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July – September 2016


Australia’s aged care sector continues to have high recruitment demands, while the allied health sector needs qualified and experienced professionals in both private and aged care.

Many of the available candidates lack the necessary experience or are still studying. Given that roles are so specialised and niche, employers are unable to consider such candidates. As a result many newly qualified candidates, especially Social Workers and Psychologists, find it increasingly difficult to get a first foot on the career ladder. Services in the NFP sector are looking for more experienced staff to help them operate in environments increasingly focused on outcomes and deliverables due to more competitive funding renewal requirements.

Regional Australia still faces a unique set of challenges in attracting suitable candidates to remote regions. In the Northern Territory for example, there is a shortage of degree-qualified Psychologists, Social Workers and Physiotherapists for roles in Darwin and remote placements. Candidates often assume that salaries are higher in the Northern Territory but this is not the case and candidates are therefore less willing to relocate.

Hotspots of demand

Degree qualified Social Workers with extensive and relevant demonstrated work experience are in short supply.

There is also a shortage of degree qualified Psychologists with the right qualification and extensive demonstrated work experience.

Program Managers are in short supply too. Employers require candidates who are degree qualified in social work or psychology and happy with a $60,000 to $70,000 salary.

Qualified Physiotherapists are another area of demand. Again there is a shortage of candidates with the right qualification and experience.

Experienced allied health professionals are also needed. Available roles generally offer a salary between $60,000 to $80,000.

Experienced Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) and Senior Managers are sought by aged care providers, as are business-minded Nurse Managers capable of maximising the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) who also have strong people management and leadership skills.

Experienced Nurses remain the most sought after candidate in aged care, but there is a shortage of people looking to work in this area.

Clinical Care Coordinators and Clinical Care Managers continue to be in high demand as employers balance the pressures of promoting Registered Nurses (RN) into these roles with the desire of employees to move up into Director of Nursing/Facility Manager roles.

Candidate trends

While there are a high number of graduates looking for work, the demand is for highly skilled healthcare professionals who have extensive experience within their field of expertise.

Candidates often have high salary expectations; consulting a current salary guide, such as the 2016 Hays Salary Guide, will ensure people have more realistic expectations when they enter the job market.

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