Employers continue to recruit business critical roles and the preference to recruit on a contract basis remains. Employers are very selective in who they recruit, and the focus has been on brownfield facilities, specifically in the area of operations and maintenance.
In Victoria we have seen a slight increase in permanent job flow. This is a positive sign that companies are feeling a little more confident in the market and that candidates are willing to move from their current roles. The market however remains candidate heavy.
Many candidates are looking to find the next boom country and we have seen some movement from Australia to the Middle East and Africa, a reversal of the trend we have seen over recent years.
Skills in demand
In terms of skills in demand for the October to December 2015 quarter, we’re seeing a need for Project Engineers/Managers. For design and manufacturing organisations within niche areas there is an increased need for solid project staff with strong technical experience as a result of increasing workloads in a tight market.
Project Coordinators are also sought. Focused in the maintenance area, employers are interested in entry-level candidates who can work alongside PMs to organise the delivery of projects. Previously, companies may have taken on PMs for this but now see entry-level candidates as an alternative they can develop into Project Managers.
Technical Salespeople are needed too. There is a focus on specialist industry experts who have come from a technical oil and gas background and who demonstrate an ability to meet with super majors to build business. Companies are focused on sales in order to pick up new opportunities. Niche areas are the focus, for example pipelines projects.
Integrity Engineers and Maintenance Planners are also needed as we move into the operations and maintenance phase of a number of large projects.
In addition, Cost Engineers are in relative demand following a renewed focus on cost across the industry as a whole.
In terms of candidate trends, jobseekers are far more flexible than they once were and this extends to the salary and rates they are prepared to accept. They are also more proactive in their approach to finding their next job.