HR jobs on the rise

HR and recruitment positions advertised on the internet have risen by more than 25 per cent in the past six months, with an increase of 31 per cent alone in February, according to the Olivier Internet Job Index

HR AND RECRUITMENT positions advertised on the internet have risen by more than 25 per cent in the past six months, with an increase of 31 per cent alone in February, according to the Olivier Internet Job Index.

The index, which took in 114,279 jobs in February, is the best since April 2001. It found that jobs advertised across the board rose 25.30 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in February – 33,920 more jobs advertised than in January.

“The most important thing is the overall market is the strongest its been for three years, business confidence is high and there’s more certainty as to the immediate future in economic conditions,” said Robert Olivier, a director of the Olivier Group.

”We’ve seen the positive news from recent business confidence surveys but this is the first proof that hiring intentions are being carried out.”

Olivier said that HR and recruitment had probably suffered over the past few years with perceptions of being a cost centre in tougher business conditions.

“They’re often cut down to the bone in tough times, but when there’s an improved market they start to pick up so it’s probably enjoying a resurgence because of that,” he said.

Another consequence of the upturn in the job market was that employees who had been considering new roles for awhile would start to look elsewhere with the jobseeker’s market.

“Some of the retention figures that have probably been a bit flattering for organisations over the last couple of years will reverse as the job market improves,” Olivier said.

“Retention strategies are going to be put to the test, and some of the strategies that have been successful over past years will probably have to be reviewed as the job market shifts even further.”

Other sectors that experienced a growth in jobs were IT&T (which rose 21.93 per cent in the three months, possibly allaying fears of jobs being exported), banking and financial services, accounting, administration and support, and healthcare.

Over the three peak summer holiday months jobs in hospitality and tourism flattened out to drop a marginal 0.86 per cent. The strong Australian dollar may explain the easing off of inbound hospitality and tourism.

Engineering and mining – another major export sector where revenue is influenced by the Australian dollar held up, due to the more capital intensive nature of the business, Olivier said.

The index also found that after a very flat 2003, graduate ads online are nearly double this time last year, up 83 per cent on 12 months ago.

Olivier said the overall results were good news for the government and the RBA. “It gives them both a comfort zone to work with. It is interesting to contrast the strong Australian job market with the US where employment is President Bush’s archilles heel,” he said.

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