March also delivered good news for the West Australian employment market, where job ads grew for the sixth consecutive month. “Advertising trends have picked up strongly in the mining state of WA, growing at a stable trend rate of 1.8%,” says Michael Ilczynski, SEEK Employment Managing Director. “The mining and resources industry led the way in year-on-year job ad growth for March, which is another positive sign.”
Industries on the rise
SEEK job ad growth was experienced across most industries in March. Mining and resources was out in front with an 87% year-on-year increase and the average advertised salary was $114,414.
Government and defence grew by 32% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $91,115. Steve Jobson, Senior Account Manager Canberra at recruitment firm Talent International, says demand is particularly strong for IT professionals within the industry. “The demand for IT professionals within the government sector has definitely increased, particularly on a Federal level,” he says. “This is due to increased investment in cyber security, cloud enablement and digital transformation.”
Job ads for the education and training industry grew by 12% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $78,805. Peter Davis, Managing Director of Frontline Recruitment Group, says candidates with relevant qualifications and registrations are in short supply. “There are likely to be many other factors at play, in particular the increased demand for candidates in the childcare sector,” he says.
Growth in the construction industry continued in March with job ads rising by 25% and the average advertised salary was $106,275. The related industry of trades and services also grew by 24% and the average advertised salary was $63,657. In engineering, year-on-year growth reached 35% and the average advertised salary was $104,109.
In good news for the banking and financial services industry, job ads were up by 4% year-on-year after a series of recent declines and the average advertised salary was $89,179. Meanwhile, healthcare and medical also experienced year-on-year growth in March with job ads up by 17% and the average advertised salary was $87,394.
“The hospital and aged care sectors are in growth mode due to both expansion of current sites and the establishment of new sites,” explains Davis. “This has resulted in an increased requirement for nurses.”
A slip in two sectors
Only two industries experienced a decline in job ads in March. Advertising, arts and media was down by 8% and the average advertised salary was $75,436. Retail and consumer products slipped by 3% and the average advertised salary was $60,067.
“The increase of international retailers in the market has encouraged existing local retailers to provide progression opportunities and a long-term career for their staff,” says Davis. “This has led to less movement in the industry.”
Trends across the states
Job ads levels remain strong relative to the past five years in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia and there has been an upward trend over the past four months. While levels are still strong in NSW, ACT and Northern Territory, the trend has been quite flat over the past four months.
Although job ad levels remain weak in WA relative to the past five years, the good news is they have been looking up over the past four months.
Meanwhile, the recent cyclone in Queensland caused a dip in job ads for the state. “While Queensland has also been experiencing signs of growth in recent months, job ads were down by 2.1% month-on-month, but we can attribute this to the effects of Cyclone Debbie,” explains Ilczynski.
Attracting the best talent
As demand for talent remains strong, experts says employers may need to reassess their recruitment strategy in order to attract the best talent.
“Employers can set themselves apart from their competitors by offering the ‘total package’,” advises Davis. “This not only includes a competitive salary, but a positive team culture and opportunities for training and development.”
Davis adds that employers must have a smooth recruitment process in place or risk missing out on the best talent. “When you are presented with a candidate who is the right fit for your business, be sure to move quickly through the process as candidates will often have multiple offers on the table.”