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Recruitment market of the future

10 October 2006

Recruitment market of the future

This month Hays across Australasia celebrates 30 years of leading from the front in specialist recruitment. Looking back over the last 30 years, it’s obvious a lot has changed, but what will the recruitment landscape look like in the future?

Here we give our predictions for the recruitment market of the future:

Skills migration:
We expect there to be increased strength and scope of international recruitment organisations and stronger branding overall, as the global candidate pool is accessed and most successful companies facilitate international and national migration of skills. Many international professional bodies are already beginning to recognise qualifications from other countries.

Increasing use of recruiters:
The use of recruitment consultancies will increase as businesses and government organisations who advertise vacancies independently find their strategies are no longer attracting the skills required in the candidate-short market. Consequently there will be a movement away from in-house recruitment teams towards specialist recruitment agencies who have the market reach and specialist expertise needed to attract talent.

Implications for recruitment consultancies:
Skills shortages will change the way recruiters do business, with smaller recruitment companies finding it difficult to source candidates, unless they are in a niche market. There are likely to be fewer recruitment companies in the market but the firms that remain will become larger, acquiring niche agencies in the process.

Increase in temporaries:
The use of temporary staff will increase with the skills shortage as organisations employ a temporary member of staff until a permanent employee can be sourced.

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.

We are beginning to see instances of salaries rising out of proportion to the experience of candidates with skills in demand. This trend is expected to continue as employers compete for necessary skills.

As the market becomes more competitive, employers will use training to not only attract, recruit and retain the best possible talent for an organisation’s short term needs, but far sighted organisations will recognise they need to recruit for the future by investing in the training and development of individuals who fit the culture of their company and can develop the skills needed to meet the organisation’s needs longer term.

Aging workforce:
With a valuable knowledge base, the mature aged worker will become a highly sought after resource. While many members of the current generation of mature-aged workers have indicated they will start seeking part-time work, training and up-skilling of this workforce will help keep them engaged.

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.

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.

Employment branding:
Employment branding is one of the few long-term solutions to the skills shortage. While most employment strategies are short term and reactive, building an employment brand is a longer-term solution designed to provide a steady flow of applicants. It will become critical to successful attraction of skills in the future.

Hays’ website contains a dedicated 30th birthday page at and includes a guestbook where people can share their experiences of the workplace 30 years ago.

Hays is Australasia’s leading specialist recruitment consultancy, with 31 offices strategically placed around Australia and New Zealand. In Australia over 8,000 temporaries are employed every week and permanent jobs are found for over 20,000 people per year.


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