How businesses can address the shortage of casual workers

| June 29, 2022

The gig economy continues to have a strong influence in Australia as the number of casual positions and independent contractors grows.

Data shows that, in August 2021, there were 2.4 million casual employees and one million independent contractors across the country. However, the availability of casual positions doesn’t necessarily correlate to the number of willing workers. While Australia’s borders have reopened, the number of international travellers and overseas workers are yet to return to what they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as COVID-19 becomes endemic, domestic workers continue to be plagued by bouts of coronavirus impacting their ability to work. This creates challenges for organisations and workers alike, with some companies struggling to staff their businesses, whereas employees in other organisations may not be getting the hours they want. However, there are tools to help, according to UKG. Charlie Dewitt, managing director, ANZ/SEA, UKG, said for a variety of reasons, businesses may struggle with a shortage of casual workers.

“However, to help maintain productivity, business leaders and managers must be able to identify and deploy appropriately qualified and available staff quickly and easily.

“The latest human capital and workforce management solutions can help automate labour-related processes and deliver more comprehensive visibility of staff availability. This is especially useful for organisations that rely on casual or temporary workers to sustain their business as it lets them support capacity through more streamlined resourcing and labour pooling.” Relying on manual processes for staffing, combined with multiple-siloed applications, can lead to unnecessary overtime and costs associated with hiring temporary workers. It also reduces productivity and potential sales and results in wasted time and effort for human resources, payroll, and operations managers as they try to manually navigate and solve staffing challenges. However, deploying modern workforce management solutions that leverage automation to identify relevant, qualified employees or casual workers can let business leaders better manage and balance labour costs, customer demands, and employee needs. Charlie DeWitt said a digital workforce management tool can provide greater flexibility for businesses.

“It lets managers prepare for busy periods by intelligently forecasting demand based on historical data, with this information used to drive more effective scheduling and staffing requirements to be increased or decreased accordingly. By matching resources to customer flow, a digital workforce management tool helps to enhance quality of service and gives staff more predictability in their work schedules.” Leveraging digital workforce management tools also lets business leaders achieve greater visibility into the skills and qualifications of available employees and casual workers. This lets them address skills shortages and develop their employees as needed across the available workforce. Charlie Dewitt said it’s a challenging situation for many Australian businesses, especially as industries across the board are faced with greater competition, fluctuating consumer demand, and the need for technology investments to drie greater digital transformation.

“To meet needs without increasing costs exponentially, businesses must use their labour resources as efficiently as possible. An all-in-one human capital and workforce management solution can help meet this need.