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Australia – Temporary agency professionals remain competitive in tight market

10 July 2013

The recruitment of agency professionals on a temporary basis increased over the last 12 months, according to the Michael Page Australia’s Salary and Employment Forecast. The flexible nature of temporary contracts remains an attractive alternative to permanent headcount for employers looking to resource short-term project work, and as a risk management strategy in instances where accounts could be lost.

Hiring over the last 12 months was strongest within the areas of advertising, media, public relations, and digital agency. The requirement for digital marketing skills is growing strongly, as companies continue to execute more digital and online campaigns in the place of traditional marketing.

Opportunities proved typically strongest in the states of Victoria and New South Wales, as staffing agency head offices are more prevalent in those areas. A constant stream of agency professionals has been returning from overseas markets, particularly the United Kingdom, within the last 12 months, bringing with them their experience in more developed agency and digital sectors.

Due to the rapidly changing staffing requirements in the agency sector, future employment needs are difficult to anticipate, according to the report. It is expected, however, that businesses will seek domestic talent in the first instance, with the option of recruiting top international talent on 457 visas if necessary. 54% of respondents in the Michael Page survey stated that they have no intention of hiring staff on 457 visas in the coming 12 months.

50% of respondents confirmed that average salary increases would be between 6% and 8%, taking it slightly above the national average of between 3% and 5%. This is due to the competitive nature of the agency sector and the need to attract top talent. Agency professionals, however, have responded that they prefer a mix of financial and non-financial rewards and benefits. Whereas employers have typically focused on increasing salary levels as a key attraction and retention tool, the focus is now shifting toward more non-financial incentives; such as flexible working arrangement and other work/life balance initiative.    

Michael page is a professional recruitment consultancy specialising in the recruitment of permanent, contract, and temporary positions for employers around the world. Michael Page opened its first office in Australia in 1985.

To read the full report, please click here

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