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Employer trends

Steady workers rewarded

Employers are cautious to hire candidates that appear to move around too often and they are also being very specific with their requirements, being more demanding about core and soft skills. Employers are also looking for candidates with a proven and stable background, and some are willing to wait to find the exact match. In some industries, such as architecture, for example, employers prefer only local candidates. IT employers are also being very selective with their permanent hiring and ensuring that candidates with adequate skills/experience are hired. They would rather not hire and have an empty seat than hire the wrong person.

In the banking sector employers have indicated they believe the market will improve this year, although it will be quiet until February due to the Christmas and holiday period.

Use of temporary workers

Where employers cannot appoint permanently, they are increasingly looking at other solutions.

We are seeing the increased use of temporary workers in the construction industry. As the new school year hits there will also be strong demand for not only permanent teachers but an increase in temporary opportunities. Temporary assignments are also a long-term strategy for some employers such as those in the accountancy and finance sector. Also, employers in this space are looking for greater longevity and commitment and in return are offering more training and development opportunities such as CPA mentorship.

Meanwhile, more IT employers are taking employees on a contract basis in order to get them on board rather than waiting for their own internal process for permanent hires due to the length of the process involved. We are also seeing the increase in temporary hires in the logistics and life sciences industries where there is expected to be a flurry of recruitment due to the launch of new products this year.
In the area of office support the amount of direct permanent placements has been significantly lower during the last quarter in contrast to this time last year and employers are now more than ever opting to “try before you buy” and starting candidates on a temporary basis. In a follow-on effect, temporary to permanent placements have been significantly higher. Employers are choosing to do this for a number of reasons not least because of the amount of red tape involved with taking a candidate on in a permanent capacity.

Succession planning

In terms of long-term solutions some employers are interested in candidates that can take a step up to fill a role rather than have someone more senior take a step back. Therefore some companies are interested in passive candidates who aren’t necessarily active and on the market. We have also observed that employers providing a range of value add services to candidates are seeing modest growth in their firms through increased client attraction.

As employer expectations remain very high and gaining sign off for a role may take time, the recruitment process can be slower from start to finish.

In the engineering sector, employers are ensuring they have won enough work and have projects in the pipeline before recruiting. But businesses have become extremely strategic and prefer to utilise their own staff for internal transfers interstate to fill positions.

IT employers are placing high emphasis on industry experience along with technical capability.

The Australian market in industries such as procurement is much more open to considering talent from the UK at present. Employers still seem to prefer to hire candidates on a temporary or contract basis initially and then transfer them to their payroll or make them permanent when they've either proven their ability and cultural fit or the organisation is better positioned to offer a permanent placement.

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