Wide-scale talent redeployments are allowing recruiters to unearth previously hidden talent with deep experience and transferrable skillsets, a workforce management specialist says.
APG Workforce has previously focused on redeployments in the manufacturing sector, and is now providing these services at a larger scale during the COVID-19 crisis, says CEO Glenn Redman.
Among the cohort of workers displaced from industries hardest hit from COVID-19, there are likely to be skillsets that "they haven't realised they've obtained over the years, because they didn't get them through a tertiary model".
"There's plenty of talented people out there who are possibly underselling themselves because they haven't had to apply for a job in 20 years."
Redman has observed workers from the aviation industry who might be suitable for machinery-related roles despite not being mechanics by trade, because they have worked alongside mechanics, or have secondary jobs or weekend hobbies relating to mechanical work.
These workers "have an aptitude for machinery that they don't necessarily put on their resumes, but when you're interviewing them, you realise they've got that – and you can suddenly place them into a machine operator position", he says.
APG Workforce is currently "educating" employers and candidates on redeployment, as extra work must be done to pre-qualify displaced workers into new industries, says Redman.
From previous experience, it's important not to rush into placing people "just to fill a role", he says.
"Yes, someone might have been with another company or another industry for 20 years in the same position, but that doesn't automatically mean they're suited to this role you're trying to put them into."
APG's candidates are also performing strength and agility tests during video interviews, "where we can watch them perform a range of movements, so we know they're able to do the roles we're sending them out for".
Despite all these new considerations, the video interviews and other digital technologies, including paperless onboarding and inductions, have helped prevent hiring timeframes from blowing out, he adds.
Hiring ramps up in supply and distribution networks
An expected increase in government infrastructure planning and a push to boost local manufacturing will create further hiring demand in those sectors in the next six months, says Redman.
"The food bowl is going to increase as well, because we're going to become more self-reliant than ever before... The ripple effect will go all the way to metro areas – in transport, processing, packaging, and delivery to homes and businesses."
APG Workforce has recently placed airline flight and ground crew with a large dairy company and a national
manufacturing company in northern NSW, in Victorian regional areas, and on the Gold Coast.
"Before the COVID-19 crisis really hit we already had several hundred positions on our books in the food processing, farming, and manufacturing sectors," Redman says, but demand for temporary staff in government areas, transport and distribution, food retail, and manufacturing has "ramped up in the past few weeks".