Tech salaries continue to steady out as businesses remain cautious with rising costs of living & inflation

Tech salaries continue to steady out as businesses remain cautious with rising costs of living & inflation

Posted February 13, 2024

The hiring market is experiencing significant change fluctuating between a frenzied candidate-short market and a more cautious employer-driven market according to Talent’s ‘More Than Money Salary Guide 2024’ which was released today. Tech and digital salaries continue to steady out but remain strong for key skillsets such as cybersecurity and AI. The report features key salaries, roles and skills that are in demand for the Australian market. You can find the report here.

The report features salaries and contract rates for key tech positions in 2024, the most in-demand tech skills for 2024, market insights from Talent’s Managing Director team and experienced recruiters, as well as hiring trends and predictions across the regions in which Talent operates across ANZ and the US. Further insights include stats on the local tech talent pool, skills trends, stats on the cost of living across multiple cities, the needs of different generations in the workforce, and the benefits beyond salary that candidates are looking for including observations on the debate around flexible working arrangements.

Key findings include:

  • Salaries have increased by up to 35% across Cybersecurity, Sales & Account Services, Data Analytics, and Development roles since 2023.
  • Contract rates have grown between 10-30% since 2023 for roles in Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Cloud Solutions and Infrastructure.
  • Looking at Talent’s hiring data from October 2022 to October 2023, federal and state government layoffs and hiring freezes across Australia have resulted in a 16% decline in contract hiring in this sector.
  • Large companies have increased their offshoring by an estimated 10-40%.
  • Demand for Project Services talent has decreased as many companies have paused their large-scale projects to save on costs.
  • A Talent poll revealed that work flexibility beats out a competitive salary when it comes to what matters most to candidates when looking for a job – 35% noted flexibility as the most important, followed by 29% citing salary.
  • A Talent poll revealed that 78% of workers value remote work the most when it comes to the flexible work arrangements that best align with their preferences, followed by 16% who value flexible hours, 6% compressed work weeks, and 1% job-sharing arrangements.

Demand remains high for the following skills:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analysis
  • Cloud Computing
  • Software Development

Matthew Munson, Talent Managing Director NSW, weighed in on the flex work debate for 2024, “For technology sales roles, we have seen the market revert to pre-COVID levels in terms of hiring for many go-to-market roles i.e., sales, sales leadership, and for some roles we have seen demand drop well below pre-COVID levels, i.e., customer success, channel/partner and pre-sales. From the job seekers perspective, there is higher demand on wanting more flexibility around working from home and general flexibility – but although this is the case, we are seeing the majority of companies are enforcing a return to the office (3-5 days per week). In a tougher market this may work, but Australia still has a skills shortage, so when the market lifts, we suspect employers that offer less flexibility will suffer.”

Simon Yeung, Talent Managing Director VIC, said there were significant changes to the national landscape, “A significant emphasis will be placed on bolstering network security, cyber resilience, and the safeguarding of cloud-based systems and data. The demand for skilled professionals in cloud computing, data science, and software development is poised to rise as businesses prioritise digital transformation. The persistent trend of remote and hybrid work setups is expected to expand opportunities, attracting talent from diverse geographical locations.”

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. A sense of caution remains prevalent in the hiring market, with a number of job families experiencing slowed demand as a result of company cost cuts. This has seen an increase in layoffs, hiring freezes, and projects placed on pause across the market. However, despite a slow in hiring, there are several jobs where demand and salaries have remained high.

Partnering with SmartRecruiters for Hiring Success

Partnering with SmartRecruiters for Hiring Success

Posted February 11, 2024

Talent Acquisition is a tough gig. In today’s competitive job market, organisations face countless challenges when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent. From navigating complex hiring processes to selecting the right technology solutions, the demands placed on TA professionals are greater than ever before.

That’s why our advisory and embedded talent acquisition arm, Talent Solutions, has partnered with SmartRecruiters. Through this collaboration we can empower organisations to overcome hiring challenges, optimise their people processes and technology, and ultimately achieve superior hiring outcomes.

People, process, tech, and brand

At Talent, we believe in the importance of aligning people, process, technology, and brand to create a seamless and effective talent acquisition strategy. Our friends at SmartRecruiters share this philosophy.

Here’s why these four elements are so crucial when it comes to attracting the best:

  • People: Finding and retaining top talent is about more than just job postings and interviews. It’s about understanding your organization’s culture, values, and goals, and finding candidates who align with them. Without a clear understanding of your people needs, your hiring efforts may fall short.
  • Process: A streamlined hiring process is essential for attracting and engaging top candidates. If your process is cumbersome or inefficient, you risk losing qualified candidates to competitors. By optimizing your hiring process, you can ensure a positive candidate experience and increase your chances of making successful hires.
  • Tech: Technology plays a crucial role in modern talent acquisition, from applicant tracking systems to AI-powered recruitment tools. However, selecting the right technology can be daunting, and implementing it effectively is even more challenging. Without the right tech solutions in place, your hiring efforts may be hampered by inefficiency and inconsistency.
  • Brand: Your employer brand is a powerful tool for attracting top talent. It’s not just about the perks and benefits you offer; it’s about the story you tell and the values you embody as an organization. Without a strong employer brand, you may struggle to differentiate yourself from competitors and attract the best candidates.

A powerful combination

Linking people, process, technology, and brand is essential for effective talent acquisition because it ensures alignment and cohesion across all aspects of the hiring process. When these elements work together seamlessly, organizations can attract, engage, and retain top talent more effectively, ultimately driving business success.

Our partnership with SmartRecruiters means we can help organisations achieve hiring success in more ways than ever before. By combining our expertise in advisory and embedded talent acquisition with SmartRecruiters’ innovative platform, we provide clients with the tools and support they need to build winning talent acquisition strategies. Together, we’re transforming the way organisations transform TA.

Ready to transform your hiring strategy? Contact us today to learn how Talent Solutions and SmartRecruiters can help you achieve hiring success in your business.

Five ways to control contingent workforce costs and save money

Five ways to control contingent workforce costs and save money

Posted January 15, 2024

Amidst an ever-changing world of work, there remains one constant: the contingent workforce continues to grow. Fuelled by businesses requiring agility and individuals demanding flexibility, the proportion of work which is being completed by contingent workers is growing. With it comes growing risk, growing cost and a need to apply responsible financial management practices.

Getting a handle on your company’s contingent workforce is key – not only will it deliver immediate bottom line commercial value by preventing overspending, but it will lead to increased ROI on contingent workforce costs by making sure you’ve got the best workers delivering quality work, and fundamentally make your company far more efficient through improved processes. Here are Cameron Robinson, Talent’s Head of Enterprise Solutions’ top tips on how you can manage your contingent workforce costs and save the big bucks:

Five strategies to responsibly manage contingent workforce costs

1. Ensure the business request matches the business need. Good governance will ensure that the right type of worker is being engaged to do the right type of work in the first place. You could achieve 100% cost savings on a case-by-case basis by preventing inappropriate and inadequate contingent recruitment before it even happens. If this issue exists in your company it might appear in a few different ways:

  • Managers engage contractors because of an inability to fill permanent positions (in this case, focus on solving the root cause)
  • Long-tenured contractors are performing a role that warrants being a permanent position
  • Contingent workers are being moved across the business and performing roles that they are technically overqualified for and therefore are overpaid to do as well
  • Budget holders are paying service providers based on time and materials for work which could be delivered on an outcome-based pricing model instead

2. Pay and bill rate management. Centrally benchmarking worker pay rates and managing adherence to a rate card can generate huge savings, quickly tallying into hundreds of thousands or even millions per year. Robinson notes “As an example, a single manager agreeing to pay $1100 instead of $950 for one Project Manager could needlessly cost your business almost $50,000 per annum. Having a good understanding of each statutory and cost component (like ‘administration fees’) within your total bill rate is another avenue to mitigate financial risk.”

3. Sourcing channel management. The first element of sourcing channel management is making sure that your business has sustainable access to the high quality contingent workers it needs. As the saying goes: “buy cheap, buy twice”. Anyone who has ever spent weeks wondering why agencies on rock-bottom rates aren’t submitting candidates for their vacancy, or had to prematurely exit a cheap but ultimately unsuitable contractor could attest to this sentiment ringing true within the world of contingent recruitment. That said, there is value to be had by leveraging economies of scale to establish competitive, fair, and consistent rates with your supply chain.

Sourcing channel management extends beyond the rates you pay for each source of talent, but also which sources you’re accessing and how often. “At risk of stating the obvious, lower-cost sourcing channels tend to be ones which don’t involve as much external expertise, effort and risk. Establishing a mechanism to tap into your employees’ existing networks or solicit contingent worker referrals are two examples of lower-cost channels which can complement more traditional routes into the candidate market” shares Robinson.

4. Measuring (and improving) value for money. Can you correlate the expense of one contingent worker with their quality of work? What about comparing the workers of one supplier versus another? Or one specific worker with another? Maximising your return on investment starts with being able to accurately measure where you’re spending money on contingent workers and what you’re getting back. According to Robinson, “centralising management of the contingent workforce is a great starting point for building a single source of truth and controlling costs to the extent you’re expected to for other parts of the business.”

5. Streamline processes for operational efficiency. Running decentralised contingent workforce processes can cripple productivity, lead to working capital nightmares, and create a huge hidden financial burden on your company through needless inefficiencies such as:

  • Managers spending too much time on contingent recruitment
  • Accounts payable receiving hundreds or thousands of invoices too many
  • Senior leaders wasting time retrieving data and reports for their own management information needs
  • Interest expenses caused by unpredictable and inconsistent pay and bill cycles

An MSP will combine detailed historical financial reporting, real-time contingent workforce cost forecasts and consolidated invoicing at an agreed frequency and payment terms to immediately deliver newfound visibility and predictability of your working capital requirements.

Plus, on top of solving these issues is the financial gain in productivity of a high-quality contingent workforce that’s ready and available exactly when you need it.

There is a solution to achieve all this (and more)

A contingent workforce (also known as contingent labour) managed service program (MSP) is a proven solution to the common problems faced by senior executives in large organisations.

Organisations who implement a contingent workforce managed service program (MSP) achieve cost savings of up to 20% of their total spend. The savings on offer are just as significant and impactful, even when companies have already taken some action in this arena, such as appointing a preferred supplier panel.

Advancements in our industry mean that MSPs are no longer the domain of giant multi-nationals spending hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars on contractors each. Creative and customer-centric solution design alongside the abundance of new, nimble technology providers means that whether you have 50 contractors or 5,000, or 5 suppliers or 105, the principles of MSP can still deliver significant value. If you’re wondering whether MSP is right for you, it’s best to simply have a chat with us.

Benefits of an MSP are more widespread than just cost savings too

Cost savings are just one of the key reasons Staffing Industry Analysts reports that around 70% of large organisations choose to manage their contingent workforces via an MSP model. Key benefits of implementing an MSP also include:

  • Reduced risk
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Improved visibility and control
  • Increased worker and service quality

Calculate the size of your prize

If you’re keen to understand what the cost savings opportunity within your organisation could look like by implementing a contingent workforce MSP, click here to check out our fast and simple ROI calculator.

Alternatively, get in touch with one of our contingent workforce experts who’ll take you through our preliminary diagnostic tool to provide a more detailed savings breakdown. We can also help transform your contingent workforce from a financial risk to a well-managed and increasingly valuable business asset. Reach out here.

Which industries are most affected by cyberattacks in 2024?

Which industries are most affected by cyberattacks in 2024?

Posted January 12, 2024

Cybersecurity is one of the hottest topics in company board meetings across the globe. From Energy through to Education, no industry is exempt from the discussion – protecting data and systems is crucial across all sectors and companies. We dive into the industries that are facing the highest concentration of cyberattacks, along with their main challenges when it comes to safeguarding their systems and finding top talent to lock things down. Let’s get into it:

Education & Research

With significant digital transformation occurring in the education & research sector, this has made the industry a textbook target for cyber criminals. The increased uptake of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, cloud platforms, and e-learning systems to manage student and faculty data and enhance the student experience, has resulted in a growing need to protect this information… and the numbers paint a concerning picture.

The sector experienced 2507 attacks weekly per institution in 2023, a 15% increase since Q1 2022. As threats only grow in this space, the need for A+ cybersecurity talent will only rise. According to LinkedIn, the higher education sector has seen a 41% increase in employment of professionals skilled in cybersecurity since September 2022 and the research sector an increase of 31%. However, the education industry still isn’t appropriately equipped to handle these threats – out of 17 major industries, education ranks last when it comes to cybersecurity preparedness.

Financial Services

Cyber criminals are attempting to cash in on the wealth of valuable data held by the financial services industry. This is particularly due to the explosion of e-banking and the stores of customer information these companies manage. The global rate of ransomware attacks in the sector sat at 55% in 2022, and increased to 64% in 2023 – a significant jump from the 34% reported in 2021. With cyberattacks affecting financial services companies far and wide, the need to protect systems and customer data is more important than ever – and the sector is banking on having the right talent on their teams to close in on cybercrime.

However, with the financial services industry losing out on candidates to industries that offer more competitive remuneration such as global tech providers or cyber consultancies, securing this talent isn’t easy. Especially when the industry is already experiencing a significant candidate shortage – the finance and insurance industry in the US, for example, saw 168,000 cybersecurity job openings in 2022 with the country only having enough workers to fill 68% of open cybersecurity roles.

Over in APAC, Elliott Howard, Talent Sydney cybersecurity recruitment expert, shares that “while large enterprises such as financial service, telecommunication and consultancy organisations continue to grow their large, in-house cyber teams, we have certainly noticed an ongoing trend of cyber professionals moving from these organisations to join specialised cyber consultancy firms where remuneration is more competitive”.

Energy

With the move to renewables, growth of GreenTech, and increasing digitalisation of the energy sector, it’s no surprise that this industry is an increasing target for cybercrime. In 2022, 10.7% of global cyberattacks were experienced by the energy sector, with a cyber breach in this industry costing on average US$4.45 million in 2023.

Additionally, the International Energy Agency – an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the research and analysis of the global energy industry – has indicated that organisations within the sector struggle to source and retain appropriate cybersecurity professionals to defend their companies against risk. Research by the agency also highlights that cyberattacks are the catalyst for spikes in demand for cybersecurity professionals, indicating a lack of long-term cyber strategy across the sector. However, people power is an issue: the global shortage of security professionals makes sourcing this talent a tricky task.

Manufacturing

With the growth of smart manufacturing and use of cloud technologies to generate efficiencies in the manufacturing process, the industry has experienced a significant share of cyberattacks. The sector recorded a 24.8% share of global attacks in 2022 indicating the need for significant investment in the cybersecurity space to mitigate risk. As a result, it’s projected that cybersecurity investment within the manufacturing sector will reach US$29.85 billion by 2027, with a strong investment needed in security professionals who can assemble strong system defences.

Retail

Cyber criminals are bringing new meaning to the term ‘click and collect’. Between 2021 and 2022, ransomware attacks increased by a significant 75% in the retail industry, emphasising just how much this sector can’t afford to ‘check out’ when it comes to cybercrime. Handling stores of customer data, overseeing Cloud POS systems, and managing the supply chain, retail companies need to be prioritising cybersecurity to protect this endless aisle of sensitive customer and supplier information. However, research has revealed that this is on the backburner for most; only 22% of retail companies are currently training their employees in cybersecurity.

71% of retail IT and business leaders have also noted concern about the size of their digital attack surface. Taking stock of threats in the industry – where credit card skimming and ransomware is rife in this sector – the need for skilled cyber professionals is stronger than ever. Yet, as is clear across all industries, it’s a classic issue of supply and demand – there simply aren’t enough cybersecurity professionals to protect against the growing threats thrown the retail industry’s way.

Healthcare

With a shift to digital and e-health – think telehealth appointments, wearable technology, and electronic health records – the healthcare industry is not immune to the cyberattacks and viruses plaguing industries across the globe.

Research has revealed that in 2022, healthcare organisations experienced 1,426 attacks weekly – a 60% increase since 2021. Q3 of 2022 also saw 1 in 42 healthcare organisations experiencing a ransomware attack. Nathan Crawford-Condie, Client Services Manager at Avec, Talent’s project delivery company, comments that “the number of ransomware threats are growing exponentially, and healthcare is over-represented in breaches, so is highlighted as an easy target for criminals. In a world where the likelihood of being a victim of cybercrime has moved from if to when, healthcare leads the pack.”

Investment in cybersecurity, however, isn’t sufficient to develop a strong defence against attack. A 2022 survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society revealed that US healthcare organisations are spending 6% or less of their IT budget on cybersecurity and that finding the right people to place on the frontline is a tough ask. Sourcing top cybersecurity talent is a challenge due to limited budgets, a lack of qualified candidates, and an inability to offer competitive remuneration.

Government

With the rise of state-sponsored threat actors driven by political, financial, and military aims, Government departments are more alert than ever when it comes to securing their systems and data from attack. Research has highlighted that cyberattacks in this sector increased by 95% in the second half of 2022 compared to the year before. However, the industry is struggling to develop a strong defence without the right people on board. Insights from the US have revealed that there is a shortage of 36,000 public sector cybersecurity jobs across federal, state, and local government. Without qualified candidates protecting against everything from spyware to malware, global governments are at risk of data breaches that could have far-reaching implications.

Are you ready to lock down your systems and are on the search for top cybersecurity talent to help you do this? Working with clients in Government through to banking, we can help you find the right people to keep your systems secure. Learn more here.

How to find tech work

How to find tech work

Posted January 10, 2024

Navigating the world of work can be difficult but there are things you can do to make landing your dream tech role that much easier. Here are our top tips to help you get ahead:

1. Speak to recruiters

According to Talent’s Sydney Practice Manager, Alan Dowdall, “Now is the time to engage with those recruiters you are connected to or who have contacted you in the past 6 months, and to speak to them about the current landscape based on your current skillset”. Recruiters, especially tech-based ones, can be your best asset in landing a tech role. With access to industry insights and knowledge about which companies are hiring, they can help you in securing interviews for roles most suited to your skillset and experience.

If you’re looking for a digital or tech role, check out our Job Search.

2. Get in touch

Former colleagues and managers are great people to turn to when looking for a new role. Check in with them to see where they are working currently. You may find that they are currently hiring, and can help set you up with an interview.

3. Look to the competition

Another great idea is to look to competitors of your current or previous employers. If they are in a position to hire currently, research who you know in these companies and see if they can make an introduction on your behalf. Use your connections to get a foot in the door.

4. Update your resume

Alan recommends scanning your resume thoroughly, “If it’s only been updated sporadically over the past 5 years, maybe it’s time for a rewrite.” Your core skillset should be clear so hiring managers can easily identify what you will bring to the table. However, Alan cautions, “If your resume reads like a job description, it’s time to update it with tangible achievements and details around projects worked on”. You want to showcase how your skills have actually been put to action. Tangible examples are essential.

5. Expand your skillset

Upskilling is the key that opens the door to many more job opportunities. For example, it may be worthwhile to skill up in security as it is related to your role. According to LinkedIn, hiring demand for professionals skilled in cybersecurity is significant, and companies are increasingly hiring for these roles. The more you can offer a company, the more value they will see in hiring you.

6. Set up job alerts

Sign up for job alerts from job boards and LinkedIn. You will be notified when any roles become available and can be the first to jump on them. It also means you can cut your job search time in half, as these alerts will be doing the hard search work for you. To receive notifications that are even more tailored to you, Alan recommends “staying quite close to your core skills” in the roles you apply for, as this will increase your chances of scoring an interview.

7. Refresh your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is essentially your digital resume, so you want to ensure that it is up to date with your key skills, qualifications and experience. Recruiters and hiring managers will be scanning this to determine whether you are the right fit for the position. LinkedIn is also a great networking tool, and is useful in making known to others that you are looking for work. We recommend that you update your profile to ‘Open to Opportunities’ as you want hiring managers and recruiters to easily be able to find your account and consider you for their open roles.

8. Set your pay expectations

In terms of a salary/pay rate in the current market, you should be asking yourself ‘what I am prepared to accept?’ This rate may not be what you got 12 months ago, so you need to be realistic and competitive if you want to increase your chances of securing your next role.

9. Dedicate some hours to job search

Searching for jobs is no easy task, and can take a large toll on you mentally. Alan recommends “setting a certain number of hours aside each day to do your research, sending your resume and conducting follow up calls with recruiters”. Setting this time aside helps you to establish a routine, and the more consistent you are with your efforts, the greater your chances are of landing a role.

10. Don’t be disheartened

With a shifting market and news of layoffs across big tech companies, Alan’s advice is to keep your spirits high, “Don’t get disheartened. There are still a lot of companies hiring and the right opportunity will present itself once you are consistent in your approach”. Stay motivated and persistent – it will pay off.

If you’re currently looking for tech work, check out our Job Search.

Behind the headlines: What’s really happening with flexibility?

Behind the headlines: What’s really happening with flexibility?

Posted January 8, 2024

Ah, flexibility. If we had a dollar for every news article about work-from-home vs. office, we’d have enough money to buy a luxurious floating office in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, where the debate would mysteriously disappear. Alas, the headlines don’t seem to be going anywhere, so we thought we’d collate some findings about what’s really happening in the job market. What does flexibility actually look like? What are hiring managers expecting as we head into 2024? And are candidates having to be, well, flexible, in their desired work arrangements?

Here’s what we found:

Flummoxed by flex

Recent articles about flexible work have reduced the topic to a binary, all-or-nothing debate about the office and work from home. The reality is flexible work is far more nuanced than that.

In fact, flexible work covers remote work, flexible hours, compressed workweeks, job sharing, part-time work, flexible scheduling, annualised hours, zero-hour contracts, hot desking, job redesign, phased retirement, flex places, and much much more. Phew!

According to Talent Sydney Candidate Manager Saqib Zia, flexibility is taking many different forms in newly negotiated roles.

“I’ve worked alongside many organisations that very much value work-life balance and offer it in different ways. For example, accommodating school pick-up and drop-offs, supporting other life commitments, or working irregular office hours. Flexibility may not always equate to work from home days, but instead, can be negotiated and shown through different arrangements.”

Mismatched expectations

So, what are job seekers and hiring managers expecting when it comes to flexibility in 2024? According to a survey of over 1,100 Australian employees, 45% would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for flexible work. There’s no doubt that flexibility remains a critical item on job-seekers’ wish lists.

Talent Adelaide Candidate Manager Taliya Lukeman observes, “When it comes to candidates’ expectations of employers, flexibility with working hours and working from home is still important.”

The same goes for candidates in Queensland, with Talent Brisbane Candidate Manager Steph Rose observing: “Candidates’ main expectations continue to be flexible working arrangements from prospective employers, whether that be part-time, work from home, work your own hours, etc.”

In most cases, employers are happy to accommodate this flexibility.

According to Talent Wellington Senior Consultant Katie Kemp, “While employers are very much still embracing and offering flexible working to help support individuals’ circumstances, we are seeing more employers preferring that team members spend the majority of their time in the office, with 1-2 days from home.”

However, many hiring managers are expecting increased presence in offices.

“Within the past 10 months, I’ve increasingly seen a drastic change between a candidate’s ideology of what ‘flexibility’ is versus what’s currently out on the market. Candidates that are currently employed and experienced tenure during lockdown times, more often than not, expect a role to include 2-3 days WFH flexibility as a given,” says Talent’s Saqib Zia. “We’ve observed businesses go from a minimum 2-3 days in the office to a change of minimum 4 days in the office – and those expectations are set as mandates in many cases. From a business’s perspective, they are paying top dollar for office space, often in multiple geographical locations. Reasons cited by hiring managers for increased presence include re-igniting office culture and justifying spending costs.”

Moving beyond mandates

Amid increasing office mandates, many organisations are finding success in a balanced approach.

According to Talent Solutions Client Delivery Lead Jasmine Alderton, employers who have taken a people-first approach to their working environment are reaping the rewards when it comes to engagement and productivity.

“Giving people the flexibility to work in a preferred environment when required for ‘deep focus’ tasks whilst bringing them together in-office on days where collaboration is needed has boded well,” Alderton says. “There will never be a replacement for the information flow that happens when people are in the same room together, but allowing your people the flexibility to work from home will not only lead to being an outcomes-oriented environment but also give your people the opportunity to look after their well-being and remain competitive in attracting and retaining the talent you need for your business.”

Talent People & Culture lead Georgia Townsend says while it’s natural to want a buzzing office of activity, you can’t mandate a great culture.

“It’s not as simple as flexible working or not flexible working—the debate is constantly evolving far beyond a yes or no question. Like most companies, we have been through a number of phases of trial and error with what flexible working can look like. To find that sweet spot that five years ago seemed impossible. What we’ve found is the best way to get the most out of everyone, driving engagement and keeping our culture alive, is to truly understand what drives our people. What are they really looking for out of flexibility? How can we marry that to business needs to optimise business performance? The magic answer is that not one size fits all. And what works now didn’t work one year ago and may need to be revisited in a year’s time.”

Our advice, as we move into 2024, is to embrace the diversity of flexible work arrangements beyond the work-from-home versus office debate. Candidates, showcase your adaptability to various options like remote work, compressed schedules, and job sharing. Employers, recognise that flexibility extends beyond these binaries and be open to tailoring arrangements based on individual preferences. By fostering a culture that values adaptability, both parties can navigate the evolving landscape of workplace flexibility more effectively.

The power of TA data: A strategic guide for business leaders

The power of TA data: A strategic guide for business leaders

Posted January 4, 2024

In the dynamic landscape of leadership, steering your company towards success takes more than just vision—it demands a deep understanding of the intricacies within your organisation. So, how can you gain a strong grasp on what’s happening within the talent acquisition (TA) function and ultimately ensure you positively shape how the broader business values this critical function?

At Talent, we’ve honed a secret sauce of key metrics designed to empower leaders with the insights needed to keep their finger on the pulse of talent acquisition and, consequently, drive the right hiring outcomes. Here, we focus on one metric that punches above its weight for impact—the ratio between interviews to offer.

The metric that matters: Interviews to offer ratio

Consider this: How many interviews does it take to extend one offer? This seemingly simple metric provides great insight into the quality of candidates in your pipeline, the effectiveness of your assessment methods, and the prowess of your interviewers. If you’re seeing a high volume of interviews relative to offers, you should dig deeper to understand reasons for the low conversion rate, and shed light on potential issues such as lacking interviewer capability, misaligned core role competencies, or deficiencies in candidate assessment.

This ratio is like having a diagnostic tool for your hiring process. If you find there’s a high volume of interviews happening across your departments but offers are scarce, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and investigate. This discrepancy could be indicative of inefficiencies in your process that, if left unaddressed, could impact your ability to attract and secure top-tier talent.

Problem-solving through data analysis: Where are candidates getting stuck?

Picture this: your candidates are progressing smoothly from an initial phone screen with your TA Team to a Hiring Leader interview but encounter roadblocks thereafter. This is a common challenge for many of our clients. One we often set about solving in the early stages of an engagement. The solution lies in using data to problem solve.
What you can do to solve this: enlist your TA team to actively participate in interviews with hiring leaders for roles that have roadblocks. This hands-on approach will provide you with insights into what transpires during interviews and enable your team to identify and solve problems effectively.

As a leader, consider taking a proactive role in this process. Sit in on interviews, observe the dynamics, and engage with your team to understand the root causes of these bottlenecks. It could be that a realignment of the hiring team—comprising the hiring leader, interviewers, and recruiters—is in order. Clarify the expectations and criteria for candidate success, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Define the top five key role competencies and ensure your interview guides actively assess these skills.

Elevating interviewer capability: The human element

Beyond the mechanics of the process, consider the human element in your hiring strategy. Assess the engagement levels of your interviewers—how effectively are they pitching the role and the employee value proposition (EVP)? Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate and ask, “Would I be enticed to join this company based on their interview?” The answer to this question holds significant weight.

Investing in interview training can pay substantial dividends. Ensure your team is equipped not just with technical know-how but also with the art of conveying your company’s culture, values, and opportunities. How engaging are your interviewers? Do they effectively communicate the unique aspects that make your organisation an appealing workplace? Remember, the interview is not just a one-way assessment; it’s also an opportunity to showcase your company and attract top talent.

Beyond ratios: Comprehensive metrics for success

While the interviews-to-offer ratio is a cornerstone metric, it’s essential to cast a wider net when evaluating the health of your talent acquisition function. Consider metrics such as time-to-fill and time-to-hire—understanding the efficiency of your process at each stage. Track the source of your hires to optimise recruitment strategies. Dive into candidate experience feedback to refine your approach and enhance your employer brand.

It’s also a good idea to delve into diversity metrics to ensure an inclusive recruitment strategy, and monitor retention rates to gauge the long-term success of your hires. Assess the cost per hire to optimise your recruitment budget effectively. Finally, measure the quality of your hires by evaluating their performance and impact on the organisation.

Key to success: The strategic imperative of TA data

In a business landscape where talent is the differentiator, harnessing the power of TA data is not just a strategy; it’s imperative for success. These metrics provide you a compass for navigating the complexities of talent acquisition. By understanding and acting upon these insights, you not only optimise your hiring processes but also elevate the value and impact of the TA function within your organisation.

As a leader, your ability to leverage TA data is not just about recruitment; it’s about shaping the trajectory of your business by attracting, retaining, and nurturing the right talent. So, dive into the data, decode the metrics, and let the insights pave the way for a talent strategy that propels your organisation towards enduring success.

Ready to optimise your hiring process and bring the best on board? Learn how we can help.

Employee trends and priorities in 2024

Employee trends and priorities in 2024

Posted

2023 was a tumultuous year across the globe for our economies, employees, and employers alike. Employment trends have come thick and fast throughout 2023 and as we return from our end-of-year breaks refreshed and hopeful in achieving our resolutions for the year ahead, let’s take a look at some of the themes that have filled our feeds and some key considerations for 2024 in the pursuit of skilled talent.

Minimum Mondays

Some suggest this is employees’ response to the Sunday Scaries and a way of easing into the week by focusing on less complex tasks, whilst other suggest it’s a wellbeing technique used by employees to lower stress and reduce pressure.

Quiet Quitting

A report recently published by Gallup suggested that 67 % of ANZ employees were, “quiet quitting”. This doesn’t necessarily mean they intend to quit, but that they felt less engaged or somewhat disconnected to the organisational purpose and overall strategy.

Return to Office Mandates

It started slowly with a few articles about the possibility of returning to the office, then gathered speed, which led to some of Australia’s largest employers mandating a return to the office. Some mandated a percentage of time, others a number of days …. Needless to say, cue the coffee badging – see below…

Coffee Badging

On first glance, this sounded a bit like the old school notion of presenteeism whereby employees showed up regardless because time in office or face time was valued. However, on closer inspection, “Coffee Badging” is a direct response to the more recent RTO (return to office) mandates from some employers, whereby employees come to the office, grab a coffee, make their presence known and then head off to a more suitable working environment for the work they need to do that day – typically, home.

Rage Applying

This trend, like many, sprung up via TikTok in 2023 amongst Gen Z and Millennial employees in response to workplace frustrations – some report being passed over for promotion, some not receiving an expected bonus among other reasons. Whilst it may feel like you’re taking back control at the time, take a moment to consider how this reaction may impact your professional reputation over time and perhaps have an open discussion with your employer to learn more as to the why.

We could keep going but you can see the pattern here, employees are feeling increasingly stressed. Interest rate rises in Australia mean increased financial pressure; we’re seeing varying degrees of employee engagement and working preferences mean employers need to adjust to keep pace with the employee and candidate market.

Candidate and employee priorities this year

Post pandemic we have seen a fundamental shift in our working world, not just because of the need to pivot how and where work was done due to COVID, but our workforce demographics have and will continue to change. By 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of the workforce coupled with 10,000+ baby boomers reaching the age of 65 daily, and potentially moving out of the workforce. Seek’s Laws of Attraction Report highlighted the top priorities for candidates and employees today are:

  • Work-Life Balance,
  • Salary & Compensation,
  • Working Environment, and
  • Management

So, what should leaders and employers be doing right now to ensure they are speaking directly to the needs of both candidates and employees in 2024. Here are some tips as we head into 2024:

Make sure to check in

Check in with your people, in person where possible, but make it meaningful and practice active listening. Perhaps share some of your highlights / lowlights of the year and ask your team member to do the same, chat about holiday plans, what excites you for the year ahead with this team member.

Build a strong EVP

Review your EVP from the perspective of employees and candidates and ask yourself, is it grounded in reality for where your organisation is today? Does your EVP include the critical elements for the talent you want to attract and retain?

Know your audience

With four generations currently in the workforce, try to avoid a “one size fits all” approach to your EVP – because just like dress sizes “one size does not fit all”. Tailor key elements of the offering to your audience.

Promote a work-life balance

Flex your flexible working options at every stage of the employee life cycle. From job advert, to interviews and during regular employee check ins, ensuring your people feel supported as they move through life stages – think 4-day work weeks, flex hours, work from anywhere. Personalisation is critical when it comes to flexibility, so don’t be afraid to ask your people what works for them.

Consider compensation and benefits

Transparency is key. We know it’s not only about the about the salary, so consider benefits such as wellbeing allowance, all leave related allowances including additional purchased leave, salary sacrificing, novated leasing, parental leave. Benefits can significantly increase employee engagement and ease the financial strain for all.

Lead with empathy

Leaders who can lead with empathy will be one of any organisation’s superpowers as we continue to face a constantly changing environment. Employees today place significant importance on the ability to express themselves openly, embracing differences, and sharing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It’s essential leaders have the right training and support to express empathy, foster open communication and demonstrate awareness for employees’ emotional and mental wellbeing.

2024 is set to be another year of volatility and uncertainty, so stay tuned for some of the next workplace shifts set to impact your people in 2024 (gender pay gaps, increased AI in the workplace, skills-based hiring, etc.).

Ready to build world-class teams in 2024? Learn how we can help.

What does Talent’s data tell us about contractor hiring trends?

What does Talent’s data tell us about contractor hiring trends?

Posted

Over the past 12 months, Talent has filled many thousands of roles across different industries, providing us with a valuable window into the professional contract recruitment market.

According to our hiring data, the transportation and logistics industry appears to be the most resilient in the face of the economic woes that have struck many other sectors over the last 12 months. This is based on the comparatively strong contractor hiring that has taken place; with contractor placements in 2023 climbing 2% higher than 2022. The combined energy, resources and utilities industry also remained fairly solid in comparison to others, with only a comparatively small 7% reduction year-on-year. Its likely continued investment in renewables projects and the burgeoning ‘green tech’ revolution sustaining the need for an injection of specialist skills prevented a bigger slide in demand.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, several publicised contractor layoffs and hiring freezes across both federal and state government departments and agencies are reflected – with declines of 16% – but it wasn’t the worst hit sector.

By comparison, financial services and consulting sectors have seen the sharpest declines in their demand for contractors year-on-year – more than 25% in each sector. This is possibly a reflection of the economic markets as well as heightened scrutiny on the use of consulting firms drying up pipelines of work, especially across the public sector. Recruitment demand for permanent consulting industry workers was also down on 2022’s figures.

One metric which has climbed year-on-year is average contractor pay rates. Across the board, rates are up an average of 4.1%. The categories which outperformed the average most noticeably were Administration (up 12.9%), Sales and Account Management (up 8.2%) and IT Support (up 8.1%).

Data, Reporting & Business Intelligence was up 4.7% compared to 2022 and also recorded the second-highest annualised income of $246,073. The highest annualised income was attributed to Cyber Security which, although pay rates stayed flat, still saw averages of $276,236 per annum.

The largest decline in contractor rates was within the broad finance category, which was down 2.2% in 2023 compared to last year.

If you’d like to delve further into your industry’s trends, tackle a critical hiring challenge together or even discuss the role of top contractor talent in your people strategy, please get in touch with our Head of Enterprise Solutions, Cameron Robinson.

Hiring trends and market predictions for 2024

Hiring trends and market predictions for 2024

Posted

The global talent market has never changed this much, this quickly. In 2023, TechCrunch reported over 240,000 jobs were made redundant — that’s up from 164,969 in 2022.

Australia’s tech Startup sector felt the effects of this market the most. According to data from Cut Through Ventures, total funding raised for Australian technology startups in 2023 fell by $4.2 billion compared to the year before and the number of deals struck has declined 42 percent year over year.

This current market has seen companies pull back their focus on growth at all costs to favour profitability or sustainability and need to raise less.

Despite these layoffs and reduced funding, economy-wide demand for tech workers remains high. Earlier this year, Tech Council reported that for every job lost in the tech sector, 20 jobs were created across indirect tech companies.

And while it seems that the market pressures have eased somewhat, this would suggest a turnaround at some point, even if it took a while, giving us a reason to be optimistic.

Taking a look back over the past year’s hiring trends:

  • Year-over-year decline in hiring — the rate of decline is slowing in certain regions and countries, which we can take as a sign of stabilisation.
  • Rebalance in labour markets — meaning employers are hiring, but at a more cautious pace, and employees are staying put for longer.

According to Seek data, job adverts nationwide are down 30 per cent in Nov 2022-Oct 2023 vs Nov 2021-Oct 2022. Which is a far cry from the activity and movement we experienced over the same period Nov 2020-Oct 2021.

For the past number of years, the war for talent has been rife, and while there may be some relief in sight, the challenge of securing exceptional talent remains perpetual for rapidly expanding enterprises. Entrepreneurs consistently cite hiring as a crucial competitive advantage and a significant ongoing challenge, with the difficulty lying not only in attracting personnel but also in retaining them.

As many employers will have experienced an increase in job applications, there are a number of factors that are driving this, particularly population growth. Australia’s population grew by 2.2 per cent to 26.5 million. Pre covid net migration was estimated to be between 150,000-200,000 per year — that number is estimated to have increased to 500,000-600,000 on average for the past 2 years, a catch-up effect after closed international borders.

Predictions for 2024

AI and AI regulation

The continued integration of technology and automation may lead to job displacement in certain industries. However, it could also create new opportunities for jobs related to artificial intelligence, data analysis, cybersecurity, and other tech-related fields.

Data Privacy overhaul

There will be developments in response to growing concerns about the protection of personal information and the increasing role of technology in our lives.

Deep Science

There is a powerful push for Australia to take on greater risk in the development and commercialisation of emerging technologies, particularly in the fields of quantum computing, renewable energy and biotechnology. As an increasingly vocal Australian tech lobby pushes government to invest more in world-changing technologies in high demand.

Australia will lead the green tech revolution — across the entire supply chain

Critical minerals are fundamental to the world’s clean energy transition. They are vital for electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, electrolysers, fuel cells and rechargeable batteries. Global demand for critical minerals is forecast to grow by roughly a third each year into the future. And this has naturally put Australia in an important, pivotal position. Australia’s critical minerals can be found in a broad range of electronics, our solar technologies are powering cities, and our sustainable farming practices are transforming food production. According to a report led by EY, Australia ranks number 6 globally on the renewable energy attractiveness index.

Additionally, a mutual agreement signed in 2023— called the US-Australia Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact, aims to coordinate investment and collaboration in the development of the critical mineral and clean energy industries. The deal means Australian companies can supply critical minerals and renewable energy to the US and be treated as a domestic supplier, with benefits for a range of tech sectors beyond renewables, including semiconductor and microchip makers.

Healthcare and Biotechnology

The healthcare industry is expected to continue growing, driven by an aging population and advancements in medical technology. Jobs in healthcare, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals may experience sustained demand.

Ready to supercharge your talent team and bring the best candidates on board in 2024? We can help. Learn more here.