With mega operations such as Chevron’s $43 billion dollar Gorgon LNG project and Woodside’s Pluto in the pipeline – the demand for workers on the ground has never been so strong. But demand in the boardroom is rising just as fast. In recent years, mining giants Fortescue, Rio Tinto, BHP and Chevron have all expanded their offices in Perth substantially and companies in other industries are travelling to where the money is.
Consulting firms such as Bane and McKinsey have also opened up shop out West, as well as several global law firms who are establishing teams to cope with demand from major clients. Alastair Haldane from recruitment services firm Interpeople says the available pool of talent is quickly drying up. ‘The war for talented, white collar professionals is out there on the streets. We see it every day’. Mr. Haldane says while many workers would put a better salary at the top of their list of reasons for changing companies, businesses make the mistake of assuming a high wage is all they need to offer to retain staff. According to Interpeople, workers are more likely to blame poor management or culture for their decision to leave a job, than low wages.
Meantime, The 2011 March quarter Clarius Skills Index, yesterday, rose to 100.3 index points, just above the 100 mark that indicate a balanced labour market.
The index was 99.9 in the December quarter, showing a marginal oversupply. The index showed demand for skilled labour rose by 64,000 in the March quarter, while supply increased by 51,400. The report said skills shortages were most noticeable in the construction, building and engineering categories. Clarius chief operating officer Kym Quick said post-disaster reconstruction, combined with the resources boom and major information technology (IT) projects were putting a strain on the availability of skills. ‘This is shaping as a major national issue,’ Ms Quick said in a statement.
‘Western Australia’s boom economy continues draw a range of skills. The impact of the floods, and cyclone in Queensland, has not fully translated into major shifts in labour demand or supply but they are now starting to emerge.