The major challenges that are being faced by the Human Resource Practitioners in the Australian economy are the ageing workforce; Trans gender issues in the workforce, cultural diversity, globalization and change in technology, skilled labour force shortage and efficiency. (Baker and McKenzie, 2002, De Cieri and Kramer, 2005) Human Resource Practitioners toughest challenge is to try and be flexible and adaptable in the corporate environment. (Kramar, 2002) These challenges have been faced by the Human Resource Practitioners not only during 2007 but for almost last decade. In the coming pages the paper will attempt to discuss these challenges in detail and will try to throw light on important issues.
Ageing workforce has been an ongoing problem for Human Resource Practitioners in Australia. It has been predicted that more than 80 percent of the projected growth in the labour force between 1998 and 2016 will be in the 45 years and over age group. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005) The Australian workforce is ageing due to increased life expectance and lower level of fertility. Human Resource Practitioners as well as the employers would face the issues such as retirement planning, retaining of older workers to avoid skill obsolescence, control rising costs of benefits and sick leave. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005)
The Australian workforce has become diverse due to gender representation. (De Cieri and Kramar, 2005). It has been noted that the participation of women in higher management is comparatively low to that of men. HR managers need to ensure unprejudiced treatment of the workers from fair sex and this itself is a challenge for any HR personnel in a male dominated society.
“As the Australian workforce has become culturally diverse, the issue of managing a multicultural workgroup has become important for those involved in the management of human resources”. (Cope and Kalantzis 1997; Cope, Pauwells, Slade, Brosnan and Kalantzis 1994; Karpin 1995;National Multicultural Advisory Council (NMAC) 1999; Fish and Wood 1997) Human Resource Practitioners have always found challenging to handle a multicultural workforce. Workers form different ethnic backgrounds have different beliefs. In an Australian organisation managers are from an Australian background and the primary workers are from different ethnic backgrounds. Hence a communication gap is created since the upbringing of these workers is different from that of the managers. Workers from different ethnic backgrounds have different work ethics. Also there is a possibility that they might be victims of Stereotyping, racism, bias etc. (Baker and McKenzie, 2002)
Cultural diversity is co-related with globalization. Global communications have been facilitated due to rapidly varying...