Jobs ads and candidate confidence on the rise
With SEEK job ads on the rise and candidate confidence continuing to grow, experts say now is the time to review your recruitment strategy. How will you attract the best and brightest talent in 2017?

The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows a 6% increase in SEEK job ads in November compared to the same time last year. Michelle Christie, director at recruitment firm Robert Walters, says candidates are also feeling more confident to make their next move.

“While we’re seeing the creation of new job roles as a result of growing business confidence, there is also increased candidate movement across most industry sectors, which suggests they are more confident about opportunities that are out there,” she explains. “We’re finding that the best way for employers to attract the right talent is to be flexible in their mindset. When you’ve identified the right candidate, don’t hesitate to make your offer.”

Industries on the rise

SEEK job ads were up year-on-year across the majority of industries in November. The Farming, Animals and Conservation industry saw a 33% increase compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $71,679. Christie explains this may be due to companies reinvesting after several years of consolidation. “A lot of the major agribusiness companies restructured to cut costs about three or four years ago and they're in a growth phase, so it's exciting times in the industry.”

The administration and office support industry also saw year-on-year growth of 8% and the average advertised salary was $57,398. “Hiring in this sector is another indication of companies reinvesting and shows an overall lift in confidence,” explains Christie.

In another sign of a healthy job market, the human resources and recruitment industry also experienced growth. Job ads were up by 11% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $85,695. Matthew De Zilva, head of national accounts at recruitment firm Adecco, notes that senior roles are in high demand. “HR candidates with niche skills, such as industrial relations and health and safety, are also in demand,” he says. “A growth in HR roles across the board is also a good indication of growth in the employment market.”

Government and defence also experienced growth in November with job ads rising by 27% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $92,761. De Zilva says hiring is increasing across almost all government departments. “A lot of companies in the private sector are now competing with the private sector for talent,” he says.

Job ads in the marketing and communications industry also rose by 10% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $87,347. Christie attributes this to a growth in digital marketing. “Digital marketing has gone crazy and we find that these candidates are among the hardest to source.”

The information and communications technology industry experienced a 5% year-on-year growth in job ads in November and the average advertised salary was $104,548. Andrew Brushfield, Director of Robert Half Australia, says candidates in data science and cyber security roles are in hot demand. “Companies are looking for people who can analyse big data,” he says. “We’re also seeing greater flexibility in ICT roles. More companies are offering opportunities to work from home and this is attractive to candidates and also helps to reduce costs on office rental space.”

A slip in some sectors

Only four industries saw a year-on-year decline in SEEK job ads in November. Education and training slipped by 17% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $78,659. Meanwhile, retail and consumer products also saw a small decline of 4% and the average advertised salary was $58,191.

Although the sales industry experienced a slip of 3%, Christie suggests the decline was coming off a high base. “Companies are recruiting sales people to bring the dollars into their business,” she says. “We’re seeing growth in demand for sales talent.” The average advertised salary for sales roles was $82,761.

The banking and financial services industry also experienced a decline of 3% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $88,358. “I think there is greater consolidation within banking,” says Christie. “They are utilising more internal staff, although there is still good demand for client-facing roles.”

Good news for South Australia

While NSW and Victoria continued to experience job ad growth in November, South Australia was the standout state. “South Australia continued to have the largest year-on-year advertising growth of all the states and territories in November,” says SEEK spokesperson Kendra Banks. “Job ads on SEEK for the state were up by 16% year-on-year.”

Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory also experienced year-on-year growth. While Queensland remained weak relative to the past five years, job ads have stabilised over the past four months. Job ad levels in Western Australia continued to be low relative to the past five years; however Brushfield sees signs of growth on the horizon. “WA experienced inflated highs for so long that people forgot what normal was,” he says. “While we’re not back at normal levels, we are seeing some positive signs of marginal improvement.”

November delivered with good results for the majority of Australian industries. Let’s hope the momentum continues throughout the New Year!