IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Exclusive: What Talent can tell us about the skills shortage
Tue, 28th Mar 2023

Talent is a global technology recruitment specialist that has been operating in the Australian market for the past 27 years. We are specialists in the supply of high-quality IT&T professionals from help desk through to CIO. Our services cover all aspects of permanent and contract recruitment, administration, candidate performance management, candidate care and retention, payroll management, skills training, trend analysis and reporting.

Across Australia, we have branch offices in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Globally, we have offices in New Zealand (Auckland and Wellington), United Kingdom (London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham), North America (New York), Europe (Germany) and Bangalore.

COVID-19 has definitely affected our customers and solutions, depending on which side of the fence you sit. Candidates and employees expect to work in a hybrid model, with many preferring to work 2-3 days from home with the occasional visit to the office. Employers, on the other hand, are now moving back to pre-COVID working conditions, preferring to have people in the office to help combat issues such as people feeling less connected to the organisation, declining company culture, reduced collaboration and general fragmented work practices. It’s now a classic case of two worlds colliding!

We recently published our 2023 Salary Guide. One of the key highlights was that salaries across the board (all skillsets and locations) have increased 15-20% on average.

In addition, 95% of candidates want to work either fully remotely or in a hybrid model, so much so that if either option isn’t offered, then they completely rule out that job opportunity.

We are now seeing the tech sector ‘rightsizing’ after the tech boom over the past 2-3 years. Global players such as Google, Meta, Amazon, Salesforce and Twitter are making tens of thousands of employees redundant, whilst locally large tech employers like Services Australia and Atlassian are doing likewise.

There are numerous skills in demand across APAC, Developers, Business Analysts, and Project Managers and the major growth areas causing the biggest headaches are in data analytics and cybersecurity. Demand also continues to outweigh supply, and this is not just an issue for us in the APAC region – it’s a problem on a global scale.

I’ve come to the conclusion from dealing with businesses day-in and day-out that those companies that have a clearly defined Employee Valuation Proposition (EVP) are lightyears ahead of those that don’t in attracting the best available talent.

If you cannot sell your business to a potential employee, then realistically, what hope do you have of securing them? In addition, if you aren’t offering a hybrid working environment, then you are ruling out the majority of the candidate pool – this is today’s reality.

When it comes to employees jumping to different companies and what their reasoning might be, this is an interesting area, as we are experiencing one of two things. A large portion of candidates are staying put, valuing stability over all else as market conditions change. Yet, on the other hand, there are many savvy employees taking advantage of the skills crisis by chasing the money train and hybrid working conditions.

There are currently no specific roles that are seeing a strong upward momentum. With unemployment at a record low, a relatively buoyant tech market and slow migration, shortages across most industries and skills will remain for the foreseeable future.

When it comes to solving the tech shortage in Australia, we need to sell the tech industry better into schools at an early age, as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different jobs in tech. The old stereotype of IT being solely programming could not be further from the truth. Client-facing roles, roles in digital, marketing, cyber, space, data and more means there is a role suited to everyone, so we need to sell these opportunities and build training programs around this in schools, TAFEs, universities and training companies whilst realising it will be a decade before we see the benefits – but we need to start somewhere and soon.

Artificial intelligence is going to dominate the headlines in 2023 with natural language processing and machine learning advancements. In addition, we will see a huge push towards green technologies as we move away from carbon. The other key area is everything around cybersecurity, with companies firmly focused on risk mitigation strategies, which is either the number one or two discussion points at board level these days.