Employers in Australia are being more cautious when it comes to hiring people who have moved around too often according to the latest outlook report from recruitment firm Hays. They are also being very specific with their requirements, being more demanding about core and soft skills and are looking for candidates with a proven and stable background.
Employers are willing to wait to find the exact match and in some industries, such as architecture, for example, employers prefer only local candidates. When it comes to employing overseas workers, the Australian market in industries such as procurement is much more open to considering talent from the UK at present, according to the report.
IT employers are being very selective with their permanent hiring and ensuring that candidates with adequate skills and experience are hired. They would rather not hire and have an empty seat than hire the wrong person, says Hays. The report also says that where employers cannot appoint a permanent candidate, they are increasingly looking at other solutions.
‘We are seeing the increased use of temporary workers in the construction industry. There will also be strong demand for not only permanent teachers but an increase in temporary opportunities,’ the report says. ‘Temporary assignments are also a long term strategy for some employers such as those in the accountancy and finance sector. Also, employers in this space are looking for greater longevity and commitment and in return are offering more training and development opportunities,’ it adds.
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Meanwhile, more IT employers are taking employees on a contract basis in order to get them on board rather than waiting for their own internal process for permanent hires due to the length of the process involved. ‘We are also seeing the increase in temporary hires in the logistics and life sciences industries where there is expected to be a flurry of recruitment due to the launch of new products this year,’ it points out.
In the area of office support the amount of direct permanent placements has been significantly lower during the last quarter in contrast to this time last year and employers are now more than ever opting to ‘try before you buy’ and starting candidates on a temporary basis. ‘In a follow on effect, temporary to permanent placements have been significantly higher. Employers are choosing to do this for a number of reasons not least because of the amount of red tape involved with taking a candidate on in a permanent capacity,’ says the report.
In terms of long term solutions some employers are interested in candidates that can take a step up to fill a role rather than have someone more senior take a step back. ‘Therefore some companies are interested in passive candidates who aren’t necessarily active and on the market. We have also observed that employers providing a range of value add services to candidates are seeing modest growth in their firms through increased client attraction,’ it explains.
In the engineering sector, employers are ensuring they have won enough work and have projects in the pipeline before recruiting. However, businesses have become extremely strategic and prefer to utilise their own staff for internal transfers interstate to fill positions and IT employers are placing high emphasis on industry experience along with technical capability.
‘Employers still seem to prefer to hire candidates on a temporary or contract basis initially and then transfer them to their payroll or make them permanent when they’ve either proven their ability and cultural fit or the organisation is better positioned to offer a permanent placement,’ the report concludes.