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Kenny McGilvary
Acumen Republic
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Media Release

Media release embargoed until 12:01am 27 March, 2013


Cautious recruitment outlook evident with intentions to ‘hold steady’ up in every state and territory

Sydney – 27 March 2013 – Recruitment cautiousness has increased with intentions to maintain current headcount hitting their highest levels since 2009, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today.1

According to Hudson (NASDAQ:HSON), a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialised permanent and contracting recruitment, RPO, talent management, eDiscovery and project solutions, the report shows that 63.2% of employers intend to maintain their current employee numbers, up 3.6pp, with every Australian state and territory following the trend. 24.1% of employers expect to increase headcount while 12.6% expect to decrease their numbers.

“Australian businesses are demonstrating cautiousness as they focus on gaining market share and restructuring their cost base to achieve success in today’s conditions,” said Mark Steyn, CEO of Hudson Asia Pacific. “There is an understanding that there may well not be a return to the pre-GFC boom times and leaders are focused on positioning their businesses to best compete and win in the new normal.”

“This means driving efficiencies within the organisation and making the structural shifts required to survive and thrive in this new environment. In many cases the new operating environment requires different skills and capabilities within their teams, which must be identified and addressed.”

When looking at the individual Australian states and territories, key findings from the report included:

  • WA remains the state with the strongest intention to hire, with 32.5% of employers expecting to increase headcount, (up 1.6pp). The Resources sector is seeing the most significant lift in positive hiring expectations, up 14.5pp.
  • Queensland has experienced the biggest increase in hiring intentions, up 4.6pp, led by increases in positive hiring expectations in Professional Services (up 11.1pp), Resources (up 7.7pp) and Construction/Property/Engineering (up 6.6pp).
  • Australian Capital Territory has the biggest intention to hold headcount steady, up 14.7pp to 68.5%. Government intentions to hold headcount steady increased 13.2pp to 72.0%.
  • New South Wales is the state with the second highest intention to hire at 24.5% (down 2.5pp), with Information Technology having the highest intention to hire, followed by Healthcare (excl Govt) and Professional Services.
  • Victoria employers’ intention to keep headcount steady rose to its highest level since 2009 at 64.6%, up 5.3pp. Large increases in intentions to keep headcount steady were also seen in FMCG (up 21.7pp), Construction/Property/Engineering (up 11.8pp) and Government (up 11.6pp).
  • South Australia is the state with the lowest intention to hire at 18.2%, down 4.4pp. Intentions to hold headcount steady is at the highest level recorded by The Hudson Report at 68.4%, (up 5.3pp).

Information Technology has the highest intention to hire nationally for a second consecutive quarter, while the sector with the biggest increase in hiring intentions is Resources (up 8.2pp), followed by Healthcare (excl Govt), Construction/Property/Engineering and Professional Services.

“The recent rebound in commodity prices has had a bearing on improved hiring sentiment for the Resources sector, which is also benefiting those industries that service it,” commented Steyn.

The Report also looked at organisations’ use of High Potential Programs to retain key talent, build employee capability and engagement, and drive strong business outcomes. Almost half of Australian employers (49.1%) run programs of this type, with retaining talent being the primary goal. When it comes to rethinking the skill sets needed to win in today’s environment, Steyn outlined three key abilities that are most essential: “Adaptability, the ability to communicate and network across an organisation, and the capacity to ‘think outside the box’ and bring a wider range of skills to the fore are attributes that can make a big difference to business operations,” said Steyn.

“Smart organisations understand the strategic value of talent management,” added Steyn. “With consumer confidence growing, more people are now openly looking for new positions and competitors will pay a premium for high performers.”

“Developing your people is fundamental to successfully repositioning an organisation,” said Steyn. “Some organisations are focused on being more efficient and getting costs down, but are not questioning whether they have the skills and competencies they need to do that. Addressing any skills and capability gaps, while also rewarding, retaining and engaging high performers, ultimately underpins success in today’s environment, regardless of the market.”

- ENDS -

Editor's Note

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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

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1 Hudson surveyed 2,872 Australian employers about their hiring intentions April to June 2013
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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.