Hiring outlook strong, employer branding crucial

by 10 Jul 2007

With the financial year completed, employers across all industries in Australia are expected to ramp up hiring levels in the coming quarter.

According to Hudson’s latest analysis, employer confidence levels are at record levels, despite the ongoing skills shortage in many areas. The leading industries in terms of employer confidence are professional services – with 55 per cent of organisations planning to increase permanent employment levels in the coming quarter – followed by the construction, property and engineering sectors – where 51 per cent are expecting to increase permanent employee numbers. Rounding out the top three was the telecommunications sector, in which 44 per cent of employers expect to increase the size of their workforces.

While hiring expectations are strong, employers may need to focus on branding to attract staff due to the skills crisis. “This is the sixth consecutive quarterly improvement in employer sentiment across Australia, and it doesn’t look like slowing down. That’s why now, more than ever, employers need to consciously shape, manage and build a strong employment brand,” said Gary Lazzarotto, managing director, HudsonAustralia and New Zealand.

“A strong and well-communicated employment brand can translate into significant competitive advantage, such as attracting good talent, better engagement with current staff and enhanced organisational performance.”

He added that interstate and cross-industry hiring is an increasing trend for employers looking to address the skills shortage. “Another method currently being used by some employers to combat the skills shortage is to raid talent from other sectors and states, which don’t necessarily have the specific experience required,” he said. “For example, employers looking for a marketing professional are increasingly looking to candidates with a banking background or analytical skills, and not necessarily experience in a traditional marketing role.”

Western Australia experienced the strongest level of employer confidence nationally with 52.4 per cent of WA organisations planning to expand their workforces.

Hudson’s analysis said the commodities boom and subsequent major projects in WA were fuelling employment growth in the state. The utilities sector, meanwhile, is increasingly turning to sourcing labour from international markets, a trend also being fuelled by changes to visa rules for skilled trades.

NSW, meanwhile, saw the smallest increase in hiring expectations in the coming quarter, with 33.6 per cent of organisations set to increase employment levels.

In terms of organisation size, medium-sized companies had the biggest increase in confidence on hiring, followed by small organisations (fewer than 20 staff), although there were increases across all organisation sizes.


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