How The Job Market Looks Right Now

Light at the end of the tunnel, how the job market is fairing in 2020.

Employers showing glimpses of hope.

After the initial shock, employers (mainly banks and ASX listed companies) are starting to explore the job market again.

Initially many clients of ours had communicated a hold on all new hires until the end of the financial year at least, but some of our larger partners are lifting this freeze already.

The big players have finalised remote working procedures and implemented virtual onboarding processes and are looking at new and innovative ways of servicing their customers during these uncertain times.

We’ve seen a hard shift in the types of roles offered, with demand for security-based tech skills skyrocketing as infrastructure and security projects have been prioritised. Unfortunately, this has come at the expense of previously planned projects across areas such as HR.

We’re confident many of these projects will be re-visited later in the year, but we feel many are likely to be put on hold until the foreseeable future.

Top talent is never available for long

While smaller businesses are struggling right now, some astute employers have used this shock to the market to snap up top talent. A small number of start-ups and small to medium-sized tech businesses have bucked the trend and have gone hard after skilled workers.

It’s unlikely we’ll see so many tier 1 candidates simultaneously looking for roles for a long time, and companies such as Atlassian have capitalised on this.

It’s a buyers’ market right now.

The job market is undoubtedly tough for job seekers right now, and we’re seeing extremely high competition for a limited number of roles.

If you are actively looking for a role, be mindful of your expectations in terms of your remuneration package.

Tough economic conditions paired with the oversupply of talent has meant we’ve seen lower offers across the board than what we’d typically see across the industry.

If you’re looking to secure a contract, unfortunately, you may be better off reducing your day rate around 10-15%, and offering a broader rate-range to give a potential employer more scope to continue the conversation. We are expecting rates to return to pre-coronavirus levels at some stage, but as it stands these are currently very hard to achieve, and you may well be undercut.

For mental health support during this difficult time, Beyond Blue has also set up a coronavirus mental wellbeing support service.

What should I be expecting from a recruiter now?

Now is a good a time as any to work closely with a recruitment firm to navigate a hostile job market. Our team has spent a lot of time lately conducting video interview training, giving CV advice and helping candidates’ re-position themselves in the market.

Hiring managers are being inundated with CVs right now, so choosing a leading firm that has established relationships with key players in your field is a must to stand out in a crowded market.

Changing the speed of tech in Australia

Innovation in tech in Australia has long been considered at least a few years behind the U.S and the U.K, but recent challenges could level the playing field. While the negative impacts of coronavirus can’t be understated, it has forced big businesses to move at a different pace.

With the speed, large organisations have had to adapt to the ‘new normal’, processes to improve customer experience have been rolled out in a matter of weeks rather than years. Big corporates have had to adopt a start-up mindset to deliver projects within required time frames in order to overcome challenges that change on a daily basis.

This will eventually lead to changing perceptions around what it means to work for a corporate and increase the standing of Australian tech talent in the global market.

Innovation…what’s next?

Social distancing. Unprecedented times. Innovation. You’re probably sick of hearing these phrases, but that doesn’t stop the impact they’re having on our lives at the moment.

I had an interesting call this week with a client who happens to be one of Australia’s biggest retailers who have spent the last three weeks spinning up a Click & Collect system from scratch. Sounds simple enough, but the inside word was that under normal circumstances with all the standard bureaucracy this release usually would have taken a good 3 months.

It’s becoming clear that big business can be nimble and innovative. When it needs to. Will this create a new way of thinking for major companies, will they use this pandemic as a way of repositioning themselves? It is amazing what can be done and needs to be done in order to survive.

We’ll be hosting our first live webinar in May that explores how innovation will be so pivotal for businesses to survive. We will be hosting three or four thought-leaders from enterprise, corporate ventures & start-ups to come together and share their thoughts.

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