Shift thinking on rosters for greater productivity

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WHEN Jim Huemmer realised the strong correlation between shift work and reported sleep disorders, it set the wheels in motion for the evolution of a whole new field of thinking.

Almost 30 years ago, the Principal of Brisbane-based Shiftwork Solutions was working with a sleep specialist at California’s Stanford University and saw the impact that irregular work hours had on people’s sleep patterns.

“We found a lot of people who came to the sleep clinic reporting problems didn’t have sleep disorders at all,” Jim said.

“It was just that employers weren’t addressing the impact that shift work had on people’s biological clocks and the resulting sleep deprivation.”

One thing led to another and before long Jim had helped pioneer the roster optimisation industry, moved to Australia and branched out on his own, establishing Shiftwork Solutions in 1996, a specialist in optimising rosters across multiple industry sectors.

“There are three key areas that rosters impact,” Jim said. “Firstly, there’s the business aspects of ensuring appropriate coverage and continuity of business, secondly the employee side which is all about finding work-life balance, and thirdly the health and safety aspects.

“Ideally, rosters will address and balance all three of those but it is a process of continuous improvement and sometimes may involve incremental changes to one or two of those areas.”

Jim says there is definitely no “one-size-fits-all” solution and effective outcomes require an in-depth understanding of all the elements involved.

“There are 168 hours in a week and some organisations may need to consider 20 or 30 different issues to identify where the priorities lie,” he said.

“In mining for example, there’s a need for 24-hour business continuity and you are often dealing with a mix of residential and remote workers so what suits one part of the workforce might not be suitable for another.”

According to Belinda Honey, Director of Consulting Services at Strategic Human Resources, most organisations are mindful of not letting rates of pay escalate out of control as was common during the last resources boom.

But that would also present problems in finding and retaining workers as we head into the next growth period.

“In WA particularly, it’s going to be far more difficult than it has been in the past to attract workers from the Eastern States,” Belinda said.

“With so many infrastructure projects underway right up the East Coast, people are getting good pay and can go home at the end of the day, so we need to look for other options.

“People’s willingness to work long hours is very much tied to financial rewards but rosters are one area that employers can use to attract and retain workers.”

Jim agrees, adding that it’s a balancing act to accommodate worker requests with an organisation’s business requirements.

“It would be perfect for workers to have seven or eight different rosters to choose from but it’s far from perfect for employers because work sites cannot operate efficiently or productively under that model,” he said.

“The other thing to consider is that while workers may make noises about more time off or changing their work hours, the majority of shift workers don’t actually like change because they’ve developed routines around the predictability of their rosters.”

Strategic Human Resources CEO Steve Rayner says during the last resources boom, costs and conditions were largely driven by suppliers, which led to multiple different roster arrangements and cost blowouts.

“As we move into the next upswing, organisations have a far better understanding or are seeking third-party advice on input costs and contract outcomes,” Steve said.

“One of the things that became apparent was that many organisations were only seeing between 45 and 65 per cent utilisation or ‘tool time’ because the supply chain, logistics and labour were not efficiently aligned.

“There’s been a maturing in client-side awareness and we’re increasingly being asked to initiate discussions with contract providers about how they can ensure workforces are being more efficiently utilised, motivated and rewarded.

“Roster optimisation is a significant contributor to that.”

Jim says it’s all part of the evolution of workforce management.

“Remember that 25 years ago, employers had little regard for the patterns of work that employees wanted,” he said.

“There were very few 12-hour shifts, Western Australia didn’t operate on Sundays and remote workers were expected to do 13 weeks on and one week off.

“Fortunately there’s much better understanding of the links between what works for employees and how that positively influences productivity and profitability.”

Jim Huemmer will be one of the speakers at SHR’s Workforce Weetbix breakfast event, taking place in Perth on 25 October. Look out for further details on the event in coming weeks and if you have questions on roster optimisation or any other workforce management issues, CONTACT SHR today.

Is Your Project Feasible? – why Clients & Financiers often ask SHR to take a closer look..

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Its getting harder and harder to move major projects from concept to execution, and when projects can range from millions to billions of dollars at risk, the feasibility of any major project is one of the keys to reaching funding approval, often referred to as a Final Investment Decision (FID). Cost blowouts and schedule delays are media fodder and frighten prospective investors from placing their funds into major resource or infrastructure projects.

Many of these issues are caused by the failure to mitigate otherwise foreseeable and therefore forewarned risks, and this is especially so when it comes to project labour availability, costs and utilisation.

The next wave of resource sector capital investment is underway and its clear to many seasoned veterans of the industry that we may be failing to learn from the past boom conditions that drove costs up and impacted schedules on a scale we’d never seen before….the old saying that ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got..!” is starting to ring in the ears of Project Directors and Owners alike!

Not to mention the increased risk adversity of Financiers, who are seeking definitive understanding of the people risks where, arguably, a definitive position has often been left to guess work!

Any Project Manager worth a penny will tell you that Front End loading is the key to successful execution….so one way to avoid repeating labour cost blow outs and people based delays, is to be as diligent with projecting the labour availability, cost, and realistic utilisation projections for the project, as we would be when forecasting the same for steel, equipment and other supply side inputs to a major project…!

SHR has learnt over many years that by working with the major players including Owners, EPC firms, Constructors and Sub-Contractors early in the project feasibility stage, we can help reduce the level of concern shown by project owners and financiers alike, surrounding the people component of bankable feasibility studies, from the planning stage all the way through to execution and operations. This also includes mitigation strategies and plans covering the industrial and employee relations risks with contractors and sub-contractors.

Some of the clients that SHR Consultants have helped with a range of feasibility studies include:

  • Woodside
  • KBR
  • FMG
  • Hancock Prospecting
  • Aurizon
  • MSP Engineering (Tiangi)
  • Arafura Resources
  • Sheffield Resources

Before you move from Concept to FID (yes we missed a few steps!) consider the people implications on the key drivers of a successful project – COST – SCHEDULE – QUALITY – and if you can’t explain how the risks will be mitigated then achieving a successful FID may well be an issue….If you need advice contact SHR for a confidential discussion on how we can help you deliver a successful bankable feasibility study and ultimately achieve project success ….Belinda Honey 0438 992 483 or Steve Rayner 0418 923 981. Alternatively drop us an email at

Renewables – is this the future of work in the energy sector?

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A recent article published by the ABC challenges the conservative view of the future makeup of the energy sector and the role of coal fired power in Australia’s energy equation….

“..The tipping point’s been reached: renewable energy is now a cheaper source of power for Australia’s future electricity needs than coal.

Surprised? That’s understandable……….But it’s a fact. The cold, hard numbers show that new renewable energy is supplying cheaper electricity than new coal-fired power plants could and will continue do so. No less an authority than the Australian Energy Market Operator agrees.

In a recent report, based on deep, sophisticated modelling, it looked at the most economical way to replace our fleet of ageing coal plants as they retire. “The lowest cost replacement for this retiring capacity and energy will be a portfolio of resources, including solar (28 gigawatts), wind (10.5 GW) and storage (17 GW and 90 GWh), complemented by 500 megawatts of flexible gas plant and transmission investment,” it said………

Prices of electricity from new renewable energy projects are already far cheaper than the likely price from the new-generation coal plants some Coalition MPs want to see built.”

So it begs the question how big is this sector for projects, investment opportunities and jobs, and where are these renewable projects being built? Well it might surprise you but this sector attracts the big players including Siemens Gamesa; Goldwind Australia; Senvion; Pacific Hydro to name a few..

SHR has also developed an enviable list of projects, delivering specialist people management solutions to the above clients working in the wind and solar market, including strategic workforce planning, employee and industrial relations strategies and on site right of entry management, with work either completed or underway on projects in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia such as:

  • Bald Hills
  • Moorabool
  • Crowlands
  • Stockyard Hill
  • Castle Hill
  • Hornsdale
  • White Rocks
  • Bulgana Green Energy Hub
  • Badginarrra

Have you ever wondered how a wind farm works

As specialists in people management solutions, SHR is excited to assist the renewables sector continue to grow and develop throughout the Asia Pacific region…if you have a renewables project and you want to reduce your people risk, give SHR a call on 08 9485 4200 or email us at

What Constitutes a Casual?

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In an important decision the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia [WorkPac Pty Ltd v. Skene] held that a so-called labour hire casual employee was not a casual for the purposes of the annual leave provisions of the National Employment Standards (NES) under section 86 of the Fair Work Act. Accordingly the employee was entitled to a payment in lieu of accrued annual leave.

Click on the attached SHR Client Briefing for more information…Employer Alert – Casual Employees August 2018

People & Payroll Management for SMEs – not just a transaction…!

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The decision to outsource your People and Payroll management is more often than not driven by the opportunity cost associated with building this capability internally, which for SME’s, is often prohibitive. However, when it comes to finding someone to help there are a multitude of providers in the market that say they can deliver these services, but the reality is often far from the rhetoric.

So does this mean you’re jumping out the pan and into the outsource fire?

The question that an SME must ask and ensure is a core deliverable is  ‘can this  outsource provider deliver effective and compliant people & payroll transaction management, plus provide the help needed with day to day HR support and advice – all in accordance with the Australian legislative framework’ ?

In our experience most HR outsourcing providers only focus on managing the transaction environment, and in some cases there are even gaps in this service, especially when it comes to minimum statutory compliance and end of year reporting.

So armed with this knowledge SHR developed a service & product that combined the best of its knowledge based support and advisory capability, with best-in-market transaction and compliance by using Employee Connect and Payroll Metrics systems all combined in our HR365 –

HR365 delivers both advisory and transaction support and is tailored to meet our SME client needs… using service packages that are flexible and affordable, designed specifically for each client. With HR365 you get HR & Payroll Management that you actually need, not what others might think might you want! Plus you get access to the SHR advisory and consulting team, who are the best in the business when it comes to advice and support, all included in the one monthly fee.

If you’re an SME and struggling with how to effectively control your HR and Payroll management, why not contact Iain Langridge and ask how HR365 can take the pain away or click here to visit HR365…

Iain can be contacted via mobile 0418 684 343 or via email at

SHR to Double in Size Through Merger

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After nearly 25 years of success in WA, SHR is very excited to announce it has executed a binding Heads of Agreement (HOA) between SHR and Livingstones, with a view to completing a “merger of equals”.  The merger is transformational for both businesses – and will result in the creation of Australia’s largest independently owned human resources and employee relations consulting practice with more than 50 permanent employees and offices in four capital cities.

Livingstones was established in Queensland in 1982 by renowned industrial relations specialist Roly Livingstone with much of the firm’s work in those days concentrated on watershed issues including the SEQEB dispute, Powers VEA, the national pilots’ dispute and seven day trading on the Gold Coast. The business then grew, broadening the range of its services to include Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Today the Livingstones team works across three core brand streams of Employment & Industrial Relations, Human Resources & Relationships and Organisational Advisors & Psychologists.

We are delighted to advise our clients, some of whom have been with SHR since the beginning that we are delivering on our promise of continued growth — both geographically and across service lines.  We will be able to deliver truly national coverage across our core competencies of HR, ER & IR, while introducing new capabilities to each other’s client base.”… “on a personal level I’m also delighted to continue as the Group’s CEO and lead the team into the next exciting phase of our development.”  Steve Rayner CEO.

SHR and Livingstones completed a process of detailed cultural and commercial due diligence before agreeing to a merger of equals – one that recognised the professional, experiential and operational synergies between the two businesses as well as the resultant symbiotic culture of the merged organisation.

For our valuable staff, this merger provides the opportunity to be part of a continually growing and diversified consulting practice with wonderful opportunities for career development.

For our clients,it is business as usual with the both brands being maintained for the long term. The SHR business will continue to be led by Belinda Honey in our consulting team, and Jackie Hill in our migration team. Our clients will see a significant increase in the capacity and capability of the Group to provide even broader skills and experience to solve people management challenges across Australia.

The merger will be completed by December 2018 and will operate out of offices in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

If you would like more information please contact Steve Rayner or Belinda Honey on 08 9485 4200 or visit the websites here or

June 2018

SHR Secures More Top Talent

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SHR continues its pursuit of the best talent in the market and has been successful securing a leading practitioner. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Iain Langridge as a Principal Consultant with SHR.

Iain has more than 30 years of operations and executive management experience in both privately owned and publicly listed companies including significant offshore experience starting businesses in the key export markets of China and India.

Holding a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from the University of Wollongong, Iain is an alumni of London Business School and has extensive experience across a diverse range of industry sectors including Mining and Energy, Transport and Logistics, Heavy Manufacturing, Healthcare and Education.

SHR’s CEO Steve Rayner said…. “Our business has expanded and developed broader capabilities over the past few years and a good part of that growth story is told by our Resourcing business unit. And Iain’s main focus will be the ongoing national growth and management of our contracting division – Agility Contracting…..

 … “ Agility sources and pre-qualifies all contractors to SHR’s high standards, deploying contractors for short, medium and long term engagements and focuses on professional roles. It is also supported with back-up from SHR with Clients enjoying this as added value … Iain’s history of successfully growing businesses in this sector is well documented and his appointment is a real coup for SHR.”

Iain began his career working with BHP as part of an undergraduate cadet program and following graduation moved into operational management roles initially in BHP’s Steel Division and then in the Transport and Logistics sector with companies such as SCE Group and Brambles.

Between 2006 and 2013 Iain held senior management roles with Chandler Macleod Group where he was ultimately responsible for the rapidly expanding Mining and Energy staffing services business across Australia. As Ambulance Service Director for St John Ambulance WA between 2013 and 2016 Iain had the privilege of leading 1,000 paid clinical and operational staff and 3,500 volunteers across 170 locations.

Most recently Iain was responsible for launching St Stephen’s College, initially in the role of Chair and then as the inaugural CEO & Managing Director. With offices in Perth, Hong Kong and Shanghai, the College is a registered training organisation (RTO) created to deliver education programs to high schools in China as a pathway for students to access Australian universities.

Please join with the Directors of SHR in welcoming Iain to the Leadership Team and please contact Iain for any of your professional contractor via his email: or mobile 0418 684 343

         Agility Contracting

SHR Launches HR365 – Next Generation HR

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HR compliance and people management problems are a thing of the past with HR365 – SHR’s Next Generation HR service.

SHR is proud to provide our latest product offering with the launch of HR365 – delivering HR as a Managed Service across Australia.

HR365 brings together HR compliance, technology, workflow, payroll processing, management reporting and advisory services, all aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses that don’t want or need to invest in fixed HR costs.  All of this is rolled up into one easy to manage and affordable monthly payment.

While some HR providers offer online managed services, few are able to back it up with the depth of capability offered by SHR’s team of Advisors and Consultants who provide on-demand service and support, along with the latest in HR Technology and Payroll Processing that makes everything paperless.

HR365 offers employers a low cost, highly compliant HR service that includes:

  • HR records management and workflow
  • Manager and Employee kiosk access
  • Payroll processing and compliance
  • Standards HR policies and procedures
  • Development of industry or client specific policies
  • Paperless on-boarding, including contracts of employment
  • HR Advisory support provided by SHR Advisors

Check out HR365 and never worry about HR compliance or advice again…

All of this with the added benefit of access to the SHR suite of strategic services including:

  • HR, ER & IR Consulting
  • HR Contracting
  • Business Migration Consulting and VISA Processing
  • Resourcing

If you would like to discuss you specific needs with a HR365 advisor please contact SHR on Ph: 08 94854200 or at

Strategic Human Resources Continues to Expand!

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The CEO and Directors of Strategic Human Resources Pty Ltd are pleased to announce the continued expansion of SHR with the merging of its Agility Recruiting division with Adaptive Resourcing and In-Cahoots Recruitment, all highly successful and well regarded resourcing consultancies based in Perth, and now with national reach!

Strategic Human Resources CEO – Steve Rayner said, “it’s a fabulous result for the three businesses. With the Adaptive and In-Cahoots Directors Graham Nutt and Matt Stidwill joining the Strategic Human Resources – Resourcing Team, we have brought together the most experienced and professional resourcing consultants in the industry to grow and drive our Resourcing Business. Our operating models were so similar and the client synergies so obvious that we immediately saw the benefits of our three practices joining forces.”

“…For some time we had been looking to take the next step and have been working in partnership with the SHR team on resourcing projects in the past. We could see that SHR’s strategy was a perfect enabler and that collectively our client bases are both extensive and complementary”   ….said Directors Graham and Matt who went onto say “…our collective abilities to deliver executive search, professional recruitment and large workforce resourcing and mobilisation plans, as well as blue collar recruiting is a real bonus to SHR’s clients and we’ve seen immediate uptake from within the SHR customer base…especially from the oil & gas and resources sector”.

With the merger of the three entities now complete, Adaptive Resourcing is the most capable “non-agency” recruitment provider in the market. Our aspirations are to build on this by delivering more innovative practices that provide high quality outcomes across sectors in areas such as professional recruitment training/behavioural interview training, talent pipeline management, and blue collar recruitment by:

  • Being more agile and more responsive than the traditional model;
  • Presenting a more transparent process – clients only pay for the work that is completed;
  • Offering lower pricing with access to experienced resourcing professionals nationally;
  • Creating a relationship with our clients – we’re not sales people;
  • Offering flexible engagements – one-off assignments or on-going requirements; and
  • Being adaptive to the Client’s needs.

With the backing of the SHR parent company, Adaptive Resourcing will be able to generate great service synergies which can only help our Clients, making the model even more competitive and disruptive to the general recruiting industry … a real consulting approach, delivered by real and experienced resourcing consultants, with the client enjoying significant savings on comparable engagements … a win–win for all!

With its significant market presence, Adaptive Resourcing will continue as the go-to-market brand and trading entity – and will continue to expand into Melbourne and Brisbane, with consultants formerly with Agility coming onboard.

For all your resourcing, talent mapping, and recruitment process improvements contact any of Adaptive Consultants directly on:

Graham Nutt — (M) +61 405 355 905

Matt Stidwill — (M) +61 427 552 096

Sian Dunn (Victoria) — (M) +61 418 506 804

Lucinda Locke (Queensland) — (M) +61 419 041 514

Or for general enquiries please contact Adaptive via:

Adaptive Resourcing – (W)  or (PH) 08 9485 4255 or


2017 Snapshot – SHR Says Thanks

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As the festive season rapidly approaches, the Directors of SHR want to wish all of our Clients, Staff and friends a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year…

We also wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to all our loyal Clients that have supported us throughout the year and our wonderful team of dedicated consultants, contractors and support staff for delivering great results…… Results that have seen us complete some wonderfully challenging and satisfying work in every state and territory, New Zealand and other locations across the globe. I also want to personally thank the SHR Senior Team for displaying the quality of leadership and support that seems to be so desperately lacking in some organisations, according to recent media reports!

So what has SHR achieved in 2017? …Well this year we’ve seen a significant increase in our case load across all competencies including:

  • HR, ER, IR and HSE consulting & advisory services
  • Resourcing and Contracting of professionals
  • Business migration advice, compliance and processing and
  • HR managed services

Plus SHR has been working with several clients that have engaged us to undertake strategic pieces of work that we believe differentiates us from our competitors including:

  • Strategic planning with Executive Teams and Boards focussing on mission critical HR, IR and ER issues along with the requisite implementation support;
  • Buyer-side major asset and enterprise mergers & acquisition due diligence, risk assessments and integration planning;
  • Transformational change affecting major businesses with deeply entrenched and traditional industrial relations practices resulting in significant improvements;
  • Strategic workforce planning, labour analytics and Industry 4.0 advice – ‘the workforce of the future’;
  • Organisational design and re-organisations; and
  • Labour demand profiles and reporting

Much of this has been delivered to clients in many of SHR’s traditional as well as new industry sectors including:

  • Oil & Gas offshore and onshore projects and maintenance
  • CBD construction
  • Downstream and upstream resources processing
  • Renewable energy, in wind and solar
  • Traditional power generation
  • Agribusiness
  • Mining startups, expansions and maintenance
  • Rail and ports, including marine industrial services and support
  • Vessel operators
  • Sport and recreation
  • Professional and industrial services
  • Local Government
  • Utilities and Infrastructure

As for our great team at SHR we’ve added additional resources in the Consulting and Resourcing teams based in Victoria, Western Australia and Brisbane and grown our Alliance partnerships with several key providers such as Bartlett Workplace providing great network support to SHR’s clients.

Looking forward we are definitely seeing the signs of a recovery underway with key sectors gaining momentum. Most exciting are the ‘green shoots’ we are seeing in major projects coming off the drawing board on the West Coast and significant opex spend on existing operations trending upwards over the next 18 – 24 months. On the East Coast the infrastructure spend in Victoria alone is slated at $45bn now and into the foreseeable future and represents a great opportunity SHR and our clients.

If you would like to talk to a Principal Consultant about how SHR may be able to assist your business please contact Steve Rayner on 08 9485 4200 or email