Some people love and embrace change. In fact some people drive change and even call themselves “Agents” of change. Others fight change with tooth and nail and resist until they can resist no more, when finally the wave of change bears down on them and carries them along kicking and screaming. Some people pretend change won’t affect them and falsely believe they are immune, so stick to their daily customs and routines with discipline and determination… but change is inevitable. It is everywhere and it impacts us all in different ways both at home and at work.
In Queensland we are about to have a State Election and the polls strongly suggest there will be a change of government removing Labor from power to be replaced by the LNP with a Premier who is not currently a sitting member of parliament. If this occurs, and the LNP deliver on the policies they have promised, then they will drive a change program that includes public service cost cutting of travel and advertising expenses, along with reduced pay rises for public servants and increases in fines. The LNP plans to save $5.7 billion but has committed to $4 billion in spending over four years resulting in a net savings of $1.7 billion. Without going into all the policies involved it is safe to assume that cutting $5.7 billion of costs is going to require massive change to the way the current government operates. And spending $4 billion will also impact the lives of those who benefit from the associated programs. As we head into a federal election in 2013 with the Gillard government struggling for public support more political change is possibly on the way.
Political change leads to other change. As money is taken away from one part of the economy and poured into another, the employment landscape shifts. New industries supported by government funding leads to jobs growth and these new jobs often require new skills which leads to training and upskilling of workers. Some examples of this include solar panel subsidies, insulation subsidies and years ago during the drought there was the water tank subsidies (hard to remember given all the rainfall and flooding we’ve had in Queensland over the past few years). These were initiatives that at some point have been supported either by local, state or federal rebates and each industry has grown rapidly and become extremely competitive requiring employees to work in manufacturing, distribution, marketing, sales, repairs and maintenance and so on.
But not all change is driven by politics. Technology continues to bring change into our lives. My recent purchase of an I-Pad can attest to that. I am hardly tech savvy, yet such
devices are so common and widely available. I spoke to a client only today who showed me how he presents his Board reports on an I-Pad instead of a printed document.
This reminded me of when I started in recruitment in 1998 and our office had no email. I’ll say it again. No email! Can you imagine that? We couriered, faxed or hand deliver resumes to clients. Now it can be done with the click of a button (not that we promote that at Optimum. In fact we actively encourage our Consultants to present resume shortlists the old fashioned way, face-to-face). Recruitment is constantly changing. Previously most of our client contacts and candidates worked in the cbd, inner suburbs or the various industrial hubs around the city. Now many of them are in central Queensland, remote Western Australia or overseas. As a result we have had to change and develop a capability to communicate via different channels (eg Skype) and recruit in remote locations. Optimum has changed significantly over the past nine years as we’ve grown and diversified. Initially we specialized largely in accounting, yet we now offer a suite of recruitment and HR consulting services including accounting, information technology, engineering, administration, government and executive recruitment along with psychological assessments, salary benchmarking and outsourced payroll services. As such the skills mix of our team has changed over the years and no doubt will continue to do so.
Change won’t go away and it won’t stop. Just look in the mirror and try to remember what you looked like as a teenager. To change is to alter, convert, diversify, modify, mutate, reform and transform.
What change is heading your way and are you ready for it?
Ben Walsh – General Manager – Qld