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Future trends or issues

Specific skills shortages

A particular recruitment issue for 2013 will be the continued skills shortage of specialist candidates in some sectors. The Energy sector, for example, will face fierce competition for talent against the higher salaries of the oil and gas industry. Employers in this sector should be aware that if the market changes this year, it may see some of their recent candidate appointments going back to the mines and chasing extra dollars.

2013 is poised to be a stronger start to the year for the construction industry. A number of large scale projects are to be awarded in some states which will pull resources from other areas of the market. As project pipelines are finalised permanent recruitment will rise and companies would rather add value and experience to their work force and strengthen their culture rather than staff specifically on a project basis which was a trend in the latter half of 2012.

Engineering employers remain optimistic about 2013, expecting things to improve in March or April. However, candidates need to remain flexible in terms of location, role and salary expectations if they want to seize the good opportunities. We expect to see more temporary and fixed-term contract roles as employers look to recruit from project to project rather than permanent staff. Engineering will remain a candidate short market this year and there will become salary pressure.

Salary pressure expected

We also see increased pressure on salary and remuneration packages in some metro markets which is being driven by the temporary oversupply in the market for various types of staff. That being said candidates with a steady work history are still in demand. In the accountancy and finance industry, for example, salaries appear to be under pressure with several firms offering better training and internal development to entice new candidates. Employers will need to promote their organisations more to attract top-tier candidates.

Changes in legislations continue to be implemented on a national basis for childcare centres around the country. This means an increase in need for supervisors and qualified staff. And there is a continued focus towards a national curriculum which may bring about more interstate candidate movement and increase available candidates in the market.

Employers with slow processes are often missing out on the first pick of candidates when other employers are moving more swiftly to secure talent. Employers will need to lift their game with responding to all applicants in order to have a good reputation as employers of choice. They also need to keep candidates up to date about their process. Candidates will need to be flexible on package offers and look towards other retention factors such as career progression and employment conditions. Employers will also need to start preparing for the ageing population and have strong succession planning in place.

Nurturing ‘home-grown’ talent

Whilst sourcing talent from other countries is a great way of bringing fresh ideas to an organisation, promoting from within is preferred. In order to enable 'home-grown' talent to really deliver their targeted efficiencies candidates need to be given training or the opportunity to up skill. Whether this is packaged as a few hours out of the office each week to attend classes, or full funding for a course itself, more organisations need to be prepared to consider this in order to retain the best talent.

With both employers and candidates being cautious in their approach it is important that clear expectations are established. Companies, which are recruiting, and candidates need to be able to deliver their value proposition in a concise manner and act quickly to avoid missing out on opportunities.

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