Hays - Open Season on Talent

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With certain skilled and experienced staff tough to find, many employers are registering open requirements with recruitment agencies and will interview a suitable candidate any time they become available.

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There are countless cases of businesses whose growth plans are very ambitious since the demand for their services has never been stronger

With certain skilled and experienced staff tough to find, many employers are registering open requirements with recruitment agencies and will interview a suitable candidate any time they become available, regardless of current vacancies.

"There are countless cases of businesses whose growth plans are very ambitious since the demand for their services has never been stronger," said Nick Deligiannis, director of Hays. "But finding the staff to facilitate this growth is a different story altogether. While the skills shortage doesn't exist across the whole gamut of professions or levels, there are many hotspots where demand for certain skills simply isn't matched by supply of suitable candidates.

"In these instances, employers have open requirements and will hire a new staff member that matches their specific requirements even if they are not actively recruiting at the time. This enables employers to secure the right staff they need for future growth, and it also allows candidates to access opportunities with the employers that are most suited to their own unique skills and experience."

This trend is focused at present on candidates in the areas of most demand, such as those listed below from the latest Hays Quarterly Forecast. "If candidate availability drops in other areas, the reality is that this trend could spread and employers could register open requirements across the full range of skills they employ," he said.


  • Accountancy - commerce & industry: Big 4 audit candidates, with or without commercial experience, are at the heart of the skills shortage at present. Those candidates with excellent communication and presentation skills are in strong demand for corporate or group financial roles that involve consolidations and international reporting standards. Also required are qualified cost accountants, management accountants and payroll, credit control and accounts receivable candidates.
  • The accounting profession: Accountants with between two to five years experience at the senior and supervisor level are in highest demand, while extreme need also exists for supervisor to director level accountants with equity aspirations, business service managers, tax managers, senior advisors and accountants with two to five years professional practice experience.
  • Accountancy & Finance - Public Sector: Project accountants, auditors, financial accountants, management accountants, systems accountants, finance managers, policy accountants and business analysts are required.
  • Architecture: In an unusual trend for the architectural industry, drafters rather than qualified architects are in most demand at present, while graduate architects with three to four years experience and interior designers are needed.
  • Banking: Retail candidates from customer service to loans processing are hotspots while at the senior level mobile lenders and business development managers are hotspots. Senior origination and business development candidates in corporate and property finance are also required.
  • Construction: Estimators and contract administrators are in highest demand, while design managers, senior top-tier candidates from project manager level down and civil project managers are required.
  • Construction & Property - Public Sector: Fit-out and refurbishment managers at the mid-management level, senior town planners, design engineers, traffic engineers, asphalt workers, road sweepers and maintenance electricians are hotspots.
  • Engineering: Civil engineers, drafters and design drafters, with a particular emphasis on 12D experience, are the major hotspots. Also required are structural engineers and drafters, water infrastructure engineers and drafters, mechanical and electrical design engineers and environmental specialists.
  • Human Resources: Internal recruitment specialists, HR consultants/advisors, remuneration and benefits specialists, learning & development professionals, change management specialists and HR analysts are the HR hotspots.
  • Human Resources - Public Sector: Temporary recruitment administrators and HR specialists with learning and development, workforce planning or change experience.
  • Information Technology: Functional and technical business analysts, software developers with a strong background in both legacy and latest technologies and level 1 and 2 support are needed.
  • Legal: Corporate lawyers, property lawyers and those with taxation, banking or finance law experience are the legal hotspots.
  • Logistics: In most demand are FMCG planners, allocators, inventory controllers, logistics managers and state managers.
  • Manufacturing & Ops: Design engineers with specific software skills in Solidworks and Inventor, production supervisors and managers and project engineers/managers are required.
  • Office Support: Legal secretaries, legal personal assistants, experienced receptionists and high-level executive and personal assistants are the hotspots.
  • Office Support - Public Sector: Executive and personal assistants, administrators with initiative and the ability to work independently and record officers.
  • Procurement: Specialised procurement candidates with engineering, chemicals or manufacturing experience and planning, forecasting and S&OP candidates are procurement hotspots.
  • Sales & Marketing: Professional salespeople, product innovation specialists and marketing and communications specialists are needed.
  • Resources & Mining: Exploration and project geologists, mine development and planning engineers, design and project engineers and estimators are in demand.

One Hotspot Highlighted
"There is a severe lack of professional salespeople. With the general perception from candidates of sales roles remaining low in Australia, many candidates instead seek account management or relationship roles that avoid the requirement to aggressively create new business opportunities and meet KPI's. In fact, so low is the general consideration of sales roles that often roles are advertised without the term 'sales' used. Yet for ambitious and self-motivated candidates, vacancies are plentiful and more lucrative than ever before," Nick said.

Full details of hotspots and market activity are available in the Hays Quarterly Forecast at http://www.hays.com.au/forecast


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Kathryn Crowden
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