Recruitment in a tight market

Recruitment in a tight market

Local insight

During the last calendar quarter, I wrote an article for ARN (July 16, 2008) regarding recruiting staff from partners, alternative solutions and asked what retention plans need to be in place in order to maintain your employees. Now as we come to year-end and in the current economic climate, it feels like everything has changed – or has it?

The unemployment rate for October rose from 4.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent and according to a recent Manpower report, we can expect it will rise to 4.8 per cent during 2009. This means another 60,000 employees may lose their jobs in the short term. In addition to these potential job losses, Australia has up to 327,000 people who are looking to retire in the next 12 months, assuming their Super funds are strong enough.

Just doing the maths around these figures, we can assume that Australia will continue to be in a skills-short position with a lack of quality candidates in many sectors of our economy. Knowing that your trained and skilled professionals are going to be in demand, it is imperative that you put in place a staff retention plan and have a visible focus on career development.

A positive move in today’s employment market is an increase in graduate recruitment. In discussions with our clients who are looking to expand their workforce, we have found this to be a serious and rewarding return for their business. The advantage for many graduates seeking a sales career is that despite the gloomy economy, base salaries are still relatively high and sales targets are more cautious.

Graduate recruitment in 2008 has been highly competitive, with more than half this year’s graduates receiving more than one job offer. Many received three or more. Graduates offer a lower cost alternative to an experienced hire and they are not salary driven, but are looking for opportunity and experience, which is a solid investment for any business.

The recruitment industry itself has had to adapt to the current economic climate. We believe that over the course of the next 12 months, we will see a decrease in the numbers of recruitment consultants as well as potentially some agencies closing down.

With this in mind, we believe it will be more cost-effective to work with one or two recruitment companies for specific recruitment needs. We are still in a skills short marketplace and the Australian market itself is not huge, meaning most recruitment companies probably share the same candidate pool.

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