For those looking at careers Down Under this year, here's what is set to shape the job market:
Recruiters reckon market uncertainty is behind a recent rise in temporary and fixed-term hiring in Australia. Firms are mainly using contracts to replace employees without adding to permanent headcount, says Allira Salem, senior manager, Sydney, West Recruitment. But opportunities occasionally crop up because of new business needs. “As a result of the current economic climate, we are seeing a number of employers streamlining operations,” adds Salem. “This has lead to a significant increase in demand for specialist contractors and interim staff – particularly those with business-intelligence and process-improvement experience.”
While large Australian banks made major redundancies in 2012, expect more of a trickle of layoffs this year. “We are seeing a number of transactional/processing roles being either made redundant or offshored, with businesses focusing on streamlining their finance teams,” says Salem.
Superannuation recruitment should remain robust in comparison with most parts of the financial sector, says Mathew McGilton, director, Kaizen Recruitment. “This is largely driven by continued regulatory change, the need to process and communicate this change, mergers, the continued move to internalise investment teams at larger industry funds, and the continued growth in the self-managed super funds market,” he explains.
Recent and future interest-rate cuts may eventually spur parts of the job market in 2013. “Areas such as residential, business and institutional lending may look at additional hires as funding becomes cheaper and there is a greater demand,” says Sarah Wapling, principal, SFG Recruitment. “And it will only be a matter of time before mindsets of Australians change and they return to equities. This means that there may be some growth in funds management, stockbroking, superannuation and financial planning.”
“A positive signal for a market bounce-back in 2013 can been seen with some of our more recent appointments focusing on experienced commercial/business analysts,” says Salem from West Recruitment. “With these roles focused on in-depth competitor and industry analysis – combined with working closely with sales, production and operations executives – we are seeing firms preparing for a busy 2013 through bolstering their support team with such people.”
Senior professionals are increasingly being asked to diversify their roles. “For example, funds management firms have been hiring ‘hybrid’ business-development managers,” says Wapling from SFG. “These are institutional BDMs who can also move down into mezzanine/wholesale and retail distribution levels. Previously all three areas were quite separate and there would be three types of BDMs to cater for each.”
Experienced candidates in Australia are as cautious about moving jobs as their counterparts else in the world. “They are being very selective about the opportunities they choose to look at,” says Salem. “This market is about companies selling what they have to offer, in career and developmental terms, to the better candidates.”