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Australia Hiring Expectations - Quarter 1, 2015


Dean Davidson, EGM, Hudson Recruitment Australia

“Despite lukewarm economic conditions and recently released weak GDP figures, Australian employers are optimistic about the year ahead. While the outlook is buoyant, the thirst for talent is centered on specific sectors and role families that support business transformation. These often newly created roles are critical to future success and profitability and as such may be less impacted by broader economic trends in the months ahead.”

Key Findings and Commentary

Permanent Hiring Expectations: Australia

  • Hiring managers in Australia are feeling optimistic as we begin 2015, with many planning to invest in headcount to grow their businesses. The findings show that employer sentiment. lifted by 5.6pp with a net 18.7% of employers intending to increase permanent staffing levels in Q1 2015 – the highest quarter on quarter increase since Q1 2010 and the highest sentiment figure since Q2 2012.
  • We are seeing less demand for reporting and transactional roles and a shift towards roles that will underpin future growth opportunities. The business environment remains challenging for most sectors and so businesses are focused on creating positions - and seeking out employees - that are really going to help drive growth and add tangible value.

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Permanent Hiring Expectations: Australia by State

  • Queensland has the strongest net hiring intentions with 20.4% of hiring managers planning on increasing headcount in Q1 2015, up 1.9pp compared to the previous quarter and 6.8pp compared to Q1 2014. The result is heavily influenced by the public sector. With a government in pre-election mode, there is a considered push to deliver upon the current transformation programs of work and front-line projects.
  • Employer sentiment in ACT has the highest quarter on quarter increase compared to other regions, up by a significant 19.2pp, with a net 14.5% of employers planning on increasing headcount in Q1 2015. The uncertainty created by the mid-year federal budget fuelled weak hiring intentions in the nation’s capital earlier this year. However the delay in implementation has seen employers shrug off the negativity, with growth coming through, not just in government, but also the ACT’s commercial market.
  • Net sentiment has also increased in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, up by 9.4%, 8.7% and 3.8% respectively. In New South Wales the increase in employer net hiring intentions is largely driven by change and transformation in the financial services sector.

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Permanent Hiring Expectations: Australia by Profession

  • Hiring sentiment amongst Financial Services professionals is the strongest across employers surveyed, the sentiment increased by a staggering net 16.8pp compared to the previous quarter, with a net 36.9% of hiring managers planning on increasing headcount in Q1 2015. Financial services teams have recognised that the landscape has permanently changed and are driving significant transformation projects. Those professionals with exposure to agile environments are highly sought after as are compliance and risk professionals who can help organisations navigate the plethora of regulatory change on the horizon.
  • Legal is the profession with the second highest hiring intentions with a net 36.9% of employers looking to increase their headcount. There is strong demand for mid-level lawyers in private practice with organisations backfilling roles that were deliberately left unfilled from past years.
  • Sentiment is also on the rise for Human Resources, ICT, Public Sector, Office Support, Technical & Engineering and Accounting & Finance professions, up by 11.9pp, 8.9pp, 7.1pp, 5.8pp, 5.5pp and 2.7pp respectively.

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Contracting Hiring Expectations: Australia by Profession

  • A net 14% of employers are intending to increase their contracting/temporary workforce in Q1 2015, up 3.2pp compared to the pervious quarter, and 9.4pp compared to the same period last year.
  • ICT profession continues to lead the hiring sentiment in the contracting space at a net 23.7% of employers intending to increase headcount. ICT is fast becoming the dominant force behind the contracting market in Australia. We have seen demand for strong project managers increase over the past 18 months as large transformation projects have reached implementation stage, and we don’t see this changing in the New Year.

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About the Hudson Report
The Hudson Report is an established employment trend report, based on in-depth and nationwide research.
Released every quarter, this report highlights key hiring trends gathered from interviews with 3,432 employers in Australia.
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