Most businesses have entrenched ways of doing things. They innovate mostly by copying their competitors. The automobile pioneer Henry Ford did it and so did the American hypermarket tycoon Sam Walton.
When there isn’t the pressure to innovate, younger people with fresh skills and little experience are often left on the sidelines. When there is pressure to innovate to survive, older people with experience and few fresh skills are sidelined. This is true of both large corporations and small firms. The reality is that more wealth is concentrated in declining old industries than in new industries.
Behind the recently launched Workers to Hire website is the concept that younger skilled workers looking for experience as well as experienced mid-career workers have a lot to offer small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs). Younger workers bring new skills to the workplace and older workers bring solid work practices that are difficult to learn remotely.
When the bell tolls on the old ways of doing things, very few firms survive. A leading economist of the twentieth century, Joseph Schumpeter, described the process as ‘creative destruction’. In Australia, the inability to attract staff is increasingly being cited as a reason why businesses are opening fewer hours and eventually liquidating in the face of increasing fixed operating costs.
Combining new ways of doing things with established work practices is a recipe for survival. It is a way that firms can innovate. Where can employers, find entry level workers with new age skills and older workers with industry knowledge? Both these demographics are usually outside the search criteria of retained recruitment agencies and career profiling site LinkedIn.
Over recent years, we’ve been accustomed to seeing job vacancy ads on sandwich boards outside businesses. These limit the search to people within a local geographical reach. The alternative, placing jobs on online job boards or retaining an employment agency is expensive.
Workers to Hire is a ‘candidate board’, instead of ‘job board’. It is different to LinkedIn, which focuses on career seeking professionals. On www.workerstohire.com.au, employers can search potential candidates without having to spend money on advertising. In an employment market short of candidates, are would-be workers not looking for traditional 9-to-5 career roles which often suits smaller businesses. These candidates include first-job seekers, returning parents, and retired workers.
On www.workerstohire.com.au, candidates post a profile listing their relevant experience skills, and the type of employment that they are looking for. In HR terms, it flips the traditional industrial-age practice of candidates searching for jobs. Today, as its founder, Michael Hargreaves, points out, “we are well into the digital age, where old recruitment practices haven’t caught up. Until now.”
Where once recruiters spoke of the hidden job market, historically low unemployment requires uncovering the hidden candidate market. “That is what Workers to Hire does,” said Michael Hargreaves. “It gives a voice to early career, returning parents, mature workers, retirees looking and second-job seekers looking for continuous casual income,” he added.