This piece is not based on fact rather observation and third-party opinion, it is meant to stimulate further discussion and provide a reality check regarding where workplaces currently are headed, not only in Australia but globally.

Executive management teams are trying to work through the current talent shortage being experienced across many economies. In some cases, these talent shortages are creating upward salary movements that are already causing higher inflation, less productivity and unhappy shareholders caused by diminished commercial outcomes, ongoing increases in costs and a general feeling that it is a candidate driven/dominant market.

Imagine if this is really a master plan driven by employers to go through another period of offshoring (yes, the terminology is already back).

Enjoy the read, its hypothetical but definitely provides some food for thought.

Much has been said and the discussions continue about how flexible employers need to be with regard to working arrangements in the new post COVID world we live in. In many cases employers do want a return of workers to the office even if it is in hybrid roles across 3 and 2 or 4 and 1 days. In many cases employees are saying no, for  many reasons across a broad spectrum of preference, they are “sticking to their guns” on their right to decide. 

Managing from a distance is difficult (many leadership roles have disappeared), productivity is hard to maintain, culture suffers and costs such as accommodation, technology, training, and development etc. are very hard to predict. Indeed, for many businesses the various  aspects of day-to-day life are unpredictable and difficult to  forecast

There is a general reluctance to raise remuneration levels with many companies currently achieving never before experienced levels of productivity, there are doubts that employees can repay any increase in salaries through improved profit. Employers want more for less or at least the same moving forward. Many employees have not been up skilled during the pandemic so are less competitive. In the move toward greater workplace flexibility many employers have revisited job descriptions, workloads and responsibilities to determine what can be done at home, in the office and potentially be outsourced to less expensive alternatives particularly for more menial admin, call centre or lower skilled roles. No question specialist roles remain on the mainland as do customer fronting, interactive roles however many functions can be redistributed to less costly, technology driven offshore environments where performance is measured and rewarded on qualitative outcomes. 

Some are suggesting where we currently have 5 job roles each requiring 1 day a week in the office then one full time person could handle that component and 4 times 80% could be shipped elsewhere to “admin hubs”. Savings could be substantial. Let’s be clear it has happened before, within the last 15 years in Australia. The Government has some control through management of the visa, immigration, student, and refugee policies. However, this requires a strong population of available talent to select from.

When demanding a flexible work life just be a little wary.  

If employers do not agree it may be part of a broader plan to investigate talent acquisition options.

Just to summarize, be careful what you wish for!

If you re currently reviewing your career options as many are and would like the prospect of running and owning your own recruitment business call us for a preliminary discussion, no commitment rather an opportunity to consider. To know more , please call Peter Gleeson 0419367569, Ian Stacy 0417478229 or Peter Tanner 0419826637 or visit