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12 hot issues for recruitment in 2006

20 December 2005

12 hot issues for recruitment in 2006

Specialist recruiter Hays explores the 12 hot issues expected to impact the recruitment market in 2006:

1. Candidates in demand:
With the recruitment market expected to remain buoyant throughout 2006, skills shortage relief is unlikely to occur. A major component of business success in the future will be the ability to source suitably qualified and experienced staff, particularly in areas where demand is strongest. For details of predicted 2006 ‘hotspots’ of demand, please see the January 2006 Hays Quarterly Forecast at

2. Sector flexibility:
Flexibility surrounding candidate potential is critical to successful employment. Yet employer expectations regarding specific sector experience remain high and this limits the number of potential suitable candidates. A candidate who has the desired “fit”, attributes and skills but lacks experience within a certain sector is still more than capable of fulfilling a job function.

3. Retention:
As the war for talent continues to intensify, retention will become an increasingly important priority for employers. Some employers are already utilising a range of retention strategies, predominantly based around non-financial incentives, but while those strategies differ from business to business, their aim is the same – to combat the increasing skills shortage and ensure future business success.

4. Generation Y:
Generation Y are the young recruits of today who are the future of our skilled candidate base. But this generation differ from the remainder of today’s workforce in many ways. Many of the old rules of recruiting will not work for Generation Y and employers need to understand how to mange, motivate and retain these candidates to compete for them in the future.

5. Recruitment process duration:
Candidates with a strong skills base and experience are employed very quickly. Consequently employers are disappointed when delays in their recruitment process result in losing quality candidates to a company with a more timely recruitment campaign. Employers therefore need to ensure their recruitment process is smooth and timely in order to secure the strongest candidates.

6. Salaries:
While there were individual hotspots, in 2005 the skills shortage predominately had less impact on salaries than in previous cycles and the focus was instead on benefits. However as the supply of skilled and unskilled labour remains limited and the impact of those shortages is more widely felt, pressure on salaries is likely to occur during 2006.

7. Counter offers:
Company knowledge (and a likely higher replacement cost) is an asset employers cannot afford to lose and we therefore expect an increase in counter offers for resigning staff, despite the fact their success is rare. If a counter offer is accepted we still caution concern as the original motivation for looking for another role will remain unless addressed.

8. Flexibility:
A notable number of potential employees prefer or need employment with flexible options to balance work and personal commitments. Consequently, for those jobs where flexible approaches can be incorporated, employers are able to access the widest possible talent pool. Common flexible staffing approaches include the employment of part-time and casual staff, job sharing and flexible working hours.

9. Aging workforce:
There is an ongoing increase in the levels of jobseekers aged over 45. In previous years many of these candidates were absorbed into the temporary recruitment market, however in the permanent market these candidates remain an underutilised resource. Hopefully 2006 will see a reversal of this trend as it currently remains a significant issue in the recruitment landscape.

10. Employment branding:
The pressure is now increasingly on employers and recruiters alike to adjust their approach to potential candidates and be more proactive in their recruitment efforts. This includes re-examining their employment branding which is a critical feature in attracting the right people to an organisation.

11. Off-shoring:
With some major Australian companies looking to offshore large portions of their banking operations, there will be a significant impact on the local market with a reduction in demand for banking operational skills such as transaction processing and call centre functions in particular. This may also impact the opportunities for entry-level banking candidates.

12. Training & development:
In the recruitment market of 2006, not only is attracting, recruiting and retaining the best possible talent for an organisation’s short term needs more important than ever, but far sighted organisations recognise they need to recruit for the future by investing in the training and development of individuals who fit the culture of the company and can develop the skills needed to meet the organisation’s needs in the longer term.

- Ends -

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