Higher education sector at risk of cyber attacks

Higher education sector at risk of cyber attacks

Posted December 4, 2023

Cybersecurity professionals remain in high demand for the higher education sector as the Australian market continues to struggle with talent shortages. In a recent whitepaper Talent has released, the salaries, skills and experience needed to keep the sector safe is severely lacking. Please reach out to us to access the whitepaper.

Following the whitepaper release, industry leaders shared their thoughts at a recent virtual event on what these cyber threats were and explored strategies on how organisations can best protect themselves. Cybersecurity experts Jeff Whitton and Scott Flower joined Steve Tompkins, Talent, Client Relationship Manager to discuss these strategies. Key highlights included:

  • “We can’t leave people behind who can’t afford security. We really need to focus on collaboration.”
  • “We need people who are capable of self-reflection. That are good under pressure, not just people who know how to tick boxes. We need people who can think creatively about what they’re seeing and how to address what they’re seeing.”
  • “Students need to be made aware: if they’re working on sensitive topics, if they’re working on new technology, if they’re working on different areas of innovation, then they are a target, whether they like it or not. Threat actors want to use them as a link in the chain”
  • “AI has enabled more widespread industrialisation of hacking because people can just type in, give me a code to do an SQL injection attack.”
  • “Machines are learning about humans better than humans know about humans. Worrying and interesting at the same time, but that’s the sort of problems that AI is going to give us. They’re going to understand human behaviour. Better than most individuals understand human behaviour and their own behaviour.”

The whitepaper features salaries, skills needed, challenges currently being faced and trends and predictions for tech hiring in higher education in 2023. It also features insights from Talent’s Account Management team.

Key findings include:

  • “Many universities are assessing their enterprise systems including ERP and cloud platforms, student systems, and cybersecurity.” – Majella Sanders
  • “We’ve seen a growing shift in the importance candidates place on a sense of personal value and purpose in their work. The Higher Education industry is one that can provide a real employee community and shared purpose, which will be a big draw card in the coming year.” – Steve Tompkins
  • 91% of surveyed students expect a university’s digital services to be as strong as or stronger than face-to-face offerings. (Great State report)

Talent reaches $1 billion in global revenue for FY23

Talent reaches $1 billion in global revenue for FY23

Posted November 19, 2023

Talent has continued its track record of strong profit growth in the financial year to 30 June 2023. From a modest position in 2018, Talent have grown its revenue 105% from $487m to $1b in the 5-year period to 2023 growing normalised EBITDA fourfold to $27.5m. This success was underpinned by a 14% increase for contracting revenue, on top of its project delivery brand, Avec, growing by 104% year-on-year.

Employee engagement was critical in the five-year journey increasing from 52% in 2018 to a world-class 90% in 2023.  Mark Nielsen, Talent’s Global CEO stated, “Talent’s culture is centred around its #OneTeam mantra underpinned by its core values which are embedded into every area of the business.”  Nielsen further commented, “Talent’s success has been driven by organic investment in its income streams Avec and Solutions which has added real value to the service offerings Talent takes to market.”

Avec has increased its team and will continue to build out its technical expertise through partnering with, and acquiring, suitable deep-tech consulting businesses. Avec expanded its intelligent automation offering in FY23 through the swift employment of the majority of the technology professionals, engagement of customers, and contracting of suppliers from the Reveal Group.

Talent Solutions continued to grow during FY23 with a combination of embedded talent solutions for hyper growth tech scale ups, more traditional RPO solutions for midmarket companies, and MSP for enterprise.

Talent’s charitable foundation, Talent RISE, helps young people facing barriers to employment enter the workforce.  During the year, Talent RISE continued to expand operations with offices in Perth and Auckland. Talent RISE placed 75 young people into meaningful employment in FY23, which can be life changing for those starting their first job.

Mark Nielsen, Talent’s Global CEO, praised the Talent team on delivering these results. “Five years ago, we set out with a big hairy audacious goal of increasing our global revenue to $1 billion and I’m so proud to announce that we have successfully done this. Our team here at Talent is exceptional and this wouldn’t have been possible without their dedication. We have a strong culture here with a world class engagement rate of 90% which goes to show our focus and passion of building a better world of work for all.”    

Talent Global CFO, Megan Woodbury, said, “After being at Talent for just over a year, it’s evident that the passion and commitment from our teams has been a core reason for us to achieve this goal – which is particularly remarkable given the challenging market conditions. We have a culture of open and honest communication and with that, we’ve been aligned globally on what we want to achieve.”

Aligned to Talent’s goal of being a global tech services business, Talent has recently acquired Wellington based recruitment agency, People&Co. This acquisition reinforces Talent’s commitment to the New Zealand market, and supports the expansion of Talent’s core recruitment business, as well as establishing a platform for it to build out its project delivery, automation and data consultancy business, Avec in the New Zealand market.

Businesses continue to struggle to fill cybersecurity roles

Businesses continue to struggle to fill cybersecurity roles

Posted November 16, 2023

Cybersecurity professionals remain in high demand as the Australian market continues to struggle with talent shortages. In a recent whitepaper Talent has released, the salaries, skills and experience needed to keep our businesses safe is severely lacking.

The whitepaper features salaries, skills needed, challenges currently being faced and trends and predictions for key cybersecurity positions in 2023. It also features insights from Talent’s Account Management team, as well as anonymous insights from cybersecurity professionals across ANZ and the US.

Key findings include:

  • There’s significant demand for cybersecurity talent due to recent high-profile cyber incidents
  • There’s a shortage of qualified and/or skilled cybersecurity talent – Research has revealed that 60% of global IT and cybersecurity leaders struggle to hire qualified cybersecurity candidates
  • Seniors and specialists are in high demand – A Head of Digital at a retail client notes that they are seeking to hire “Cyber Architect and Cyber Consultant professionals who possess technical depth and are able to consult and talk business risk to the internal stakeholder. These are quite senior roles which I see are in short supply within the market”.
  • Salary expectations from candidates are high, even if they don’t necessarily have the experience or qualifications to command these higher salaries

Skills in highest demand are:

  • Cloud computing security
  • Offensive security
  • Security operations
  • Artificial intelligence

Predictions for 2024 and beyond:

  • Regulation will increase
  • AI will present new risks
  • Digital fraud will rise
  • Employee training will be a priority

Insights from the anonymous cybersecurity professionals include:

  • “If I’m hiring tomorrow, it’ll be a junior / mid-level person with a couple years of technical experience with the right attitude and mindset. Good generalists are hard to come by.”
  • “Currently I lead a team of level 1 and 2 security analysts and over the past 6-9 months I’ve had to hire. Given what we do, we tend to look for entry to mid-level experience to fill these roles, and cost is a big factor. What I’ve found is that those entering the market with little to no experience (or at least relevant experience) are commanding more in terms of salary. This is putting pressure on the profitability and competitiveness of the services we deliver.”
  • “A great communicator will achieve more than a brilliant tech in some cyber roles.”

Insights from the Talent and Avec team include:

Michael Megally, Avec General Manager, “Cybersecurity can’t all be left up to your IT team. You can build the biggest cyber defence in the background, but your people are your biggest vulnerability. Training your people is the biggest defence you can have for cybersecurity.”

According to our Sydney cybersecurity recruitment expert, Elliott Howard, large consultancy firms and banks rolling out cyber graduate programs to grow internal teams has had a strong impact on salary expectations. “While these programs have had a positive impact in increasing the pool of cyber candidates in the market, they have also resulted in candidates with only a couple years of industry experience asking for very high salaries which does not correlate to their experience. However, strong competition for cyber resources has meant that these less experienced candidates are able to attract the higher salaries and rates, resulting in enterprise sized companies with large cyber teams and strict salary bandings struggling to match these salaries. They have therefore been unable to attract candidates, resulting in vacancies and extended periods of time to recruit.”

Please get in touch if you would like to receive a copy of the report.

Talent wins at the APSCo Awards for Excellence

Talent wins at the APSCo Awards for Excellence

Posted October 31, 2023

Talent has taken out two wins in the 2023 APSCo Awards for Excellence; Best Brand and RPO of the Year.

In the Best Brand category, Talent was recognised by APSCo for excellence in upholding and communicating its brand values; Lead the Way, Strive for Better, Give a Damn; and delivering exceptional experiences for contractors and clients through resources.

In the RPO of the Year category, Talent was recoginsed by APSCo for excellence in promoting and demonstrating a commitment to best practice in the RPO sector. Talent’s outsourced recruitment experts showcased their commitment to designing, building and managing Talent Acquisition functions that differentiate their clients from their competition.

Talent Managing Director, Marketing, Chloe O’Toole, commented on what this award means to the company. “Over the past five years, our brand has undergone a transformative journey, driven by our values: Lead The Way, Strive For Better, and Give A Damn. These values have become much than words on a page. From delivering exceptional experiences to contractors and providing hiring managers with resources for building successful teams, to our work supporting young people who face challenging employment barriers, our values guide everything we do, and we are so proud to have this recognised.”

Tom Mackintosh, Talent Solutions Managing Director, commended the team on their brilliant work. “Our deployed Talent Acquisition partners do the research and put in the work to design, build and manage Talent Acquisition functions that differentiate our clients from their competition. It’s about so much more than outsourcing for us, we become part of their teams and take on their challenges as our own.”

Talent receives official endorsement from Reconciliation Australia for first Reconciliation Action Plan

Talent receives official endorsement from Reconciliation Australia for first Reconciliation Action Plan

Posted August 23, 2023

As an Australian-founded business, Talent’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is an important first step in the reconciliation journey. Talent’s mission is to bring real value to people and organisations by building highly skilled and engaged teams, rethinking technology solutions, and improving lives by creating a strong sense of belonging. To truly impact lives for the better, Talent understands this begins with embracing our responsibility to take positive steps towards reconciliation.

Talent is extremely proud to have their first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. Throughout this plan, and future plans, the business is committed to establishing and maintaining a deeper understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

Whilst Talent acknowledges that are they in the early stages of our reconciliation journey, the business has taken some fundamental steps to initiate the journey, including becoming members of Supply Nation and creating a RAP working group. The role of the Reconciliation Working Group to date has been to formulate, oversee, and review the Reconciliation Action Plan, and on an ongoing basis they will implement and evolve the actions contained in this plan as we progress in the reconciliation journey. The Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group includes representation from across our varied business units, a range of staff levels and geographic locations.

Talent’s RAP artwork was created by Jordan Lovegrove, a talented Ngarrindjeri artist known for his captivating contemporary and abstract art.

Talent Solutions partners with global leader Makosi

Talent Solutions partners with global leader Makosi

Posted June 22, 2023

Talent Solutions, the advisory and embedded talent acquisition line of Talent, has today announced a new partnership with Makosi, the global leader in on-demand audit talent.

The partnership will facilitate in helping clients address the current skills shortage being experienced across Australia and New Zealand in the accounting and assurance industry.

Talent’s General Manager – Solutions, Tom Mackintosh commented as follows, “We are thrilled to work with Makosi to continue to help our clients with creative workforce solutions. The collaboration will help alleviate the current challenges faced by the accounting and auditing industry.”

Founder and CEO at Makosi, Darren Isaacs, explains that accounting firms around the world today are facing many impacting side effects due to the shortage of talent in the audit and accounting industry.

“We all understand there is a real serious problem happening when it comes to resourcing in the accounting industry but getting your hands on great talent is just part of the equation. Making sure the talent is trained and equipped to be a part of your organisation is something that is commonly overlooked but very important as it relates to establishing continuity, improving quality, and keeping cost down.”

“Developing this relationship with the Talent Solutions team is exciting for Makosi as it allows us to complement each other with our services and provide a complete set of services.” Added Isaacs.

Makosi partners with accounting teams around the world to deliver high-quality variable workforce solutions, including audit, assurance, and advisory services. Makosi use leading edge technology to drive efficiency and transparency to hiring, onboarding, and project management.

Talent appoints Global CIO

Talent appoints Global CIO


Talent has today announced Meagan Jeffery will be joining the company as Global Chief Information Officer, effective immediately.

Meagan will work closely with Talent’s Global CEO, Mark Nielsen, and the wider Talent team, focusing on building Talent’s technology function, leveraging enablers such as data and AI and also provide contractors and customer with the highest level of service.

Meagan joins Talent following an extensive career spanning more than 25 years in the technology sector. She has held roles in retail and investment banking, superannuation, insurance broking, energy, utilities, and federal and state government. In recent roles she has advised and supported boards, CIOs and IT executives with strategic planning, digital transitioning, and sourcing of technology services.

Having worked in Australia, South Africa, and the UK (London), Meagan is cross-culturally sensitive and able to provide effective, hands-on leadership and motivation to teams with varied cultures, work ethics and social customs.

Commenting on the appointment, Meagan Jeffery, said “It’s an honour and exciting for me to be joining Talent and an exceptional team. I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this role will bring. It will be our mission to rethink technology and strive for digital transformation to make a real impact to the organisation and our customers. I am also fortunate that with Talent I can continue CIO advisory services and maintain my board career.”

Talent Global CEO, Mark Nielsen, said he is thrilled on having Meagan join team Talent, “As we continue to take Talent to the next level, I am extremely excited to have someone of Meagan’s calibre join our global team. Our goal is to ensure we build out a world-class technology infrastructure that supports the step-change we are going through. Not only will Meagan bring her expertise to the Talent business but to our Avec service line and our customers.”

Talent releases 2023 More Than Money Salary Guide

Talent releases 2023 More Than Money Salary Guide

Posted February 22, 2023

Despite a slowing market, tech and digital salaries are remaining strong with continuous competition within key industries to secure top talent. Today, Talent is pleased to release ‘More Than Money Salary Guide 2023’ featuring key salaries, roles and skills that are in demand for the Australian market. Please find the report HERE.

The report features salaries and contract rates for key tech positions in 2023, market insights from Talent’s Managing Director team and experienced recruiters, as well as hiring trends and predictions for the 15 cities in which Talent operates across ANZ, EMEA and the US.

The report showcases the most in-demand tech skills for 2023 and provides a range of stats on the local tech talent pool, skills trends, stats on the cost of living across multiple cities, and the benefits beyond salary that candidates are looking for.

Key findings include:

  • Tech salaries and contract rates have increased 15-20% on average globally
  • Professionals with security skillsets are in high demand. Security salaries have seen average growth of 20% in the past year
  • Data Analytics, Testing and Cloud Infrastructure roles have had the highest contract rate growth at 15-20% on average since 2022
  • 95% of candidates prefer either a fully remote or hybrid model of working
  • The fastest growing tech skills in 2023 are Cybersecurity, Data Analysis, Microsoft Azure and Python (Programming Language) (source: LinkedIn Talent Insights)

Demand remains high for the following skills:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analysis
  • Python (Programming Language)
  • Help Desk Support
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Industries that are thriving include:

  • Financial Services
  • Mining & Utilities
  • Renewable Energy
  • Hospital & Health Care
  • Government / Public Sector
  • Higher Education

Matthew Munson, Talent Managing Director NSW, shared his predictions for 2023, “The beginning of 2023 is showing a continuation of the trends we saw at the end of 2022. The headwinds caused by rising global inflation, the resulting interest rises and the ongoing impact of the Ukraine war on supply chains continues. What we are seeing is a knock-on effect on organisations hiring confidence, as employers are unsure of how this year will play out and how long the global inflation problem will continue. The result is a market that is similar to the pre-pandemic conditions, with employers either taking a cautious or bullish approach. The more cautious have decreased hiring and in some cases implemented hiring freezes, whereas the more bullish are taking advantage of the market to increase their hiring whilst their competitors hesitate.”

Simon Yeung, Talent Managing Director VIC, said there were significant changes to the national landscape, “There have been a number of significant changes to the national and local economic landscape, particularly in the past six months, which have affected the Victorian tech sector and the IT labour market, however the tech sector nationally remains strong. As 2023 unfolds, we predict a steady and stable balance between market demand and suppl as the economy rides out the last of inflationary forces. We are seeing a rise in businesses requiring their employees to work onsite for minimum 2-3 days, but with candidates still in the driver’s seat, flexibility remains strong on their agenda.”

The global technology market is evolving and growing. As a $5 trillion global industry, it has significant power in both providing opportunity to the workforce as well as rapidly disrupting the international work landscape. Although candidates are proceeding with caution, the tech skills shortage remains, meaning top talent is still in the driver’s seat.

* Figures are based on data provided to Talent from our clients, with additional sources cited.