PROGRESS: Top Office Group director Jan Gadsden says the report reveals a positive trend for the city's business community.
PROGRESS: Top Office Group director Jan Gadsden says the report reveals a positive trend for the city's business community. Cordell Richardson

Why businesses are finding it tough to hire in Ipswich

ALMOST 50 Ipswich businesses plan to hire more staff within the next six months, but say a shortage of skilled candidates makes it difficult.

Top Office Group conducted in-depth interviews with 100 Ipswich business leaders for its Executive Outlook report.

Almost half, 47 per cent of businesses say they are affected by skill shortages.

The candidate market is tight for trades and professions including; panel beaters, diesel mechanics, electricians, plumbers and social media, content managers and digital marketers, as well as web and app developers.

Business owners say skilled legal, finance and compliance specialists are also difficult to find.

A qualified and experienced accountant in Ipswich is expected to have five job offers.

As the population ages, businesses are looking for more registered nurses and carers.

Top Office Group director Jan Gadsden said the report was positive for the business community.

"We're moving back into a period not unlike prior to the global financial crisis," she said.

"Anyone with a skill has a job, or it looks like its going that way."

Retention was cited as an issue for 16 per cent of firms.

We find candidates want to work for a company they believe in.

Aside from remuneration, they also value flexibility, a career path, recognition and leaders with integrity.

Now is a good time to hire on potential. Go for transferable skills, like values, attitude and people skills, over qualifications.

With the once problem-plagued Ipswich City Council turning a corner, Top Office Group reports a confident feeling among business owners.

The report found 71 per cent of leaders are optimistic about the road ahead while others, in the face of digital disruptions, are less confident.

Almost half, 45 per cent, of businesses intend to increase staff levels in the next six months.

Dealing with regulations was named as the most significant issue for 27 per cent of leaders.

Some leaders have engaged extra staff to cope with and absorb many of the compliance regulations.



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