Adelaide event tech company Novatech ramps up perks to attract new staff

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Staffing is the hot topic for the events sector, with Adelaide’s Novatech Creative Event Technology taking sweeping measures to recruit and retain staff including an-above inflation wage increase across the board, including for casuals.

As the world recovers from the pandemic and the unemployment rate in Australia drops to 3.9%, production companies, integrators, and distributors alike are struggling to find experienced staff.

The exodus from the industry during the lockdowns has not reversed, and conversations with employers indicate that it’s largely the older, more experienced techs that are not coming back.

Novatech have introduced four extra allowances for their staff, acknowledging the increasing pain of inflation and the differences between working in the office, warehouse, and on-site.

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“We were looking at the spiralling costs of living and ran some numbers,” said Leko Novakovic, managing director of Novatech.

“We did some modelling. We took the standard example of a salaried employee that does a 50 hour week, some on-site, and some at HQ. In this example, the employee gets paid an extra seven hours before TOIL, did 20 hours as a Team Leader, and 20 on-site hours. That amounts to almost 40 per cent more take-home pay than an average week.”

The on-site allowances are also a mechanism to encourage and reward warehouse and office-based staff for volunteering to go out on gigs.

“There are two scenarios when the tech or office staff, who often have come from production backgrounds, put their hands up for gigs,” said Novakovic.

“The first is when it’s an act that they really love that’s performing, and the other is when we’ve asked them because we really need the bodies on the job. We feel they should be rewarded for that in both cases.”

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Other perks include a personal trainer, mindfulness courses and new programs to develop leadership and professional development.

“With what we’ve put in place, obviously our crew stand to benefit,” said Novakovic.

“But we’re sharing what we’ve done so the industry as a whole can look at adopting the same practices.”