Skills Based Hiring. A Step Towards Solving Talent Shortages in 2024?

A Step Towards Solving Talent Shortages in 2024

In addressing talent shortages across various industries, employers’ traditional approach of hiring based on qualifications and years of experience is proving inadequate. A shift towards skills-based hiring is gaining momentum, offering a promising solution. This practice involves a reassessment of the job requirements and determining instead the underlying skills that are required. It may also involve asking questions such as, “Does this job really require formal education in a particular discipline?” If a degree is not needed for a job, not having one shouldn’t be a barrier to somebody getting a job.

The Australian Poultry Industry
Take, for instance, the Australian poultry industry, which faces a shortage of candidates despite offering lucrative career opportunities. Australians are one of the largest consumers of poultry meat in the world (now at 50kg/person/ annum) and the industry continues on its long-term growth path due to its relatively low cost, compared to alternative protein sources. There are lucrative jobs to be had in the industry with defined career paths, but because they are often located in regional and/or relatively remote areas, they are not a popular career choice. The industry has partially adapted by creating an alternative pathway of candidates through sponsorship of skilled poultry workers from countries such as South Africa and The Philippines. By redefining the core skills requirement as livestock husbandry rather than poultry livestock experience, the industry may be able to attract more local candidates from other livestock industries, such as pig, dairy, sheep, companion animals and equine. Such a change will necessitate a rethink of onboarding and training requirements, but those who possess the core skills requirements should readily adapt with appropriate efforts to close their skills gap.

Precision Agriculture
The relatively new area of precision agriculture is now hiring for skills (mechatronics, software engineering, robotics, IoT skills and the like), not traditionally required in agriculture. Hence the sector is challenged by having no traditional candidate pathway from which to attract candidates. The candidate pool with these skills, together with an understanding of agriculture will be very small indeed. Instead, those with the required core skills may be sought from communities who have had no prior experience in or association with agriculture. Talent can be sourced from a tech savvy generation; many of which may not have formal qualifications, but have transferrable skills, learned from growing up in a world of connectivity, exposure to web-based technology, interest in gaming etc. Skills based hiring in such a case may require onboarding and training that focuses on the current day trends in agriculture and how their skills are a fit.

A skills-based hiring approach is worthy of consideration in 2024 as a solution to talent shortages being experienced in sectors of agriculture where traditional pathways of hiring are not delivering enough candidates to meet industry demands.

Get in touch with us to discover how you can integrate the skills-based hiring approach into your recruitment process or Visit our blog for an array of insightful articles covering industry trends and invaluable recruitment tips.

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Belinda Chung - Agribusiness Recruiting - Agricultural Appointments

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