Australia’s top talent trends for 2014

Skills shortages, multilevel knowledge, big data and staff retention are being touted as talent trends in the employment market for the year ahead.

Australia’s top talent trends for 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.

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