Hays Predicts 2017 Recruitment Trends in Australia & New Zealand

Hays Australia have made some predictions as to the main trends for recruitment in 2017. According to their experts this year will see the workforce blend permanent and non-permanent staff, add ‘super temps’ and turn to work-life integration. Counter offers will fail, job seekers will have more salary negotiation leverage, there’ll be more blind recruitment trials and mouldable candidates will be sought.

Here are those predictions in full:

Temporary and contract jobs

• A blended workforce will be the norm: 2016’s rapid rise in the use of temporary and contract assignments will see headcount flexibility become the norm. Employers will factor such assignments into their workforce planning.
• More ‘super temps’: In 2017 the use of ‘super temps’, or highly-skilled professionals who work on assignment in an interim executive or senior role, will become more widespread.
• Public sector to extend assignment life: The public sector’s focus on temporary assignments is well entrenched, but in 2017 employers will extend the life of contracts in skill short areas beyond the usual end of financial year cycle.

Supply/demand ratio

• Shortage of highly-skilled professionals: A shortage of highly-skilled professionals, also known as knowledge workers, will emerge in Queensland and Western Australia, and intensify in New South Wales, Victoria and ACT. These workers possess highly honed skills, extensive experience and technology savvy. An increase in overseas migrants may counter some demand, but not all.
• Employers to adapt expectations: Over recent years employers had a long list of requirements when recruiting. With knowledge workers in demand, hiring managers will become more flexible and move faster through a targeted recruitment process.
• Counter offers won’t impress: The use of counter offers will continue to increase – to little effect – as employers attempt to retain a valued team member. But a pay rise, new job title or additional benefits rarely counter the reasons that led someone to look for, apply, interview then accept a job elsewhere.

Salary and benefits trends

• Leverage for in-demand candidates: A shortage of highly-skilled candidates will provide more negotiating leverage for job seekers, which will add to salary and benefits pressure.
• Millennials to drive flexibility: Millennials’ work-life balance expectations will increase, and active-desking and work from home options will be utilised more often. Those working within a set workplace will expect greater flexibility around their hours.
• Work-life integration not work-life balance: The concept of flexibility will be challenged as the gender diversity debate progresses to question employers’ policies and practices for working fathers and paternity leave. As a result, and with the working week becoming 24/7 in many knowledge-based sectors, the concept of work-life integration rather than work-life balance will come to the fore.

Technology & digital trends

• VR & AR in practice: The hype of virtual and augmented reality tools will be replaced by genuine trials, starting with internal training and recruitment. For example, a virtual reality tour of an organisation’s offices and products or services to show what it’s really like to work there.
• Digital skills gap: The customer experience will be at the forefront of what drives a business, adding to the shortage of digital skills and capability.
• Cyber crime needs new recruits: Organisations are shifting their focus to preventing cyber attacks rather than fighting them off as they occur. In 2017 this will see demand increase for candidates who can manage and assess risk as well as build ways to combat it.

Also watch out for:

• Adaption of traditional leadership hierarchies: Millennials want a supportive boss who is a coach or mentor and offers a close, informal relationship. With millennials now accounting for the highest percentage of the workforce, in 2017 people managers will need to adapt their leadership style accordingly.
• Recruitment outsourcing to increase: Organisations remain risk adverse and will therefore look for further efficiency gains by outsourcing external recruitment processes to agency suppliers.
• Demand for mouldable candidates: Rapid technological advances have changed roles and created completely new jobs. Therefore employers will look for candidates open to learning new skills and train them into a role.
• Apps to engage: Engagement remains a key issue for organisations, so expect more employers to utilise apps to gauge the pulse of their staff on a regular basis as opposed to one annual survey.
• Performance management evolves: The situation will be similar for performance management, with more regular check-ins replacing the annual review, which generally leaves people less motivated than if they didn’t have a review at all.
• ‘Blind’ recruitment: Following early successes (eg Australian Bureau of Statistics) more organisations will embark on blind recruitment trials. This involves removing all personal details, such as name, gender, age and location, from applications.