Australian SMEs are putting their hiring plans on hold as they focus on surviving the economic downturn, says recruitment and HR service provider Randstad.
According to Randstad’s 2009 Employment Trends report, there has been a 21 percent drop in businesses looking to hire new staff since 2008.
In 2008, 52 percent of all SMEs in Australia were looking to increase their headcount and less than 12 months on; this has fallen dramatically to 31 percent.
Deb Loveridge, CEO of Randstad says that in such tough times, SMEs are more focused on reducing costs.
“During such unprecedented economic times, small to medium businesses will be coming under increasing pressure to reduce costs. The first instinct can be to cut staff numbers.”
However she believes this can put employers at a disadvantage when the economy improves.
“The will find themselves under-resourced and unable to quickly respond to an increase in demand.”
Loveridge recommends SMEs need to think about flexible work practices such as part-time, freelance or contract work to not only save on costs, but to retain quality staff.
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