Australia’s top talent trends for 2014

by 08 Jan 2014
Australia’s 2014 recruitment landscape will be shaped by 10 key talent trends including skill shortages, the need for candidates with hybrid skills and a focus on retention, according to recruitment specialist company Hays.

Hays Managing Director in Australia and New Zealand, Nick Deligiannis, stated that towards the end of 2013 business confidence started to rise and it was anticipated that would feed through into the labour market in the first few months of 2014.

“Australia’s economy is maintaining momentum and consumer confidence is strong heading into 2014. Consumer sentiment is being buoyed by low interest rates, rising house and share prices, and relatively stable unemployment. The Australian economy is expected to grow by 2.8 per cent in 2014, at a slightly faster rate than in 2013,” he said.
“This will lead to increasing staff turnover as candidates become more confident to explore their options. Many employers also tell us they are looking to secure candidates who can start early in the new calendar year.”
 According to Hays, a big area of growth for this year will be crossover roles.

“As the technology, marketing and finance worlds merge it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, with multilevel knowledge,” Deligiannis explained.

“Also the ability to harness the whole notion of social media will be important, to the point where it is not an add-on but is seamlessly incorporated into the main game.”

Hays’ 10 talent trends for 2014:

1. Big Data dilemma: This year will see increased demand for IT Project Managers and Business Analysts who are involved in data manipulation projects according to Hays.

“‘Data Scientists’ will also be in increasing demand; the Harvard Business Review named the role ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ since these professionals can recognise patterns in data from multiple sources and then make observations and predictions, which is crucial to business success.” Walker added.

2. Mobile App Development: The rise of tablet-based applications is driving demand for strong JavaScript Developers, particularly those with HTML5 and CSS3 skills for web development. However, with few candidates having this complete skill a skills shortage will become a pressing concern this year according to Hays.

3. Technology’s integration: As technology and marketing, and technology and finance functions merge it has created a need for people who can move across sectors with multilevel knowledge. Therefore, Hays predicts this year will see technology departments merge with both marketing and finance and as a result, marketing and finance professionals will need to enhance their technology skills to remain competitive in the jobs market.

4. Skills shortage catch-22: According to Hays companies should expect high-level skilled professionals in specific sectors to be in short supply, particularly in technical areas such as IT, construction and engineering.

5. Financial services in force: “The banking jobs market is showing positive signs of growth with jobs registered at the strongest levels in over 24 months. The insurance sector is very busy in the areas of transactional claims and underwriting as the big banks continue their expansion into the insurance market,” Deligiannis stated. “Financial planning is on track to be stronger in the New Year as firms better understand and implement FOFA changes, and we are seeing strong demand for experienced candidates in the lending market. Senior Finance professionals are also in strong demand.”

6. Trades & labour wanted: According to Hays the mining industry will stabilise and productivity will increase, and while the big mining companies will continue to cut costs there will be opportunities for skilled tradespeople and engineers in 2014. Demand will also rise for quality trades and labour staff in the construction industry, since the property market is buoyant with house renovations and new house builds.

7. Resourcing digital and social strategies: With confidence returning to the jobs market, the candidate is again ‘king’ however most organisations are yet to embrace social media effectively when it comes to recruitment according to Hays.

“The expectation is that a presence and activity such as posting a job is enough, but the commitment and resources that are really needed to build effective relationships is vastly underestimated by most. Without that commitment it is very difficult to attract and engage with the right talent at the right time,” Walker said.

8. Staff retention: Hays expects that as employees become more confident and start to explore their options in the jobs market, employers will need to turn their focus back to retention.

9. Aptitude for learning: Globalisation, the shift towards a knowledge economy and the sheer pace of technological change are creating a need for employees who can learn and respond to both their employer’s and the market’s changing demands. With this in mind, candidates should not only meet the required technical and soft skills for a role, but also possess an aptitude and desire for learning according to Hays.

10. Borderless: With a global economy the world is becoming borderless and according to Hays as a result in order to achieve career development people are willing to change countries more readily. Therefore the ability to speak another language will become an increasingly important business skill.


  • by Thomas 29/01/2014 8:16:40 AM

    Definitely agree. Point for below after the line is thanks to the weaknesses; the governments have been selling Australia out. Who owns Australia’s top brands? Foreigners. Who owns Australian properties and lands? Foreigners. Australian innovation as mentioned below isn’t much even compared to emerging countries-1 of the reasons why automotive manufacturing got busted and others are somehow surviving. And even ones that are good at innovation or ICT are leaving the country for USA due to not being encouraged for funding. Technical skills even amongst management are way behind the rest of the world as shown under the articles mentioned below (And these articles are hyper-linked under the blog given below the articles). Education low amongst locals – again mentioned below. Australia is being SOLD for free sadly.

    In 10 years’ time, most jobs that exist today won’t exist due to the shifts in technologies. Technology and innovation are more important than relationship building though latter’s also needed. This has been going on for centuries. Taking self service revolution, that has been going on for a century at least via ATMs, retail sector, kiosks and so on even at airports, etc. Chef robots another example-already exists in China, Japan, etc. US manufacturing fell apart 30 years back but rose 10 years later and 1 of those firms is Intel-can be seen under ‘Made in USA’ under America Revealed under (there under Youtube). So, if need to survive, need to change and that includes businesses training people who have the skills within the country instead of all being outsourced (there are new migrants and migrants of the past who have the initial skills and/or qualifications, etc). All these mentioned below. US, India, Canada, UK, China, etc train their people including graduates and if they’re good, recruit them as well – technical and other areas (like,NIIT,etc). Australia not much.


    Sorry this is very long though previous message above the line is the point for this message. Currently, Australian businesses whether small or big lack technical and innovative skills and that includes the automotive manufacturing that has been busted and other sectors that are just surviving. It’s easier to get in IT graduates or ones with business and IT backgrounds (qualifications, skills and experience) and train them like the rest of the world for those jobs (Easier for IT people to learn business skills or get business qualifications rather than the other way round). US, Canada, UK, China, India, etc does that but no Australia still thinks relationship building is most important (SEEK, MyCareer, CareerOne and other Australian job sites would show that). Backward and 30 years behind as innovative approach took over from relationship approach then which was started by P&G, IBM, etc and which now continues due to Google, FB, Tesla, etc. That’s why the world’s leading firms have innovation and technology, as those 2 are most important even though relationship building is also there.

    Reality of Australian marketers/marketing, logistics and supply chain and other areas too:
    Australia is a country that has lost out in many areas and will continue to do so due to 3 main reasons-innovation, technical skills and education (all way behind). Retail and manufacturing aren’t the only industries that have faced challenges due to these 3 reasons; other sectors too. Add the niche strategy that Australia has used for decades via agriculture, mining, etc and that would be the 4th failure-putting all its eggs into 1 basket for decades instead of using the diversification strategy.

    Let’s start with the tertiary education sector which few years back was Australia’s 3rd largest export sector (now 4th). How does it survive? Foreign students especially from China and India though lately South Americans, North Americans and Europeans too. How many Australians have a university qualification? Australia population represents 0.3% of the world population and just 25% of that have a university qualification. How many have a Masters qualification? Not many. Some to most firms in Australia consider Masters overqualified. Well, sad news for 90 to 99% of the businesses in Australia that represent small to medium sized ones – rest of the world have people who have either 2 Master qualifications or PhDs and professional certifications. Unless, good at entrepreneurship, not needed to study. Sadly, for Australia, that has gone behind especially when it’s niche strategy also got busted because Australia has been behind with innovations and technologies since World War 2. Also, how many foreign exchange students from Australia land in Asia? Not many compared to ones from US, Canada, UK, etc. So, those countries are learning about Asian cultures where as most Australian foreign students land in US, UK, etc (psychically close countries instead of the psychically distant countries as well). US, UK universities are still the best in the world and most are cheaper than the Australian ones nowadays as Australia’s become expensive for that so the universities that are on the same level as Australia are now the challengers. Which are those countries? Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, China (mainland and HK), etc. Addition to those, there are the blended learning (online) and MOOCs that are challenging the educational landscape, starting from primary education right unto tertiary one.

    Where is Australia for innovations and technologies? The country doesn’t encourage much of both including funding which is the reason why Australian startups end up in USA. Australia gets 75% of its GDP through services as it’s a developed nation though it has come out with some innovations but not that many compared to the rest of the world even with the basic innovations. Others have gone for coopetition like Apple, Samsung, Google,etc;Netflix and Amazon;Tesla and various automobile firms and so many others where rivals don’t just work together but innovate as well. Australia has zilch there. Then there is the blue ocean strategy as well where not only low cost innovations occur but a whole new market segment comes up. Rest of the world so many while Australia hardly any. Even New Zealand is above Australia when it comes to innovation (Global Innovation Index else can read it from Startup Smart article).

    Taking marketing technology/digital marketing as the industry, here is the reality of Australian marketers/marketing – some weaknesses including reasons why Australia has failed (they’re all genuine articles that have come up in the last few weeks to couple of months-these are the titles of those articles):
    1) Marketer study warns of skills shortages in digital marketing in Australia
    2) Two-thirds of Aus marketers ‘aren’t effective at digital’
    3) Aussie brands failing to embrace digital real-time customer service
    4) Lack of skills a threat to projects
    5) Is Australia That Far Behind in the Digital Market?
    6) Big data policies lacking in Australian and New Zealand organisations: survey
    7) Australian firms lagging behind
    8 ) Australian retailers are digital-relationship laggards: Capgemini & Sydney University study reveals
    9) Australian SMEs not meeting consumers on social media: statistics from Yellow Pages report
    10) PayPal: Only 14 Percent of Australian SMEs Are Taking Advantage of Online
    11) Latest ABS statistics: many Australian businesses still not engaging online
    12) Australian businesses struggling with cross-channel marketing
    13) Australian manufacturers are failing to invest in productivity raising IT: study
    14) Average of 44 small businesses closing their doors each day, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data
    15) Experts say Australian business being left behind
    16) Small Business Left Behind As Australian Business Confidence Lifts: NAB
    17) Australian small businesses are late to the online marketing party
    18) Too little, too late: Is Australia losing the online retail game?

    Some of the reasons for the above could be seen from the following articles with titles:
    1) Can Australia’s education system meet demand for digital marketers? (Even top universities of Australia are way behind compared to counterparts from US, UK, Canada, etc where students can take subjects from different schools like Arts, Engineering, Business, etc. Additionally, some Australian universities still teach traditional subjects at universities [The two university comparison examples can be University of Sydney via Commerce degree and WUSTL of US both via Marketing major]).
    2) Aussie women lag behind men in numeracy skills
    3) Aussies spend big on technology, but don’t know how to use it
    4) Small Business Nation 2013 – Around 90 to 99% of the businesses in Australia are small to medium sized ones though most are neither innovative nor have much of technology (not tech savvy)
    5) Australia is Well Behind Other OECD Countries in Pre-School Education
    6) University rankings show Asian rise and Australian slip
    7) Australian students slipping behind in maths, reading: OECD report
    8 ) If Australia Could Get Over Its ‘Fear of Failure’ Tech Startup Firms Could Contribute $109B to Economy by 2033, Create 540,000 New Jobs – Google Study
    9) Australia is no innovation leader: GE (connected to Australia lifts ranking in Global Innovation Index, but still lags behind New Zealand)
    10) Australia at risk of squandering expat expertise as brain drain hits reverse
    11) Is Australia Less Tech-Savvy than We Thought?

    (More of the marketing weaknesses in last 1 year and a bit on the logistics and supply chain in relation to Australia can be found under WITH THE REFERENCE SOURCES HYPERLINKED FOR EACH OF THE ABOVE ARTICLES. It also has the components or landscapes of Marketing Technology and Digital Marketing). As mentioned under that, Brand valuation could be seen via BrandZ of WPP as well as Interbrand of Omnicom and that is part of Brand Finance. The top brand from Australia would be Woolworths ranked in the 100s way behind the ones from US, UK, Canada, India, China, etc. Woolworths and Coles duopoly in the supermarket sector though IGA, Aldi and Costco are 3 other players there ( Zara as well as others are knocking DJ and Myer ( ). All of them have failed with innovation and technology (just like most Australian industrial sector) which can be seen under .

    US at least did something with 3D and 4D printing-part of disruptive innovation that could challenge emerging and developing nations;what has Australia come out with.US manufacturing also fell into recession 30 years back but came out 10 years later with innovation-Intel is 1 proof of that and that video is ‘Made in USA’ under America Revealed under Innovation took over 30 years back from customer centric approach started by P&G,IBM,etc that went on to Google,FB,etc and that’s world’s top firms and ones that survive depend on innovation and technologies. Also, if going to say robotics, well most jobs that exist today won’t exist in 10 years time thanks to technologies-need to adapt and change. China, Japan, etc have robot chefs. Self service revolution has existed for more than a century-ATMs, kiosks at airports, etc as well as retail sector are proof of that. 3D and 4D printing also there. Blended learning that has gone online as well as MOOCs which includes Coursera and Udacity are changing educational landscape from primary to tertiary education [US,UK and Australian top unis have their courses there and it can be done for free without certificates but if want certificates, they are cheaper than traditional education though not all courses are under the MOOCs]. There are more including hybrid trade shows. DVD rentals are backward technologies that rest of the world came up with a decade or 2 ago as there are Netflix, Hulu,etc.

    Australia’s way behind in technology and innovations-both marketing and supply chain + also transportation as it’s just got on to mobile payments which rest of the developed world have been on for about a decade-some of the emerging nations have been on it for 5 to 10 years also.

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