HR project consultants, HR advisors, IR and ER specialists top the list of skills in demand in Australia's HR sector in the first quarter of the new financial year, according to Hays.
The Hays Quarterly Report, for the July-September quarter, revealed the following trends:
Learning & Development professionals are a hotspot of demand in response to an increased focus on employee development and retention. HR project consultants are also needed to improve and streamline processes, while upcoming changes in legislation have created increased demand for occupational health and safety professionals. HR candidates with IR backgrounds continue to be sought.
In Perth, there is high demand for HR professionals at all levels, but particularly HR advisors as teams expand to support corporate headcount, as well as IR and ER specialists. Both FIFO (fly in-fly out) and Perth-based candidates are needed due to increased resources projects and expanding teams.
Overcoming skills shortages
Employers are taking several steps to help overcome the above skills shortages. The most common is to improve their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to ensure they attract candidates to their brand.
Employers have also become more flexible in the industry background they will consider.
Hays has also seen employers focus on retention, and offer bi-annual remuneration reviews in order to ensure salaries are in line with market rates.
Others are engaging staff in an initial temporary assignment in order to more thoroughly assess their skills before offering them a permanent role.
The coming quarter
With the arrival of the new financial year, and thus new budgets, Hays expect an active quarter for HR recruitment as new roles are created. There will likely be a focus on both permanent and fixed-term contract roles for projects.
Perth employers are experiencing unprecedented growth, not just within the resources sector but across multiple sectors. Many temporary and fixed-term roles will be offered in the state, although senior HR roles will be permanent.
We are beginning to see an increase in executive level positions in some states within strategic HR as well as for specialist opportunities, specifically surrounding IR/ER.
Some employers still run protracted recruitment processes and as a consequence they are missing out on the top talent to other organisations that more swiftly arrange interviews and give feedback.
Most employers have however improved their work/life balance initiatives in order to attract and retain staff. Bonuses were also seen at the end of the financial year for retention purposes and salaries are increasing.
Employers are seeking the expertise of their recruiter in terms of the best attraction strategies for their positions.
Candidate movement is traditionally higher in a new financial year as those that were passed over for promotion or a bonus seek a new opportunity.
Despite this, employers are still very specific about their criteria and thus we expect a continued shortage of those high calibre candidates.
Source: Capital Management 14th July 2011
Hays has also seen an increase of previously known candidates interested in new opportunities. This has most likely been the result of improved market sentiment, with candidates now more confident to make the move.
Recruiters are moving to permanent or fixed-term contracts, and this is creating a huge shortage of skills for temporary positions