Mining, resources and energy industry leads the way
April delivered more good news for the employment market with SEEK job ads on the rise and positive momentum continuing in Western Australia. As competition for talent hots up across the country, experts say now may be the time to polish up your employer brand.

The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows job ads rose by 6.6% year-on-year in April. Results remained promising for WA, which saw a lift for the seventh consecutive month. Meanwhile, Queensland recorded the strongest growth in job ads, rising 2.2% month-on-month.

Industries on the rise

The mining, resources and energy industry led the way in April with a year-on-year increase of 55% and the average advertised salary was $110, 594. Stephen Veness, Group Manager of Projects and Operations at Davidson Recruitment, says the sector is experiencing growth. “We are seeing some positive signs in the energy market in particular,” he says. “The renewable energy sector has picked up some strong momentum in the last few months while the resources space in general has been stable and confidence is slowly beginning to return to the market.”

Job ads for senior leadership roles were on the rise in April with CEO and general management up by 6% year-on-year. Australia’s construction industry also continued its strong performance with job ads rising by 5% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $108,547. “The amount of money that’s being spent on infrastructure in NSW and Victoria alone is being passed down through the economy into other sectors,” says Mark Smith, managing director of recruitment firm People2People.

Trades and services appears to be one of them. SEEK job ads were up by 4% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $63,605. Meanwhile engineering grew up by 12% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $104,258.

A slip in some sectors

Some industries saw a decline in job ads in April. Accounting was down by 10% and the average advertised salary was $84,775. Despite this slip, Smith says the industry is performing well, particularly when it comes to contract roles. “Demand for contract accountant has been strong,” he says. “Permanent roles have also remained solid, although not quite as strong.”

Job ads for the call centre and customer service industry were also down by 10% and the average advertised salary was $58,448. “This time last year we saw less offshoring and people were bringing their centres and customer service back into the Australian marketplace, so there was a lot of activity,” explains Smith. “This may have flattened out somewhat, however we’re still seeing good demand.”

Banking and financial services also experienced a year-on-year decline in April. Job ads were down by 14% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $89,685. “It seems like a long time ago, but the broader finance industry is still going through a readjustment from the GFC,” says Dylan White, senior partner with recruitment firm Denovo.

Trends across the states

Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have all experienced high levels of job ads relative to the past five years. While NSW, Northern Territory and ACT have also seen high levels relative to the same period, the trend has been quite flat over the past four months.

Queensland has seen moderate levels of job ad growth relative to the past five years, however there has been an upward trend over the past four months. Veness says a pick up in the state’s mining industry has also been a promising sign.

Mining in Queensland has seen some positive activity in recent months while the gas markets continue to evolve to meet export demands,” he says. “The low base will make the uplift seem more significant, however after such a lull, the growth is positive.”

Meanwhile, job ads remain weak in WA relative to the past five years, however there has been a promising upward trend in recent months.

Attracting top talent

Experts say employer brand has never been more important when it comes to attracting top talent.

“Candidates are attracted to employers with a strong and positive brand,” says White. “How are you marketing yourself to candidates and what are you highlighting as your positive attributes?”

Smith says companies should review their employee value proposition, which is generally seen as a reflection of their brand. “While your corporate brand plays a key part in recruitment, you also can’t underestimate the importance of personal brand,” he states. “People generally don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that all leaders in your company are aligned with your overall brand.”

Veness adds that employers must have a well-oiled recruitment process to keep candidate engaged.

“Employers need to move swiftly and decisively in this market,” he says. “Those who are attracting the best talent are moving quickly without compromising their process. Where processes have long lead times, talent is being lost to competitors.”