As sustainable job opportunities shrink and the need to keep a competitive edge becomes increasingly more important in the ever-changing South African business landscape, we start to see the needs of the South African workforce evolve.
The challenge is striking a balance between the cost of T&D (Training and Development departments) acquiring an abundance of available unemployed graduate potential and the retention of existing high performing staff.
We can expect to see a renewed demand for training programs needed to improve employee productivity through programs designed to build communications skills, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.
The trend is seeing senior management turning to HR and T&D to build closer relationships with high-performing workers and to use development as a means to improve retention and engagement as organisations face increasing employee turnover. Employees are expecting greater openness from top management, expecting more transparency on opportunities for career advancement through understanding changes in corporate strategy, performance review criteria, and even management succession.
Organisations are specifically interested in multi-skilled managers with an understanding of business and the industry in which they operate. The combination of technical skills (relevant to the specific industry), business and financial skills and people skills (e.g. leadership and the ability to manage organisational change processes) are often cited as being in short supply.
Experienced and skilled black managers are hard to find, while stricter labour legislation increases the pressure on organisations to employ more black people in the higher skills categories. The scarcity of these managers puts upward pressure on remuneration packages.
As the complexity of the South African Labour Law continues to grow increasingly sophisticated, it necessitates the appointment of knowledgeable HR professionals with an up-to-date, thorough understanding of the labour law.
Along with a strong ability to assess competency levels, HR professionals need to have a dynamic, innovative insight into acquiring the desired personnel to achieve company goals. The adoption of new technologies and production methods are increasing the demand for human resources professionals such as industrial relations offers, management consultants and training and personnel officers.
As competition within the South African business landscape continues to fluctuate with complexities, training and skills development becomes pivotal in ensuring future success for companies and potential employees alike.
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