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Skills Shortage in South Africa

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

Johannesburg - Nearly three-quarters of SA business are more focused on attracting and retaining staff than a year ago, placing SA above the global average of 59%, a new report showed on Wednesday.

The Grant Thornton's International Business Report ranked SA in the top eight countries placing staff attraction and retention high on their agenda.

"It is interesting to note that the countries where attraction and retention is the greatest concern are developing countries, while countries least affected by this issue are already developed," said Leonard Brehm, national chairperson of Grant Thornton SA.

Other countries grappling with this human resource problem include Vietnam (84%), mainland China (81%), Botswana, India, Mexico and Philippines (all at 79%).

In SA the top three strategies used to attract and retain staff are ensuring the employees understand the company's core values and goals; training top performers for leadership positions; and developing competitive reward programmes.

Staff attrition is disruptive, the report noted.

In SA 61% of respondents reported that the greatest impact of staff churn is increased operating costs followed by an increased workload for remaining staff (56%), which also absorbs the time of management and human resources. Other problems include loss of business orders to competitors (38%), difficulties introducing new working practices (37%), fall in customer service standards (36%) and a fall in product quality standards (32%).

In addition, eight out 10 local businesses indicated that it was costing them more to pay salaries than it was 12 months ago. In this category SA ranked fifth behind mainland China, Botswana, India and Turkey.

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