The changing face of employment

By Andrew Chan on 20/06/2017

The employment landscape has significantly changed since the global financial crisis in 2008. Whilst the economy has mostly recovered, company restructuring and retrenchment exercises have become more common. Uncertainty resurfaced again recently due to global political changes, for example, Brexit and the US elections, which affected economic confidence. While retrenchment exercises eased some immediate pressure on a company’s costs, the knock-on effect to the company may not be immediately obvious. Long term, the reputation of a company that regularly restructures and retrenches will make recruiting future talents more difficult and hinder future growth.

Without a doubt, training, education and upskilling should be the top priority for most organisations, particularly those with a large number of millennial employees who are constantly looking for challenges to keep them engaged. It is said that the younger workforce will leave an employer at 90 percent learning capacity in a particular role. They become bored, less productive and soon starts to seek new challenges. Therefore, training and upskilling should be a critical part of a company’s retention strategy.

Skilled talents are in most demand. With a fast-paced environment and thinner organisational layers, organisations can less afford downtime in most positions and expect new hires to hit the ground running and be immediately productive.

Organisations in the travel and hospitality industry may also not realise when they lose talents, that often they’re not being lost to competitors, one of the biggest concerns I see is the industry is actually losing talents outside the industry. Other industries are far more open-minded, in fact at times deliberately targeting travel and hospitality talents, yet our own industry is less accommodating of transferable skills from other industries. This leaves the talent pool smaller and the recruitment process longer.

To remain relevant and employable, multiple skill sets are useful, although I would say that more importantly, to any employee, is being truly marketable, and aiming to excel in their chosen field and be known for it. In a tight workforce, your chances of being tapped on the shoulders by headhunters and other companies are significantly higher if you’re known to be one of the best in your field.

It sounds almost cliché, but obviously, a positive attitude is important in any industry. Employees should look to broaden their network, and think beyond their immediate circle of connections and have a deeper understanding of macro environments, particularly their chosen industry.

Andrew Chan, MBA is the Founder and CEO of ACI HR Solutions (ACI) and is responsible for the firm’s operations and strategic direction. He has worked in many facets of the industry, commencing his career as a Travel Agent in Australia and subsequently joining the airline industry, working with Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines in customer service and business development roles. Chan furthered his experience by entering the hospitality sector, working for brands such as Stamford Hotels & Resorts and the Carlton Hotel Group, and later joining Hospitality Marketing Concepts (HMC) as their Director of Business Development, overseeing all sales and marketing activities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. In 2005, Chan took his wealth of industry experience into the world of Executive Search and was appointed CEO of TMS Asia Pacific where he has established himself as one of the leading HR, Talent and Recruitment experts in travel, tourism and hospitality sector.

Chan was most recently recognised as the Entrepreneur of the Year at Recruitment International Awards - Australia 2016, and is also a member of Biz Events Asia's editorial advisory board.

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