Australian Recruiters Bullish Despite Fears over Flat Bill Rates, Economic Growth, and Visa Restrictions

18 January 2018, Sydney – Four out of five recruiters believe that agency revenue will increase, and nearly three-quarters believe that hiring needs will increase in 2018, according to a new report from Bullhorn, the cloud computing company that helps staffing and recruiting organisations transform their businesses.

Overall, Australian recruiters are confident about the industry in 2018 as a result of the generally positive hiring outlook. Fifty-five percent of agencies feel more confident about the future than they did at the same time last year. Sixty-three percent expect increases in billable hours and 66 percent expect increases in temporary placements.

Despite their optimism, they also express some concerns about bill rates, economic growth, and visa restrictions.

The majority of Australian agencies (57 percent) anticipate that bill rates and margins will either stay flat or decrease over the coming year, and a large portion (55 percent) rank pricing pressures and margin compressions as major challenges for the year.

Seventy-eight percent worry about Australia’s economic growth rate, and more than half worry about consumer spending (59 percent), inflation (53 percent), and interest rates (53 percent).

While 45 percent of recruiters indicate visa restrictions will have no impact on their businesses, 35 percent did say there could be a negative impact on their operations. Further, more than half of respondents (53 percent) cite restrictive labor policies as a trend to watch.

“Australia’s recruitment firms are optimistic and pragmatic in equal measure,” says Simon Greening, APAC Regional Director at Bullhorn. “They believe firmly that the industry has a bright future – but they’re not going to pretend that economic uncertainty and visa restrictions aren’t going to have an effect. Australia’s recruiters can achieve success in this environment, but not without employing the right tools and techniques.”

Amongst Australian recruiters, the single best method for sourcing candidates is referrals from successful placements, at 25 percent. But that strategy doesn’t work best for most recruiters.  When looking at what Australian recruiters rank in their top three sources, existing candidates from an ATS edges out referrals for the top position, at 63 percent versus 60 percent.

Bullhorn’s report also suggests that recruiters are missing out on opportunities to automate time-consuming, yet critical parts of their daily routines. Of those surveyed, only 17 percent rank automation among their top three priorities for 2018. Forty percent don’t automate during the prospecting or client engagement process and 35 percent don’t automate candidate sourcing, selection, or screening at all.

“Australian recruitment is maturing significantly, but levels of tech adoption remain underwhelming. It’s absolutely imperative that recruiters use every tool at their disposal to get ahead,” comments Greening.

“In a fraught political and economic environment, new opportunities to engage clients and candidates are vital. Technology can help provide these opportunities – either by supporting new innovations in the way recruiters work or by freeing up their time and creating efficiencies. In 2018 and beyond, it’s essential that recruiters take full advantage of them.”

Download Bullhorn’s 2018 Australian Recruitment Trends Report: The Industry’s Outlook for 2018 in full today. The report takes an in-depth look into current trends amongst Australian recruitment agencies and analyses the industry’s outlook for 2018, highlighting revenue forecasts, prevailing business priorities and challenges, and adoption of emerging technologies.


About Bullhorn

Bullhorn is the global leader in CRM and operations software for the recruitment industry. More than 7,000 staffing companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to drive sales, build relationships, and power their recruitment processes from end to end. Headquartered in Boston, with offices around the world, Bullhorn is founder-led and employs more than 650 people globally. To learn more, visit or follow @Bullhorn on Twitter.

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