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Expert calls on businesses to employ more local staff

Business | Published:

THE Covid-19 crisis has proved Islanders can adapt well to working in different jobs and businesses should look to hire local staff more as they recover from the lockdown, a recruitment expert has said.

ASL managing director Heidi Gibaut (28765886)

Heidi Gibaut, managing director of ASL recruitment, said that thousands of people have switched jobs during the crisis and this had proved that Islanders have ‘transferable skills’ that can be used in other jobs, even if they require some training.

And she called on employers to rethink their employment strategy and consider training up local staff to fill roles rather than bringing in people from further afield, particularly at senior levels.

‘There’s 2,000 people unemployed in Jersey now and because we have a skill shortage, it’s about saying there’s got to be another way of dealing with this,’ she said.

‘It is about saying let’s move away from saying you’ve not got the right background to saying you’ve got excellent skills and something that we definitely need, but your background is something that we need to develop with training at a senior level.’

She said that the crisis had proved that effective training can enable staff to carry out a unfamiliar job very quickly.

‘There were a lot of people changing industries. There was a lot from hospitality and retail moving into the Co-op and the government for example,’ she said.

‘Kitchen porters to porters in the hospital. People became testing and tracing administrators, which was a completely new job.

‘All these types of people had never done the job before, they came from all different backgrounds and all different industries but the government stepped up their game and taught them how to do the job.’

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Ms Gibaut said that she believed a lot of the jobs created during the recovery phase would be interim jobs at a fairly high level, such as project and finance managers.

‘What a lot of people will say is I don’t really know if what I need is a full-time person on a permanent basis,’ she said.

‘What I need is someone who’s going to get me on the road to recovery. I need a high level finance person, an interim manager, someone who can come in, steer me in the right direction.

‘But once I’m there, I can’t afford to carry that person forever. It’s going to, I think, be a lot of project work and a lot of senior interim management work available.’

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She said that another trend she has seen already develop is a higher number of people applying for jobs in Jersey who do not live here and wish to work remotely due to increased use of technology.

‘We have had people from all over the world saying I’m working from home and I can do some marketing for you, I can do your social media,’ she said.

‘We’ve got people in Australia, people in India, people from New Zealand, all contacting us. There’s obviously big tax issues and all that stuff with that.

‘But that’s going to be something that’s quite interesting because a lot of businesses might be able to employ someone in the UK without anyone even knowing, because they’re all working from home.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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