The current debate about the Maltese government effectively draining the private sector of skilled workers, has an interesting impact on the recruitment sector. There has been a movement of skilled Maltese workers into more secure positions in government agencies from the private sector in recent years. This has happened at the same time as the recent repatriation of foreign workers back to home during the pandemic.
Add in an aging workforce across the whole of the EU then the current worker shortages, both skilled and unskilled, is worrying organisations such as the Malta Employers Association. To add insult to injury, they point out that dwindling private sector tax revenue supports those same government jobs!
The need to plug that skills gap and find willing workers is increasingly important. The role of the recruitment agency in that is critical. The role of training providers in that is equally critical, to upskill the workers that are seeking employment. The difficulties in getting the paperwork needed for employing third country nationals means that this, as a route to a quick fix, is difficult to negotiate, leaving the focus on those already having the right to work in Malta. In addition, training staff in the skills needed to replace those lost is equally difficult in view of the cost and the timeframe required.
Recruitment consultants are facing pressure to put under qualified people forward for jobs that are clearly requiring both skill and experience to meet targets, not a sustainable method if that agency and the employer are to survive. If candidates possess both qualifications and experience, they can demand a premium which means salary and benefits are being reviewed constantly. Recruiting someone is costly, induction is costly, losing them within the fist six months is a huge cost. And you need to do it all again! This is not unique to Malta, the rest of the E.U. has a similar challenge to solve, but as a small island the impact of this skills drain is more significant.
The need to take advice on the remuneration and benefits package is a first step. The need to look at the skills and experience you need, rather than those you want, is part if that process.
And look at investing in a training needs analysis, not just fir the new person but fir everyone else as succession planning is a huge overhead cost saver. Grow your own talent and give staff more reason to stay tuned into a structured training plan. Bonus structures if you qualify, stay another twelve months afterwards so you do not have to pay back the cost. If you leave you pay back that cost jf in that first 12 months is a focussed motivational tool.
There are many recruitment agencies out there in the jobs pool of Malta. There are many training providers too. Those with a track record of success and accreditation with professional bodies are the ones to focus on. Others risk you sinking into a dark pool of recrimination and despair. If you can find one that can deliver candidates and the skills training packages as well, in a well priced package, all the better. Thus is a time sensitive area as poaching of staff already in post has become the quick fix of companies with big budgets and they will be equally keen to source future trainees fir succession planning strategies.