Getting a snapshot of the current HR climate

by 19 Aug 2008

Q. I am a senior HR manager about to relocate with my partner from Auckland to Brisbane. I have an undergraduate degree in human resources management and more than 10 years experience within three large New Zealand professional services firms. Logically, my work history directs me to a role in the professional services sector, however I am open to roles in other industries and also contract positions. To assist the transition, can you give me a snapshot of the current HR climate and the most effective approach when looking for a senior role?

A. Human resource specialists are in high demand within Australia and while some indicators are suggesting the Australian economy is starting to slow, the demand for HR professionals remains strong. Whether their expertise is in attraction and retention, remuneration and benefits, or learning and development, companies recognise the value that HR specialists add to their business when the HR department is strategically partnered with management and business objectives.

This year has seen the market for HR professionals in Brisbane undergo a fair degree of movement within L&D recruitment and workplace health and safety speciality areas.Brisbane salaries are also now more aligned with other big Australian centres, which is evidence of the importance firms are placing on the HR function.

Contract or short-term roles are an attractive arrangement for employers uncertain about the future economic climate – a few short-term roles could provide a great introductory snapshot into the sector and market.

There are several things you can do to fast track and assist with your job hunt before you even arrive.

Begin relationship building now. Take advantage of business relationships, colleagues and networks. Renewing past acquaintances may uncover opportunities in the hidden job market that even the savviest recruiter didn’t know existed!

Technology should play a significant role in your search. Research employment and company websites to identify opportunities and market trends. The Australian HR Institute website ( will give you both online and face-to-face networking opportunities and educational events in Brisbanewhen you arrive.

Join online business networking sites such as LinkedIn and Linkme. These sites allow you to post your resume, build an online community of new business contacts and source local and international advice.

Choose a recruiter before you arrive in Brisbane. Identify a recruiter that specialises in HR. I recommend finding a recruiter with a focus on the professional services sector. Your recruiter should also provide you with advice on how to prepare your CV in a way that demonstrates understanding of the Brisbane.

Ensure your recruiter understands you, your career aspirations, professional and personal needs, and skill areas you would like to develop further. Ensure they are well aware of your deal breakers, whether they are salary expectations, a desire for good work/life balance or a location close to good schools for children. Your recruiter should identify opportunities, and even potentially line up telephone or videoconference interviews.

Upon your arrival in Brisbane arrange a face-to-face meeting with your recruiter, to touch base, get a progress update on your job search and confirm your availability for face-to-face interviews.

Relocating countries is a big personal and professional transition, so be clear about when you are able to commence work. Starting too soon means you will struggle to settle into both your new country and new job.