INTOUCH: Don’t Take Advantage Of Staff

Employers who use the recession as an excuse for cutting staff pay and benefits will regret these actions when the economy recovers, according to predictions by one recruitment specialist.
Nigel Barcham, managing director of Robert Half Australia and New Zealand, says that although most employers are now focusing on cost-cutting, they should not take advantage of staff in the process.
“Short-term-thinking companies will see these times as way to take advantage of staff, potentially by increasing demands or reducing benefits,” Barcham says on Robert Half’s new employment forecast podcast.
“I think this is ploy that will leave them without their desired staff when times become good. They [staff] will probably leave – people have long memories.”
However, employers that continue to invest in and value key employees will continue to be rewarded for their investment and be positioned to make the most of the inevitable recovery, he says.
“Downturns don’t last forever, and it’s your best people who will help you maximise your return in the next bull market.”
Barcham says Robert Half has seen “greater hesitation in making decisions” by employers since the end of last year, across Australia and New Zealand.
“Clients are becoming more particular and expecting to see more candidates … rather than seeing one or two candidates as they previously did when there was real talent shortage,” he says.
He says Robert Half is also seeing an increase in candidates who are prepared to take small pay cut “for the right opportunity”, although this is still the exception. The norm is still for pay to rise with new position, but these rises are “certainly not at the levels we saw previous to this downturn”.

The Robert Half podcast ‘Impact of the Global Downturn on Recruitment’, covering New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, is available for download from

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