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Kenny McGilvary
Acumen Republic
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Media Release



Organisations holding headcount steady at highest levels recorded by Hudson Report

Sydney, Australia – 30 June, 2014 – This quarter’s Hudson Report: Employment Trends1 released today shows that intentions to hire among Australian organisations have dropped 2.1pp to 21.2%, while intentions to maintain current headcounts rose 2.3pp to 66.8% – the highest level recorded by the Hudson Report. 12% of organisations expect to decrease headcount, down 0.1pp.

“Six weeks following the budget, employers are sitting tight awaiting the reforms to pass through the Senate,” said Dean Davidson, Executive General Manager, Hudson Australia. “Despite this uncertainty, the outlook for some professions is particularly optimistic and we are seeing increasing demand for high quality talent with specific skills. Financial Services, Supply Chain & Procurement and Technical & Engineering professionals are highly sought after and are key in helping organisations grow scale or deliver efficiencies.”

“In this kind of environment it’s the ability to find the people who will make fundamental differences to a business that should be the key recruiting focus,” said Davidson. “There’s a difference between people and talent – the challenge is finding those individuals with the right skills and capabilities to deliver the results businesses need today.”

Hiring Intentions Australia - 3rd Quarter 2014

Permanent hiring expectations by state and industry

Intentions to maintain headcount are the highest recorded by the Hudson Report in Queensland (64.2%), Victoria (69.5%) and Western Australia (73.8%), and the second highest recorded in NSW (67.1%). The ACT is the only region demonstrating a different outlook, where there has been a 15.8pp increase in expectations to reduce headcount.

Hiring Intentions Australia by State - 3rd Quarter 2014

“Professional Services (32.8%), IT (32.5%), Resources & Mining (28.3%) and Financial Services (26.8%) are the industries with the greatest intentions to hire, where organisations are looking for fresh talent to support ongoing business transformation and for additional headcount to support scale as they grow market share. In contrast, the Government sector is clearly expecting a significant budget impact with 20.4% of employers expecting to decrease headcount.”

Permanent hiring intentions by profession

Financial Services has the strongest employment outlook with 37.2% intending to hire, a boost of 8.6pp from Q2. Supply Chain & Procurement performed strongly (26.4%) while Technical & Engineering shot up 10.5pp to 24.5%. The aggressive hiring plans of the Legal profession from Q2 appear to have abated with their intentions dropping 15.5pp to 24.1%.

“Financial services professionals are benefiting from their organisations’ thirst for continued profits, while Supply Chain & Procurement professionals are highly sought after as they bring discipline and rigour to the purchasing process as well as efficiencies,” said Davidson.

In contrast, back office roles such as Accounting & Finance and Office Support are not growing aggressively and have the highest proportion planning to hold headcount steady at 76.7% and 74% respectively. “Professions essential to supporting business growth are holding headcounts steady, however those considered by many as cost centres are not focus growth areas,” added Davidson.

While ICT professionals have moderate permanent hiring intentions (21.1%), demand is greatest for these professionals in a contracting capacity (26.4%) followed closely by those in the public sector (26.3%). “Businesses are clearly focused on transformation and are using contractors to bring in specialist expertise and to provide future flexibility depending on economic conditions.”

Focus on finding talent, not adding headcount

“Organisations achieve improved business results when they hire high potential individuals versus average performers, yet we’re still not seeing that hiring focus from Australian businesses. Here in Australia organisations continue to hire looking for experience, but are not paying enough attention to getting the right cultural fit, alignment of motivational drivers, or ensuring that their people have the competencies and capabilities needed to perform in and beyond the role.”


1 Hudson surveyed 3,215 Australian employers about their hiring intentions July to September 2014


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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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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.