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Kenny McGilvary
Acumen Republic
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Media Release

Media release embargoed until 12:01am January 15, 2013

AUSTRALIAN BUSINESSES’ HIRING INTENTIONS A MIXED BAG, ACCORDING TO HUDSON


Sydney – 15 JANUARY 2013 – Australian employers’ hiring intentions are mixed with more than half of employers (59.6%) intending to keep staffing levels steady and a quarter (24.7%) intending to employ more people, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today.

Recent economic indicators and commentary has been mixed as well, which is likely influencing hiring intentions. The slow down in mining and China’s rapid economic expansion has been well reported. Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2% and GDP growth is expected to be 2.6% in 2013, which would make it 22 years of continuous economic growth.1 Business investment has also reached a 50-year record of 18.5% of GDP and continues to support hiring demand.2

“Market and economic indicators are mixed and employers are doing their best to interpret what they mean for their businesses and hiring needs,” said Mark Steyn, CEO of Hudson Asia Pacific. “Some employers are sitting tight and delaying hiring or, in some cases, looking at ways they can cut costs should circumstances worsen. While others are forging ahead, adapting their business models and continuing to invest and this is driving the demand for staff.”

Western Australia remains the most positive state/territory, although hiring intentions have dropped by 5.0pp to 30.9%. This is followed closely by Australian Capital Territory, (up 5.7pp to 30.3%), New South Wales (up 0.7pp to 27.0%), South Australia (down 1.2pp to 22.6%), and Victoria (up 1.7pp to 22.1%). While Queensland reports the biggest drop in hiring expectations (5.8pp to 18.6%) and it is the least positive state/territory in Australia.

Information Technology is the most positive industry nationally, up 11.2pp to 43.1%, reflecting organisations’ investment in innovation, improved customer engagement, better business processes and productivity. Approximately 12,300 new ICT jobs are expected to be available in the New Year with further growth anticipated to 2015.3 Positive hiring intentions also increased in Transport (up 8.5pp), FMCG (up 7.8pp) Government (up 4.7pp), Manufacturing (up 1.8pp) and Finance Services/Insurance (up 1.0pp).

The Resources sector reported the biggest drop in hiring intentions (down 12.1 pp) which is having a significant flow-on effect for other industries including Construction/Property/Engineering (down 9.6pp) and Professional Services, which, while still very positive is down 9.0pp to 32.4%. Healthcare (excluding Government) and Utilities are also reporting lower hiring intentions.

In terms of professions, Legal is the most positive although hiring expectations have dropped by 17.1pp to 33.3%. Technical & Engineering and Accounting & Finance are the only other professions to report decreasing hiring expectations. Meanwhile, Sales, Marketing & Communications, Financial Services, Information, Communications & Technology and Office Support are showing more positive hiring expectations than last quarter. Hiring intentions in Sales, Marketing & Communications are up the most reflecting investment in sales teams and digital marketers who can focus on revenue-driving initiatives.

Australian Capital Territory and Victoria report increased positive hiring intentions for contractors while all other state/territories have declined. Office Support, Technical & Engineering and Information, Communications & Technology have the highest demand for contractors.

The Hudson Report: Employment Trends also examined Australian employers’ top priorities for 2013. Almost a quarter of all employers (24.2%) cite enhancing performance/productivity of their existing team as their top HR priority for 2013. This is followed by retaining staff (21.7%), restructuring/right-sizing (18.3%), staff development (12.4%), attracting suitable staff (10.7%) and developing leadership capabilities (9.0%).

“Employers are heavily focused on driving productivity and most are asking more of their people as a result,” said Steyn. “Staff retention, capability and strong leaders have a material impact on productivity and must be addressed if employers are to succeed in their quest.”

“Staff retention and high performance are outcomes of strong employee engagement. So exceptional leadership, staff buy-in to what the organisation is trying to achieve and feeling part of the team are essential. It can take six months to a year to bring a new employee up-to-speed, so employers can ill afford to overlook the needs of their current team.

“A key way to enhance productivity is ensuring that staff have the right capability, that is the skills, behavioural and motivational fit, and are supported by systems, process and organisational structures to deliver efficiently,” added Steyn.

“Ultimately, HR and recruitment practices must be assessed continuously to ensure they match the organisation’s strategy to the current economic conditions, and that there is the right capability to succeed.”

- ENDS -

Editor's Note

Please contact us for more information, print-ready graphs or to arrange an interview.

The Hudson Report; Employment Trends 2013 has changed its reporting approach to achieve greater transparency and consistency across markets. This makes it simpler to compare results and geographical variations. From now on, Hudson will report on three findings: the percentage of employers intending to increase staffing levels, those intending to maintain them and those intending to decrease headcount. 'Positive hiring expectations' refers to the proportion of employers intending to hire more employees during the forthcoming quarter. Hudson will no longer use the 'net effect' figure.

About Hudson

Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialised recruitment, contracting solutions, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management, outplacement and eDiscovery. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. With more than 2,000 people in 20 countries, and relationships with millions of specialised professionals, we bring an unparalleled ability to match talent with opportunities by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients. We combine broad geographic presence, world-class talent solutions and a tailored, consultative approach to help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and outstanding results. More information is available at Hudson.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that the company believes to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release, including statements regarding the company's future financial condition, results of operations, business operations and business prospects, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “believe” and similar words, expressions and variations of these words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including industry and economic conditions' that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Such factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, global economic fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the company's operating results from quarter to quarter; the ability of clients to terminate their relationship with the company at any time; competition in the company's markets; risks associated with the company's investment strategy; risks related to international operations, including foreign currency fluctuations; the company's ability to implement cost reduction initiatives effectively, including the recently announced restructuring program; the company's dependence on key management personnel; the company's ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals; risks in collecting the company's accounts receivable; the negative cash flows and operating losses that the company has experienced from time to time in the past may reoccur in the future; restrictions on the company's operating flexibility due to the terms of its credit facilities; the company's heavy reliance on information systems and the impact of potentially losing or failing to develop technology; risks related to our dependence on uninterrupted service to clients; the company's exposure to employment-related claims from both clients and employers and limits on related insurance coverage; volatility of the company's stock price; the impact of government regulations; and restrictions imposed by blocking arrangements. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. The company assumes no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


1 Sydney Morning Herald, Growth expected to continue, but at a sedate pace, January 5, 2013
2 The Australian, Drop in growth no bar to surplus plan, viewed 06 December 2012.
3 Australian Computer Society, 2012 Australian Statistical Compendium, 13 November 2012.
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HUDSON

Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.