Hidden Talent in Plain Sight

Posted On 16 Mar 2022

Hidden Talent in Plain Sight

16 Mar 2022

Candidate Resource, Employable, Employer Resource, EST10 Team, News & Events

With the fight for talent fiercer than it’s ever been, I wonder if we are making some things harder than they need to be? The unemployment rate is at 4.2%, predicted to go down further and quoted as close to full employment. We have record-high job vacancy listings, and GDP growth for 2022 is expected to be 4.25%. All this reads as tough times for any business with recruitment as part of its growth strategy.

If you think COVID-19 caused our talent shortage, you would be wrong.

Like the town crier, I have been sprouting Australia’s talent issue for at least 5 years now. At first, I thought SEEK was broken. A quick check with I.T., and no, it’s not SEEK, but our first entrée to a tight talent market. That was January 2017. At the time, thereafter, and even now, I am sure many clients thought it was a recruiter pitch. But, I don’t do recruiter pitches; I just deal with reality.

So, why are we are all feeling the talent pinch so acutely now? The pandemic simply accelerated the scarcity trend that was already present.

  • Untapped talent

Back to making it harder than it needs to be… So, here is the thing, there are untapped talent segments hiring managers repeatedly turn a blind eye to. The first is our ageing population – I’ve talked ad nauseam about this (see our blog), so no more on this subject today. Except as a small reminder, there are 619,000 older people (aged 65 and over) employed in the labour force, a participation rate of 15%,  with a further 18,400 looking for work and more still seeking additional hours.

The next segment is our graduates, and I’ll be coming to them in the next few weeks, but today’s insider segment tip is our working mums and return to work mums, part-time or full time. You might be surprised I am bringing it up; I mean, it is 2022, but believe it or not, there is still some bias around this. Whether it be about being out of the workforce force for a number of years or the ability to juggle potential conflicting priorities, or the need to work reduced hours, today, I’d like to dispel some myths.

  • Our EST10 Mums

To provide some context, currently, EST10 has 6 working mums; up until a month ago, it was 7, and one of these is the delightful Rachel, currently on maternity leave. To be entirely honest with you, I have never given this a thought or measured it until right now in writing this blog. So, with our current 6 working mums, it makes up half our workforce and 5 of those 6, work flexible or part-time hours. These ladies, like the rest of our team, are superstars. All the roles, from Talent Acquisition Manager, Recruitment Team Manager, Executive Assistant, Social Media Manager, hold high levels of responsibility, and they are always accountable.

Our working mums work as hard as the rest of the team, are highly dependable, come to work on occasions with very little sleep, but are still there, delivering and contributing. They have a high sense of empathy, care and compassion but are no walkovers. While our wonderful EST10 mums have always been caring and compassionate, maybe it’s due to the more developed right side of their brain? Their boundaries are great; they deliver the toughest messages, but with understanding, strength, and integrity. They deal with the trickiest of situations and always have our business at the heart of all their actions and decisions. At Christmas parties or any parties for that matter, the mums at EST10 are the last to leave!

  • Untapped skills

Prepandemic it is estimated mums worked on average 77 hours per week: 20 hours paid work, 30 hours household work and 27 hours childcare. After months of homeschooling and working from home, what would these figures look like now? Mums, in my experience are the ultimate jugglers managing conflicting priorities and not dropping the ball. Maybe I am incredibly fortunate to have won the lotto with the mums I work with, but I think every environment could benefit from a contingent of working mums! There are around 7 million mums in Australia (women with children under 18). Consider the wealth of experience, knowledge and skills we miss out on when we overlook them. And it happens! It has been shown workplaces with increased gender diversity have improved retention, better reputations, increased profitability and greater productivity. More of that please!

Because we turn a blind eye to what is in front of us, more and more women are making the move to self-employment. Over the past 20 years, there has been a 46% increase in the number of women operating businesses with mothers making up 81% of women operators. Many of these women start their businesses out of necessity due to difficulty finding flexible work. Starting a business takes innovation, determination, resilience-what incredible skills to have within your business. What have we been missing out on?

  • Are your eyes open?

The point of this blog is to open our eyes and hearts to what might work, even if we thought it was a no before. If your vacancy is a full-time position and you have a potential hire who can only commit 3 or 4 days-consider them; they may be your best hire yet. And it is not just about working mums or return to work mums; it’s about any bias, for we all have it. Instead of saying no as an automatic reflex, perhaps consider a maybe and exploratory chat or a yes!

And one last thing, not to brag about my prediction skills or being ahead of the curve like my cry out 5 years ago for our talent shortage, but at EST10, we have been working remotely for 8 plus years. We currently have someone in the U.K. (a mum of 2 and 2 guinea pigs), Perth and Chicago. In fact, it was so normal to me that I didn’t even consider we were working remote until COVID occurred, and it was all the ‘talk’. For me working with talent and the potential of people has been instinctive and natural. So, trust me when I say to tap into our ageing population, our graduates and our delightful working mums and return to work mums. Hire them.

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Robert Davies, Tempest-Tost

About the author
Roxanne Calder
Managing Director

As Founder and Managing Director at EST10, Roxanne has an all-encompassing role that includes building and growing the business, as well as actively recruiting and consulting.

After completing a Bachelor’s Degree at Monash University, Roxanne began her recruitment career with renowned recruiter Julia Ross. From there, Roxanne worked in HR and recruitment with a number of global players and boutique businesses throughout Australia, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong for over 20 years. She has been responsible for managing large teams and projects, implementing RPO models, managing and assisting businesses to an IPO and assisting companies in setting up their recruitment teams and processes.

Following completion of her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Roxanne launched EST10 in July 2010. In doing so, she hoped to combine the flexibility and high touch service levels of boutique agencies with the structure and strategy afforded to larger firms. Roxanne believes in high-touch, high-care consulting and is always on the lookout for consultants that share this vision of recruitment.

Our Blog
Related Articles
How CEO’s Can Unlock The Superpower Of Their EA
Astute leaders look for ‘advantage’, an opportunity, something to provide an edge. The search is...
Employer Interview Tips
This is the second video in a series created by EST10, to assist employers who are interviewing for ...
He’s just not that into you!
Fly undone? Excruciating to hear but necessary to know. One, single dark facial hair on your chin (i...
Employer Interview Tips
This is the second video in a series created by EST10, to assist employers who are interviewing for ...
He’s just not that into you!
Fly undone? Excruciating to hear but necessary to know. One, single dark facial hair on your chin (i...
How CEO’s Can Unlock The Superpower Of Their EA
Astute leaders look for ‘advantage’, an opportunity, something to provide an edge. The search is...
He’s just not that into you!
Fly undone? Excruciating to hear but necessary to know. One, single dark facial hair on your chin (i...
How CEO’s Can Unlock The Superpower Of Their EA
Astute leaders look for ‘advantage’, an opportunity, something to provide an edge. The search is...
Employer Interview Tips
This is the second video in a series created by EST10, to assist employers who are interviewing for ...