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Get Ready: Optimistic Australian Businesses Expect to Hire in Q4

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With the Australian economy experiencing what Business Insider calls a ‘supercharged’ period of growth, it’s no surprise that employers have plans to increase their staff levels over the next three months.

In fact, in ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey Australia Q4 2018, 19 percent of the 1500 employers interviewed forecast an increase in staffing levels, with just 4 percent anticipating a decrease. Job gains are expected for organisations of all sizes, but the strongest outlook is for large businesses with over 250 employees, where 33 percent of employers say that they are looking to expand their headcount in the final quarter of this year.

Businesses in Victoria are Most Optimistic

The regional picture outlined in the survey is overwhelmingly positive, with headcount forecasts set to grow in seven of Australia’s eight regions during the forthcoming quarter. Employers in Victoria report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook (NEO) of +17 percent.

Elsewhere, New South Wales and Queensland stand to see steady job gains of +16 percent and +14 percent, respectively. The outlook for Australia Capital Territory stands at a healthy +13 percent and Tasmanian employers are forecasting a respectable +11 percent. We can also expect to see moderate hiring activity in both Southern and Western Australia, (+10 percent and +seven percent, respectively).

It’s only in the Northern Territory that employers anticipate a decline in staffing levels, with the outlook predicted to be -four percent. In all of the other seven regions, hiring prospects have improved when compared with the previous quarter, creating a picture of a healthy recruitment landscape.

The Top Three Sectors for Predicted Growth

Job gains are forecast for multiple industry sectors in the forthcoming quarter, which is undoubtedly great news for recruiters. However, employers in some areas are predicting particularly notable increases in hiring. So, what are they and what does this mean for agencies in these arenas?

Transportation & Utilities: With KPMG describing the Australian utilities sector as “facing an unprecedented period of transformation with more anticipated” and heavy investment in transport infrastructure, it’s no surprise that businesses in the sector are looking to increase their headcount. In fact, employers in this area reported the strongest anticipated hiring, with a healthy NEO of +23 percent.

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate: This broad-spanning sector has not been without its challenges in recent months – including the ongoing Hayne Royal Commission and the housing downturn – but employers are more confident about their businesses’ employment needs than might be expected. In fact, they are reporting stronger hiring plans now compared to this time one year ago, with an anticipated increase of 11 percent.

Mining & Construction: This sector reported a NEO of +21 percent for the last quarter of this year, meaning that agencies operating in the field can anticipate plentiful opportunities. Research from employment site SEEK revealed job advertisements in the sector grew 34 percent year on year, but skills shortages continue to pose a challenge for recruiters, suggesting that a number are looking overseas for talent.

Employers in the other remaining sectors are reporting optimistic hiring intentions, with the outlook for both the Public Administration and Education sectors at +14 percent, the Services sector at +13 percent and the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector at +eight percent.

There’s no question that the forecast is good news for recruitment agencies, which can expect to see increased demand from clients in the final quarter of 2018. However, with this growth in demand comes greater competition for the best talent.

Clients want to know that you  can source the best professionals for them, in an efficient manner that has the candidate experience at the heart of processes. For agencies looking to profit from the ever-expanding opportunities across Australia, now really is the time to ensure candidate engagement strategies and systems are up-to-date and streamlined.


For tips on finding and placing candidates in industrial, manufacturing and skilled trades, check out our blog, Tips to Find and Place Candidates in Industrial, Manufacturing, and Skilled Trades