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Australia – Top talent trends for 2014

16 December 2013

Multi-level knowledge, working out which ‘Big Data’ skills are actually needed, and a better understanding of social media as a channel are among the talent trends that will shape the recruitment landscape in Australia in 2014, according to recruitment firm Hays. 

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, commented: “Towards the end of 2013 we saw business confidence start to rise, which should feed through into the labour market in the first few months of 2014. Australia’s economy is maintaining momentum and consumer confidence is strong heading into 2014.”

Consumer sentiment is being buoyed by low interest rates, rising house and share prices, and relatively stable unemployment. The Australian economy is expected to grow by +2.8% in 2014, at a slightly faster rate than in 2013.

Mr Deligiannis added: “This will lead to increasing staff turnover as candidates become more confident to explore their options. Many employers also tell us they are looking to secure candidates who can start early in the new calendar year. A big area of growth in 2014 will be crossover roles, as the technology, marketing and finance worlds integrate it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, with multilevel knowledge.”

“Also the ability to harness the whole notion of digital marketing and social media will be important, to the point where these channels are not an add-on but become seamlessly incorporated into the main game,” he concluded.

  • Big Data dilemma: Mr Deligiannis commented: “Without doubt one of the most used terms in the past couple of years is ‘Big Data’. In 2014 we will see increased demand for IT Project Managers and Business Analysts who are involved in data manipulation projects. ‘Data Scientists’ will also be in increasing demand; the Harvard Business Review named the role ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ since these professionals can recognise patterns in data from multiple sources and then make observations and predictions, which is crucial to business success.”
  • Mobile App Development: “The increased use of tablet-based applications and the associated user experience is driving demand for strong JavaScript Developers, particularly those with HTML5 and CSS3 skills for web development. Yet so few candidates combine both elements and are therefore able to build complete systems. Given insatiable customer demand for apps and an improved user experience, this skills shortage will become a more pressing concern in 2014. It could even cause general delays and interruptions in the evolution of the mobile app market at a time when it is raring to go.”
  • Technology integration: “In 2014 technology will no longer sit in the domain of the CTO or CIO, but will instead integrate with both marketing and finance. This integration of both technology with marketing, and technology with finance, will see staff in these departments become jointly responsible for outcomes. It will create a need for people with multilevel hybrid knowledge.”
  • Skills shortage catch-22: “Expect high-level skilled professionals in specific sectors to be in short supply.  While unemployment is expected to rise in 2014, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, employers still struggle to attract highly skilled and experienced professionals, particularly in technical areas such as IT, construction, and engineering. Demand is not evident in every function in every region, but we are seeing sustained demand for high-skill professionals.”
  • Financial services in force: “The banking jobs market is showing positive signs of growth with jobs registered at the strongest levels in over 24 months. The insurance sector is very busy in the areas of transactional claims and underwriting as the big banks continue their expansion into the insurance market. Financial planning is on track to be stronger in the New Year as firms better understand and implement FOFA changes, and we are seeing strong demand for experienced candidates in the lending market. Senior Finance professionals are also in strong demand.”
  • Trades & labour wanted: “The mining industry will stabilise and productivity will increase, and while the big mining companies will continue to cut costs there will be opportunities for skilled tradespeople and engineers in 2014. Demand will also rise for quality trades and labour staff in the construction industry, since the property market is buoyant with house renovations and new house builds.”
  • Resourcing digital and social strategies: “As confidence returns to the jobs market, the candidate is again ‘king’ however most organisations are yet to fully embrace digital and social media effectively when it comes to recruitment. The expectation is that a presence and activity on social media such as posting a job is enough, but the commitment and resources that are really needed to build effective relationships is vastly underestimated by most. Without that commitment it is very difficult to attract and engage with the right talent at the right time.”
  • Staff retention: “Employers are often blind to the cause of staff turnover and in 80% of cases an employee chooses to leave due to the job itself, pay and conditions or work relationships – all issues employers can do something about. As employees become more confident and start to explore their options in the jobs market, employers will really need to turn their focus back to retention.”
  • Aptitude for learning: “The world is changing rapidly and it will be smarter to recruit candidates who can – and want to - learn new skills, rather than candidates who may only be fit for today. Globalisation, the shift towards a knowledge economy and the sheer pace of technological change are creating a need for employees who can learn and respond to both their employer’s and the market’s changing demands. With this in mind, candidates should not only meet the required technical and soft skills for a role, but also possess an aptitude and desire for learning.”
  • A borderless jobs market: “In our global economy the world is becoming borderless and in order to achieve career development people are willing to change countries more readily. With this in mind speaking another language is a hugely important business skill, and it will only become more so in future. For those looking to move up, these skills and the cultural intelligence they often come with are equally indispensable for today’s global executives and the organisations they lead. The insight to understand people on their own terms and in their own language will be increasingly valued in the years ahead.”

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