The 5 most in-demand tech skills of 2024

The 5 most in-demand tech skills of 2024

Posted February 19, 2024

In a cooling market, one thing has remained hot: demand for candidates with hard-to-find skillsets. If you’re looking to put your best foot forward with employers this year, it may be time to upskill in one of these coveted competencies. Discover the top 5 in-demand tech skills for 2024 below:

1. Cybersecurity

With cyberattacks on the rise, the need for cybersecurity professionals who can shore up company systems is only growing – however, the availability of this talent is scarce. It’s estimated that there is a shortfall of 3.4 million cybersecurity candidates globally. Talent cybersecurity recruitment expert, Elliott Howard notes that “There have been supply and demand issues for cyber resources for a number of years, and the recent high-profile cyber incidents have further exacerbated this. Demand from our clients has definitely increased as they look to build up their existing cyber teams and defences.”

There are currently over two million cyberattacks recorded per year, and by 2025, these attacks are estimated to have a global cost of $10.5 trillion – a significant increase from the $3 trillion reported in 2015. With cyberattacks on the up, companies are recognising that now, more than ever, securing their systems needs to be a top priority. Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung, shares that “with the persistent threat of cyberattacks, businesses will invest heavily in robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard their data, systems, and customer information. This includes advanced threat detection, identity management, encryption technologies, and employee cybersecurity training.” All of this seeing the demand for cyber skillsets grow.

Uncover more about the latest in cybersecurity in our Cybersecurity Hiring Market Snapshot here.

2. Artificial Intelligence

As AI takes off, the need for talent who understand the ins and outs of this cutting-edge tech is higher than ever. Data reveals that the demand for AI skills has increased five-fold since 2015. As companies continue to adopt this technology and cybercriminals increasingly leverage AI tools to develop more sophisticated attacks, demand is only set to increase for those with competencies in machine learning, data science, natural language processing (NLP), and beyond. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2025, 97 million new AI-related roles will be created, however, the supply of talent simply isn’t there yet – in the US and UK, 51% of organisations note that they currently don’t have enough appropriately skilled employees in-house to execute their AI strategy, while 20% of this group expects it will be a challenge to recruit the right talent. Additionally, in Australia alone, it’s estimated that the country will need over 160,000 new AI professionals by 2030 to meet industry needs. Anthony Tockar, Data & AI Practice Lead at Talent’s project delivery company, Avec, notes “the convergence of GenAi and cybersecurity heralds a new era where automated attacks are not just relentless, but cunningly intelligent. As such, AI can craft threats that combine brute force with strategic acumen, demanding a proactive and sophisticated response from our cyber defences”. This response isn’t possible with the right people on board, driving significant demand for AI and cyber professionals.

Check out our More Than Money Salary Guide 2024 for more exclusive hiring market insights.

3. Data Analysis

Data is everything, so it’s no surprise that this makes the list of top skillsets for 2024. As companies increasingly leverage the power of big data to extract valuable insights about their customers alongside intel about business performance, professionals capable of analysing this information are needed more than ever – especially since it’s projected that the number of jobs requiring data science skills will grow by almost 28% by 2026.

According to Talent North America CEO, Colin Etheridge, “Cloud Security and Data Analytics opportunities have seen high demand over the past year, and are two of the most in-demand skills.” Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung, also notes that across 2024 “data-driven decision-making will remain a priority. Companies will invest in advanced analytics tools, big data management, and business intelligence platforms to derive actionable insights and drive strategic initiatives.” All of which meaning that opportunities for those with data skills is only on the up.

Insights from LinkedIn also reveal that the top industries seeking out and employing professionals with data skillsets are Information Technology & Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, and Financial Services. So, if you’re looking to develop your skills in this space, you can have your pick of the bunch when it comes to the sector you’re seeking to work in.

4. Cloud Computing

As companies continue to move their systems to the cloud – think the increased uptake of cloud-based systems in Higher Education to facilitate student management and digitised learning, or large Financial Services players migrating their systems to enhance the digital customer experience – the need for skilled cloud talent is on the up. Talent Sydney recruitment expert, Majella Sanders comments that “Many universities are assessing their enterprise systems including their ERP and cloud platforms, student systems and cybersecurity. As such, there is significant demand for data specialists, ERP specialists cloud platform specialists, and integration and migration specialists”.

Despite companies increasingly migrating their systems to the cloud, there’s a shortage of talent with the right skillsets – a recent survey revealed that globally, 95% of companies are facing a cloud and tech skills gap. 43% of those surveyed also cited that their company has faced challenges in remaining up to date with security and compliance due to the cloud skills shortage. If you possess cloud skills, you will continue be sought after over the next 12 months, particularly as investment in this tech only grows. Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung, foresees that “the migration to cloud-based services and infrastructure will continue to accelerate. Investments will focus on optimising cloud environments, enhancing scalability, and integrating multi-cloud strategies to improve flexibility and performance.”

5. Software Development

As new technologies enter the market, tech professionals skilled in back-end, front-end, and full stack development continue to be needed. In the US alone, it’s anticipated that the employment of software professionals will increase by 25% between 2022 and 2032. According to Talent Sydney recruitment expert, Alan Dowdall, “accomplished mid-level Software Engineering, Cyber, and DevOps professionals are highly sought after”, while Stefanie Mortimer, Talent Auckland recruitment expert observes that in 2024, “we’ve seen more requests for Developers, Testers and Infrastructure specialists.” As industries continue to digitise and increasingly leverage Artificial Intelligence, engage in cloud migration programs, and prioritise the security of their systems, the need for software developers with coding expertise and system know-how to execute the technical aspects of these projects is only set to grow.

So, if you’re looking to get ahead in the hiring market this year, honing your skills across these key areas will hold you in good stead.

Ready for your next opportunity in 2024? Check out our job search for hundreds of roles in tech, transformation and beyond.

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.

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.

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?

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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.

How to get your permanent hiring right

How to get your permanent hiring right

Posted November 19, 2023

In today’s shifting market landscape – where an economic downturn is driving greater hiring caution, yet the competition for top tech talent remains fierce – how are you carving a niche for yourself?

Companies are constantly evolving to improve efficiency and productivity; however, this can’t be done without the right people on board. Permanent employees can help expand business and provide a wealth of benefits, so what can you do to attract the best of the best? Let’s get into it – but first, how can your people help drive success?

They can improve your company culture

Permanent hires play a pivotal role in shaping and strengthening your company culture. Having long-term employees committed to your organisation are proven to strengthen teams, reduce turnover, and add a sense of belonging.

Permanent employees can help bring your culture to life as they learn and grow through your company values and traditions. They also have the opportunity to bring their own thoughts, experiences and perspectives to your teams, fostering a diverse work environment. In a workplace where employees feel valued and respected, they can become advocates, enhancing company culture for the better.

Permanent employees are also more likely to engage in mentorship and knowledge-sharing programs, a medium that can foster more meaningful relationships between employees and improve overall workplace culture.  Through committing to personal and professional development, helping the growth of their colleagues, and perpetuating a culture of continuous learning, they can help create a dynamic work environment that attracts and retains top talent.

Permanent hires are the cornerstone of a thriving company culture. Their commitment, action through values, and knowledge-sharing only expands a business further. Whether you’re a startup, scale-up, or enterprise organisation, don’t forget that company culture can make or break your next hire.

They can develop knowledge that knows no bounds

The longer an employee is with your organisation, the stronger their understanding of your company, and the more technical knowledge they can develop, which all helps to drive business innovation. This can reaffirm existing technologies, enhance productivity, and create new solutions to drive success.

However, it’s not just knowledge picked up on the job that can make your permanent employees one of your biggest assets; offering continuous learning and development opportunities can also enhance business performance.

A 2023 Talent survey of over 500 tech candidates revealed that the opportunity for career progression and development matters to 48% of these professionals when looking for a job. By providing meaningful opportunities for growth, you can cultivate a culture of ongoing self-improvement and development, empowering your people to reach their full potential. By offering training, mentorship, and professional development, you are investing in your permanent employees’ skills and knowledge, ensuring they remain valuable assets as the company evolves.

The more learning potential given to employees, the better the business outcome, and the longer they can positively impact your business strategy. Want to find out how we can help you find the perfect team member to grow with your organisation? Check out our permanent recruitment services.

They can enhance your company niche

Permanent employees can enhance your company niche. The longer employees stay and grow with your business, the more it allows for them to truly understand your organisation and the unique language it speaks, helping you get key projects over the line and deliver results.

Plus, the lengthier the tenure of your perm team members, the stronger the relationship they can build with your customers to deliver long-term business success. Not only does this improve customer satisfaction, but it will also drive results that will bring your business to the next level, even in a market downturn.

Developing a deep expertise of the niche market is another added bonus that tenured employees can bring to the table. Permanent employees have the time and capacity to understand your differentiation against competitors. This allows them to specialise in customer relationships, market trends, and develop ways to continue gaining a competitive advantage.

Ultimately, hiring permanent employees will make you stand out from the competition as your company niche becomes stronger in the market. There are wins all around.

How you can attract and retain top permanent talent

Ready to build high-performing teams to help your business achieve long-term success? Here are our top tips for bringing permanent tech talent on board (and keeping them with you for the long haul):

  • Offer continuous employee growth opportunities
    • Candidates are seeking growth opportunities. So much so that almost 50% of tech professionals cite this as their most important consideration when looking for a job. Provide mentorship and training to your people and they’ll stick by your side for the long run – plus, employees who are happy in the workplace are 13% more productive than those who aren’t, meaning employee satisfaction can directly help your company. Armed with stronger business knowledge, fresh technical skills, and a productive mindset, your permanent employees can take your business to new heights.
  • Provide flexibility
    • If you want top talent on your teams, you need to consider the flexibility you’re offering your people. A 2023 global Talent LinkedIn poll revealed 95% of respondents preferred either a fully remote or hybrid model of working; 37% of 1,500 tech professionals even revealed they would take a 10% pay cut to work remotely.
  • Ensure a smooth onboarding process
    • Retaining top talent is crucial for any company’s success, and a seamless onboarding process is the first step in engaging new hires and setting up high-performing teams. A well-structured onboarding program not only introduces new employees to the company’s culture and values, but also equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their roles. This approach ensures that new hires feel welcomed, supported, and confident from the start, fostering a sense of belonging to your organisation. Once demand increases, your permanent employees will be ready to roll-out high-quality work.
  • Consider your ESG strategy
    • In our Talent Sustainability: Awareness to Action Report, both tech candidates and employers ranked DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion), and staff engagement and retention as their top two business priorities. 59% of candidates also expressed that a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability influences their decision to accept a job offer. Candidates are seeking a sense of inclusion and engagement, as well as a company commitment to sustainability when selecting an employer to work for. Deliver on what your people want in this space, and you’ll be able to attract (and retain) top permanent talent.

Permanent hires can take your business to new heights despite market downturns. Want to build and retain high-performing teams that will improve culture, enhance your company niche, and achieve long-term success? Learn how we can help you with all your permanent hiring needs.

Contractor Feedback Survey Competition Winner

Contractor Feedback Survey Competition Winner

Posted November 1, 2023

At Talent, our vision is to empower people to build a better world of work for all. That means providing the most rewarding and empowering experiences for our contractors.

Through completing a feedback survey on their experience with Talent, contractors had the option to enter the draw to win a prize valued at $100. The winner had a choice between:

  • A Visa gift card
  • A donation to their charity of choice

Congratulations to our winner Peter B.

Cashing in on expertise in financial services: Important skills to look for when hiring tech professionals

Cashing in on expertise in financial services: Important skills to look for when hiring tech professionals

Posted October 30, 2023

We likely don’t need to tell you that the tech hiring market is competitive. But hiring people is one thing; hiring the right people is another — especially when it comes to tech roles.

Here are the top tech skills every applicant should have before you consider them for your financial services team.

What are the right tech skills, anyway?

According to market trends and our experts’ opinions, the top tech skills for 2023 are:

Cybersecurity

The global average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million and up to $9.44 million in the United States. Unfortunately, even as threats become more sophisticated, tech roles get harder to fill. Globally, there’s a cybersecurity workforce gap of 3.4 million people — a number that has more than doubled since 2019. This indicates that the problem is not necessarily with hiring itself, but with finding people who have the appropriate experience and expertise. Unfortunately, this small talent pool means that you’ll be competing with a host of other industries, not just your peers in financial services.

How to hire for this skill: Look for applicants who have a proven track record of securing physical and digital environments similar to yours. Degrees can be a helpful indicator of experience, but base your decision on cybersecurity-adjacent skills, too. Perhaps most importantly, create a competitive, tech-forward environment where top cybersecurity professionals will feel both valued and challenged.

Data Analysis

Data holds a wealth of insights, but only the right tech expert can unlock them. By 2026, the U.S. alone expects a growth rate of about 28% in the number of data science jobs; industries and individual businesses across the world are seeing similar patterns. However, many U.K. organisations in finance and other industries plan to spend no more than £10,000 on recruitment, learning and development for data analysis.

The problem is that most of these jobs are comparatively new, which means finding experienced professionals can be tough.

To further complicate matters, data analytics job seekers in the financial sphere must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of:

  • Metrics used in financial services.
  • Associated processes (such as risk management).
  • Workflows, systems, and software used to gather data and extract actionable insights.

How to hire for this skill: Instead of focusing on experience, look for related skills, programs, and promise. Be willing to develop talent through a more extended pipeline; draw up-and-coming data scientists to the financial field by promising to support their growth, thus encouraging them to apply with you instead of at tech companies or other competitors.

Programming

Python, a high-level programming language, should be at the top of your tech applicants’ skills list.

Unfortunately, only 20% of Gen Z survey respondents felt they had “advanced” digital abilities in coding — which means this is yet another shortage of skills, not necessarily of applicants.

How to hire for this skill: Ask questions to determine how confident an applicant is in their coding and programming literacy; if a gap exists, present your financial services organisation as an opportunity to learn, grow and become better. Offer a tech-forward environment that strengthens existing digital literacy while building new skills.

Cloud Product Expertise

Cloud products such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are quickly becoming mission-critical in the financial services industry. Competition for talent in this area is more noteworthy, with almost one-third of U.K. organisations planning to spend up to or more than £20,000 on recruitment for cloud solutions.

How to hire for this skill: Look for applicants who list these platforms by name or otherwise indicate expertise in managing, utilising, and securing cloud environments. Explain your needs clearly and emphasise how the applicant’s cloud expertise would be put to good use in the financial services industry, presenting both challenges and opportunities to further their career.

How to find candidates that check all your boxes

When faced with a competitive tech hiring environment, financial services companies may feel as though they can’t be picky about skills. As the old saying goes, ‘Beggars can’t be choosers.’

The reality, however, is that tech professionals with the right skills do exist. To find these candidates and make them part of your team, try leveraging the following tips:

#1: Have a compelling employee value proposition (EVP): Remember that you’re competing with organisations from many other industries, not just financial services. Position your EVP to show skilled tech applicants that their careers will go further with you — and that their talents, expertise and experience will be highly valued.

#2: Build a strong employer brand: An employer brand clarifies your mission, personality, and culture. This helps attract applicants who want to put their top tech skills to good use in a company that supports its employees and clients.

#3: Deliver top benefits: Tech workers, especially those with in-demand skills, want growth opportunities, flexibility, supportive company culture and the ongoing chance to develop personally and professionally. Add these to your list of benefits alongside time off, health care or work-from-home options to stand out from the competition.

Build your tech dream team today

Don’t lower your standards to adapt to a competitive hiring environment. Show top tech professionals that you know what you’re looking for and value the key skills they bring to the team. Just be sure to understand your priorities and plan for the future of the financial services industry.

Ready to find the right candidates with the right skills? Learn more about how we can help.

The green skills gap: An introduction to the growing field of green technology

The green skills gap: An introduction to the growing field of green technology

Posted October 24, 2023

What are green skills and how do they fit into the growing green technology landscape? We break down the basics. From solar to smart grids, here’s a quick snapshot of what you need to know about green tech and the growing green jobs market.

Technologies shaping the green energy sector

The green skills shortage is a global phenomenon. The UK currently faces a green energy skill gap of over 200,000 workers — a number that is likely to increase as the UK pursues 100% renewable energy by 2035. Sharing in the goal of 100% renewable energy is New Zealand, an objective set by the current Labour Party. In this pursuit, expertise in various areas is required, including solar power, wind power, energy storage, smart grids and electric vehicles.

Solar power

Solar power — a clean and renewable energy source — has a number of benefits, including its low environmental impact, scalability and potential to provide reliable power even during periods of peak demand. This green technology is enabled by four key professional categories: manufacturing, system design, project development, and installation and maintenance, which collectively support its implementation and ongoing operation. Across all professional categories, 700,000 new solar power jobs were created in 2022 alone. The following skillsets are sought after within each category:

  • Manufacturing: Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operators, Process Control Technicians and Instrumentation & Electronics Technicians.
  • System design: Structural and Power Systems Engineers, Solar Energy Systems Designers and Software Engineers.
  • Project development: Solar Marketing Specialists, Solar Utility Procurement Specialists and Building Inspectors.
  • Installation & maintenance: HVAC technicians, Solar Service Technicians and Solar Installations Contractors.

Wind power

Wind power is actively shaping the green energy sector. To implement and operate wind power energy sources, there is currently a rising demand for those with expertise in data analytics, electrical systems, aerodynamics and simulation, among others. Within the five areas responsible for the operation and maintenance of wind power — engineering, design, construction, operation and maintenance — approximately half a million skilled workers will be needed in construction and maintenance alone by 2026.

Energy storage

Energy storage ensures energy sources are accessible when they are most needed. This is particularly important for renewables like solar and wind, which may not be consistently available.

There are several energy storage technologies, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses: These include batteries, pumped hydro, and compressed air energy storage. Energy storage plays a transformative role in enhancing the reliability and affordability of renewable energy sources while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Energy storage companies are looking for those who are competent in flywheels, pumped hydro, compressed air, and thermal storage, among others. The specific technical competencies required depend on the nature of the role — other relevant energy storage technological skills include software development, data analysis, modelling and simulation.

Smart grids

Smart grids are modern power grids that use digital technology to improve efficiency, reliability, and sustainability. Smart grids make use of various technologies including sensors, communication networks, and advanced control systems. These technologies enable utility companies to monitor and control the grid in real time, resulting in improved efficiency and reliability. Furthermore, smart grids play a vital role in integrating intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, into the existing power infrastructure.

There are various skills that are required of the engineers who work on smart grids: Linux, MATLAB programming, electric utility analysis, GIS, outage management, demand response and infrastructure management. The demand for such skills is projected to increase significantly as the global smart grid market is set to reach USD $207.82 billion by 2030, compared to 2022’s value of USD $50 billion.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

With a projected UK skill shortage reaching the tens of thousands, Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by electricity instead of gasoline or diesel —  considered a clean and efficient way to travel.

EVs have a number of benefits, including their lowered emissions, quiet operation and potential to reduce fuel costs. As technology continues to improve, EVs are becoming more affordable and accessible. In-demand EV-related technological competencies include software engineering, control system development, sensing and actuation technology, and vehicles & systems integration; the demand for these skills — and other associated EV competencies — is projected to grow 230% over the next five years.

A look into global demand

The global demand for workers in the green energy sector is steadily rising, as evidenced by a 29% higher median hiring rate compared to the 2023 workforce average. This trend shows no sign of slowing down – the number of green energy jobs is expected to increase by around 12 million by 2030. As only one in eight workers have the necessary skills to meet the rising green energy demand, employers are needing to ensure they stand out in today’s competitive tech marketplace to attract the best.

Whether you’re working in solar, wind, electric vehicles, or anything in between, at Talent, we bring together experts in tech, transformation and beyond. Learn more about our Green Tech specialisation here and our current job opportunities here.

Mastering the future: In-demand tech skills reshaping the financial services workforce

Mastering the future: In-demand tech skills reshaping the financial services workforce

Posted October 16, 2023

Want to cash in on top tech talent in the financial sector? First things first, you need to understand the technology and skillsets this evolving industry is banking on.

The financial sector is undergoing rapid evolution: Innovative tech is changing the way financial transactions are conducted, and traditional banking models are being disrupted. Several technologies rise above the rest due to their transformative impact on the industry.

We delve into the tech that’s driving the most change amongst the workforce and the market insights you need to get ahead when hiring.

Three emerging technologies shaping the financial sector

Among the emerging technologies within the financial sector are artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud computing and blockchain — each presenting unique opportunities for innovation and transformation in the way financial services are delivered and experienced.

AI and ML

AI and ML are two of the most disruptive technologies in the financial sector, commonly adopted to automate tasks, improve decision-making, and detect fraud, among other functions.

The marketplace for AI and ML skills in the financial sector is highly competitive. Salaries for these tech professionals are rising, and there is a growing demand for these skills in both traditional financial institutions and fintech startups. Granted, there is also a shortage of qualified AI and ML professionals, which is driving up the cost of hiring candidates with these skills.

Talent Wellington Senior Recruitment Consultant, Adeline Le Bris, comments that “AI will fundamentally change the landscape of the Financial Services industry. To enable AI, financial organisations are currently going through significant digital transformation. Some of their key priorities include replacing and modernising their core systems platforms as well as modernising their data. Achieving data maturity will be key to the success of enabling AI.”

Resultantly, it’s expected that the skills landscape and workforce demands will shift, with Adeline observing “some of the skills that are emerging will cover data analytics, data engineering including big data, infrastructure automation, programming, cloud platforms, and security. Specific technologies that are sought after will include Python programming, AWS, and Azure.”

In 2022, while Data Science ranked in the top 5 most in-demand professions in Australia, LinkedIn ranked machine learning engineers as the second most in-demand role in the UK. And looking forward, estimates project that 97 million new AI jobs will be created by 2025. One way that the Australian marketplace is planning to mitigate these demands is through the Government’s investment of AUD $124.1 million, as a part of their Artificial Intelligence Action Plan. Similarly, the UK Government recently announced their plan to invest £54 million into their AI talent pipeline.

As AI and ML technologies continue to evolve, Adeline notes that the demand for professionals skilled in these spaces will continue to grow. What are companies looking for most in tech talent? “Organisations will look for agile and adaptable mindsets, innovators, people who think outside of the box and have an eagerness to keep on learning and developing.”

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows financial institutions to seamlessly scale their operations, improve their security and reduce their costs. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, several of today’s in-demand cloud computing competencies include:

  • Terraform
  • CI/CD
  • Amazon EC2

Other in-demand skills include AWS CloudFormation, Amazon S3, and Azure DevOps services, among others. Given this demand, 46% of employers in an Australian study identified the lack of skilled individuals as the main barrier to cloud migration; an obstacle that is expected to persist due to the projected growth of cloud computing.

In Australia, public cloud spending is set to surge by 83%, reaching AUD $22.4 billion by 2026, up from AUD $12.2 billion in 2022. Similarly, New Zealand is forecasted to experience nearly a twofold increase in public cloud spending, jumping from NZD $2.6 billion to NZD $5.1 billion during the same period. To fuel this growth, there is a focused effort to source and invest in robust cloud infrastructure, develop specialised cloud services and foster a skilled workforce capable of effectively managing and leveraging cloud technologies.

Blockchain

Blockchain is significantly reshaping the way transactions are conducted. This distributed ledger system ensures enhanced security and transparency while also offering cost reduction opportunities.

Some of today’s most in-demand blockchain-related skillets, according to LinkedIn Talent Insights, include smart contracts, Web3, TypeScript, and dApps, among others. The demand for blockchain technology and its skilled professionals is projected to increase, with the worldwide market witnessing significant expansion. In 2022 alone, the market for blockchain technology reached $11.14 billion. Looking ahead, the market value is projected to soar to an estimated value of $469.49 billion.

Understanding the marketplace to source top tech talent

With the rising technological demand, financial institutions need talented professionals capable of navigating the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

At Talent, leading financial companies bank on us to deliver top tech candidates, helping to address today’s skill shortages. Learn more about how we can help you build world-leading banking, financial and insurance teams here.

Here’s how to attract top talent for tech roles

Here’s how to attract top talent for tech roles

Posted October 9, 2023

There’s a battle for tech talent across the globe, and if you’re not winning, you’re losing.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks to kick your recruitment strategy up a notch and help you secure the best of the best. Here’s how to get started.

Ready to attract tech talent? First, know what they want

If you’re hoping to attract potential employees with all the right tech skills, you must turn the traditional talent acquisition process inside out. Think of yourself as the candidate and jobseekers as key decision-makers. What can you offer to them? Why should they choose you over all the other candidates vying for their attention?

Here are a few things they’re looking for:

An effective hiring process

Nobody likes wasted time, but that’s particularly true for a candidate whose skills are in high demand. It’s even more relevant for tech workers, who may assume that your company isn’t savvy enough to put their talent to good use. They won’t wait around while your disjointed processes burn daylight, because that could mean they lose out on other opportunities.

Takeaway: Eliminate unnecessary steps, streamline hiring experiences and optimise decision-making activities. Remember to extend this efficiency through onboarding and training, too — after all, 80% of employees who feel undertrained due to poor onboarding, plan to leave their companies.

Competitive compensation

To attract top talent, you have to pay for top talent. For surveyed employers in March 2023, that meant merit increases of 3.8% and total increases of 4.1%. And with experts predicting a tech talent shortage that could last until 2026, every skilled candidate knows exactly how much they’re worth.

Takeaway: This may not be the time for drawn-out pay negotiations. Be ready to make a competitive offer up front, and don’t be surprised if potential candidates have done their research and come prepared with a counter-offer.

Real flexibility

A global survey found that 80% of employees who work at least partially remotely would recommend the arrangement to others, and about 60% would leave a current role for one that offers remote flexibility. Almost 85% of Australian respondents said they’d be happy with even one day of remote work.

Takeaway: If you can offer any level of flexibility, especially for roles that operate mostly in the digital world, do it. Consider comparing your remote work policies to competitors’ to attract top talent.

A supportive company culture

Your employee value proposition (EVP) must be in line with qualified candidates’ values and priorities. For top tech talent, that often means developing their skills, achieving personal and professional growth, taking ownership of their achievements and being treated fairly.

Takeaway: You can say whatever you want in that interview, but if employee engagement doesn’t really exist, potential candidates will know about it. That’s because nearly 70% use third-party company review sites to research workplace culture. Simply put, it’s important to be walking the walk.

Hiring factors that sink your ship

You know what a future tech employee is looking for — but what will make them turn around and leave? Here are a few things that might dissuade a candidate from applying:

Ambiguity

Our experts recommend writing clear, specific job recommendations, and that’s not just to help you get what you’re looking for. It’s also to avoid the agonies of ambiguity. If a candidate senses a ‘bait and switch,’ they likely won’t proceed with the hiring process — which means you’ve wasted everyone’s time.

Takeaway: This is an early opportunity to show tech talent that you maintain an honest, transparent, respectful company culture. Have others read every job description to ensure your language couldn’t accidentally be misleading.

Unreasonable expectations

Like any potential employee, tech candidates want to join companies where they can thrive. That means they’ll avoid situations that ask them to:

  • Do too much: They’re experts, not miracle-workers. Don’t imply that a tech employee will be asked to do the impossible — such as guaranteeing complete protection from cyberattacks — at any point in their tenure. You also shouldn’t put the weight of your tech talent gap entirely on their shoulders; it’s your responsibility to hire a team to support them, not their responsibility to do the work of 10 other experts.
  • Do too little: If there’s even a chance that a particular job includes low-level tasks as frustrating as troubleshooting network connections, skilled tech workers will likely lose interest. They want to grow their skills and use their talents, not teach your company the basics of tech literacy.

Takeaway: While you may be perfectly clear on your reasonable expectations, that doesn’t mean your whole company is. Ensure that your recruitment marketing and social media outreach teams are clear on exactly what’s required and what shouldn’t be discussed, mentioned, or even implied.

Poor experiences

Bad experiences can be caused by any number of things, but they often have just one outcome: A potential employee heads straight for the door. When competition is so fierce, it may only take a single negative interaction to make potential candidates look elsewhere. For example, U.K. tech workers and similar experts are generally among the happiest in their roles — so if a job-seeker isn’t feeling it, they’ll likely look for better opportunities.

Takeaway: Everything — from email exchanges to onboarding platforms — must be streamlined, optimised and handled with care. Even if you feel that the first few days aren’t a fair representation of what their role will actually be like, candidates look to these early experiences to prove that they’ll be happy in their new company culture.

Where to find top tech talent

You’ve got the dos and don’ts; now it’s time for the whos and wheres.

Entry-level roles

While you may be looking for higher-level positions, it doesn’t hurt to have a few tech employees who want to work their way up the ranks. That way, you’ll have internal experts ready for later.

Tech layoffs

Tech giants are laying off workers in record numbers, but their loss is your gain. Reach out to any prospective employee who may be looking for a steadier position outside the highly variable tech industry.

Employee referral programs

Use an employee referral program to turn current tech workers into recruiters. They know your company culture and team needs, so there’s no one better to recommend talent you may not have been able to reach otherwise.

Change-seekers

With trends like The Great Resignation, we saw a pool of tech workers who wanted to try something new — something more promising, rewarding, and interesting. If you can be all those things, you may have a chance with those experts who are still looking to switch things up.

Win your battles for tech talent

You don’t have to face this tough hiring landscape alone. Our experts know what tech workers are looking for, where to find them and how to attract them to your workforce. Better yet, we know how to outmanoeuvre your competition.

Get started by exploring our tech talent market trends, or get in touch today to learn how we can support you.