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Changing skill sets become major driver of business restructures

20 Aug 2019
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Restructure, restructure, restructure. That seems to be the message that almost 900 New Zealand employers and 3400 Australian employers are taking away from the continuous need to keep up with changing business needs, according to Hays.

The 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide analysed businesses from Australia and New Zealand.  

In New Zealand, the survey found that the primary driver of organisational restructures is the change in required skill sets according to 49% of respondents – that’s ahead of other common drivers including digital transformation (25% of respondents), a requirement for a more flexible workforce (21%), a merger or acquisition (19%), downsizing (10%), outsourcing (6%), offshoring (5%), and inshoring (4%).

According to Australian findings, 49% of employers said the key driver of organisational restructures is a change in the required skill sets. This is well ahead of digital transformation (24%), the requirement for a more flexible workforce (also 24%), a merger or acquisition (18%), downsizing (13%), outsourcing (8%), offshoring (5%) or inshoring (2%).

Hays New Zealand managing director Adam Shapley says those restructures that are driven by a change in skill set are often the results of the need to adopt cross functional operating models.

“Traditionally, an organisation consisted of functional departments, but given today’s pace of change, there’s a need to move toward matrix, cross-functional or hybrid structures to better enable collaboration and a customer-focused approach.”

He believes that customer centricity is a key differentiation and area for businesses because an organisation can be most effectively structured to deliver value to a customer.

“There’s a real focus on securing candidates who understand the customer journey and with competencies in agile methodology and business projects and change.”

Technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation are also creating the need for new skill sets and capabilities, as well as additional expertise in response to external factors like cybersecurity, risk and compliance.  Executive roles are also evolving to become ‘non traditional’.

“These restructures are a clear indication that the supply of professionals with the skills that employers need is tightening,” says Shapley.

“With candidate shortages remaining problematic for organisations, hiring in for specific skills – both technical and soft – will therefore be a priority for change, growth and competitive advantage,” he concludes.

The FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide is based on a survey of approximately 900 employers in New Zealand, representing over 259,000 employees, in addition to a survey of over 250 New Zealanders. Hays also surveyed 3400 Australian organisations and 1600 skilled professionals.