5 reasons why hiring should be part of your EOFY checklist

Management tips Management and leadership Article
For many organisations in Australia, 30 June represents a key date on the calendar – the end of the financial year (EOFY). It marks the cut-off for financial reports and brings a raft of requirements from completion of tax returns to ASIC report filings. With plenty to sort out, it makes sense to have an end of financial year checklist in place. It can help you manage the workload while ensuring all the necessary reporting requirements are ticked off, while laying foundations for the new financial year ahead. However, an important factor that can be overlooked across many workplaces is that the EOFY can see normal workloads balloon and existing staff under pressure to meet deadlines. Thus, one tick box worth adding to the very top of your checklist before the EOFY is checking whether your current team resources is sufficient, and if not, having a recruitment plan ready to find professional talent quickly. This article shares five reasons why engaging temporary or contract workers can support seamless EOFY preparations without leaving your permanent team thinly stretched.
1. Your team could be exhausted Three years of the pandemic has taken its toll on Australians. The 2023 State of the future of work report by the University of Melbourne reveals that one in two workers feel exhausted. The report adds that employees often feel they don’t have enough time at work to complete all the tasks they need to do. Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia, observes, “The pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Rather than push employees to their limits during the busy EOFY period, companies can take positive action by engaging contract staff. “A temporary boost to headcount not only aids EOFY preparations, but it can also give workplace morale a valuable uptick.” 2. Small mistakes can snowball EOFY is a time for reconciliations and cross-checking to be sure financial records are accurate and compliance requirement have been met. However, when employees are under intense pressure, as they often are ahead of EOFY, errors can easily occur. Already, we’ve seen a number of high-profile cases where employees of some of Australia’s largest companies have been underpaid, creating substantial backpay liabilities. “Expanding a team with contract labour, means your permanent team has a manageable workload,” says Ms Gorton. “This can go a long way to avoiding errors or oversights, which can cause both financial and reputational damage.” 3. Budgets may need to be adjusted for recent wage increases Early June 2023 saw the Fair Work Commission announce a pay rise of 5.75% for those on minimum and award wages – and it comes into effect on 1 July 2023. Your company needs to be prepared.   Ms Gorton explains, “Along with the traditional tasks that will be on a company’s EOFY checklist, companies need to be across the Fair Work Commission’s wage increase. “Even employers whose teams aren’t directly affected, should prepare for the possibility that staff may request pay rises that match the mandated wage increase – a cost that needs to be factored into cashflow and payroll forecasts. Having contract staff on hand, can free up teams to focus on updating payroll systems and plan for possible increases to remuneration more broadly.” 4. Employee burnout can impact deliverables Australia’s cost-of-living crisis is top of mind for many employees, and according to the latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index, it’s even driving changes in employee behaviour. The Index found some employees are hoarding annual leave in case of redundancy, and over one-third feel they need to work harder or longer to keep their job safe. “These findings point to a recipe for employee burnout,” Ms Gorton says. “And that’s something no company can afford ahead of EOFY. Simply adding to current workloads can mean falling behind with key deliverables. Temporary employees can take the pressure off permanent teams and lift productivity so that no one reaches 1 July in a state of exhaustion.” 5. Contract staff can be a cost-effective solution With our national unemployment rate sitting at 3.6% and little or no immigration over the last three years, companies are serving up more jobs than there are jobseekers to fill them. At the same time, companies are also putting costs under the magnifying glass. In this environment, Robert Half research found eight out of ten (79%) employers have given their existing employees extra responsibilities in order to keep their business operating effectively. Close to half (45%) these employers are not providing a financial incentive, such as a pay rise or bonus. “It is not uncommon for extra responsibilities to go hand-in-hand with the EOFY reporting season.” Ms Gorton notes, “But if a talented staff member resigns because they feel they are not being sufficiently compensated, it will likely cost more to the business long term than if they had rewarded the employee accordingly for the increased work they were doing.” She adds, “Engaging contract staff to manage the spike in workload can help companies avoid an ongoing increase in payroll while still navigating a busy period.”
Contract workers are in especially high demand during EOFY preparations, and a little preparation can go a long way.Just as you would for a permanent role, set out the specific duties and responsibilities – as well as employment timeframes, for contract staff, so that this can be communicated to job candidates.Explain to permanent employees that seasonal support is coming. Discuss the tasks contract workers will be expected to perform so they aren’t assigned random projects they weren’t hired to complete.
Understanding the expected pay ranges for the roles you need to fill ensures you will be well-prepared to make an offer. Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide  can be a useful resource for this process.One of the easiest ways to bring contract workers into your workplace ahead of EOFY is to connect with specialised recruiters such as Robert Half. Our recruitment professionals can quickly identify strong candidates, and advise on appropriate pay, helping you fill seasonal roles when additional talent is most needed.Ms Gorton adds, “Once all the reports have been filed, you may decide to take on permanent talent. Part of the appeal of a contract employee is that you have a readymade candidate who is familiar with your company and culture.”