biggest difficulties for Jeremy’s clients, is finding the right talent with high volume mass-recruitment. They have spent close to six figures on average per quarter in advertising on Seek and other job boards. 

    Jeremy’s role is to forecast, anticipate and manage staffing needs as they arise including management of unpredictable changes. During peak times on a national scale, a workforce between 3,000–4,000 casual recruits can be working. Currently, there is a huge need in the transport sector due to shortages, in forklift, truck drivers and general cleaning. Companies are struggling despite paying higher rates. Employers have changed their expectations and standards, being more flexible with their hiring practices. Zoom’s mantra is about making people matter by being dedicated to the best solutions and working closely with candidates ensuring their strong employment assistance program is available and accessible. Zoom is focusing on building a culture of productivity rather than one of being KPI driven, and rewarding the workers for their positive contributions. It all starts with the right training. 

    Mohamed Mohamed, Managing Director of Central Compassionate Care (CCC), a registered NDIS provider says that burn-out is an issue amongst his support workers. Mohamed adds that having the resilience to deal with difficult clients is key to longevity in this business and not everyone has this skillset or inclination. Mohamed reflects on some of his success stories including hiring the long term unemployed and over 50s. Patience with providing a carefully crafted training regimen, giving each and every person the time and attention they need, and setting clear boundaries have been his key strategies.

    With more choice and control, and competition in salary offerings, it is crucial to focus on cultivating and developing a healthy working relationship with his staff by acknowledging and rewarding them for their hard work and loyalty. This has proven to be an effective approach as Mohamed has managed to retain most of his valuable staff. It’s not a fireproof strategy, but it works more often than not. Hiring employees from a CALD background has enabled CCC to work with culturally diverse participants.

    Iris Du and Thai Ngo of You Want Group, a consultancy, recruitment, outsourcing and leadership development company, have also created Your Career Magazine; a free online magazine for readers who are looking for a career change. Iris is a multi-award-winning Leadership strategist, Number 1 Amazon bestselling Author and You Want Group Co-founder. Thai, the Co-founder and CEO has personally conducted over 10,000 job interviews on behalf of companies like Telstra, ANZ, REA Group, Exxon Mobil, Reece, Open Universities Australia and Foxtel. 

    Remaining stagnant is not an option for business, as COVID set in motion some tough challenges resulting in the implementation of an agile work style. Now many companies are finding it difficult to get their workforce back into the office.  

    The industries most negatively impacted by post-COVID employment changes are the retail and construction sectors, due to workers moving away and into other industries.

    Now is a good time to talk to your employer about your employment conditions or consider a career change. The industries in demand right now are; accounting, nursing, hospitality, cleaning, transportation, IT, beauty and wellness.

    Thai and Iris both feel hopeful and optimistic that prospects will improve for business, as the Australian government have introduced 18,000 new talent visas. This will enable new recruits from other parts of the world to help fill the void. They are working in collaboration with migration lawyers to source talent from Southeast Asia.  

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