Revealed: Top 4 emerging workforce trends
A number of current and emerging trends are shaping the future world of work. The following insights from SEEK will help you prepare for what lies ahead.

The employment landscape of tomorrow will be very different to that of today. A number of trends in the current market are providing a valuable glimpse of what lies ahead. An increase in technology is fuelling demand for new skills and a power shift is occurring across the recruitment market as candidates become more empowered. The way employers respond to these trends now will help determine their success in the future world of work. 

SEEK’s deep knowledge of the employment market puts it in the box seat to view these macro and emerging trends. “We can see a real shift occurring,” says Leigh Broderick, SEEK’s Senior Customer & Analytics Manager. “Employers need to broaden their recruitment approach, fine-tune their workforce planning and adapt their value propositions to remain relevant.”

1.    The two-speed job market

The current employment market is running at two speeds with a number of industries racing ahead while others apply the brakes.

The Healthcare & Medical industry, for example, has been the greatest contributor to job ad growth on SEEK over the past 12 months, largely due to the growing – and ageing – population. The Information & Communication Technology industry has also resumed a growth trajectory along with areas of the Trades & Services sector. “We're talking about the core trades of Electricians, Fitters & Turners, Welders and Boiler Makers, which are linked to activity in Construction as well as Mining,” says Broderick.

A rebound in the Mining industry is also having an impact. “There's a lot more activity in the operations and maintenance side of Mining, rather than Construction, which is what drove the boom back in the early 2010s,” explains Broderick. “It's now all about increasing production and bringing mines back up to speed again.”

Construction is among the industries running at a slower pace. While the industry experienced strong growth in recent years, Broderick says job ads appear to have peaked. “We believe it’s going through a transition now,” he says. “Apartment construction is starting to slow a little bit and that’s having an impact on recruitment. However, there's still a very strong pipeline of infrastructure work and we feel that this should take up some of the slack.”

The Real Estate & Property industry has also slowed in recent times and Broderick attributes this to a dip in the housing market. “House prices are are starting to soften, but we're seeing that the decline is starting to have an impact on a demand for people in the sector, particularly in Sales and Administration & Office Support,” he says.

2.    The new, empowered candidate

The future of work is also being shaped by a changing recruitment market. A distinct power shift is occurring between candidates and hirers and the way they engage with the recruitment process is continuing to evolve. 

Broderick says candidates have become more empowered, largely due to an increase in technology. “It’s very common for candidates to have a multiple-platform presence online,” he says. “There are broad platforms, such as Facebook, as well as niche ones like GitHub, which is much more of a technology community. These platforms give candidates access to other like-minded candidates and this creates a greater sense of empowerment because a wider range of opportunities can be curated through these environments.”

This sense of empowerment is also being fostered as candidates are no longer driving the recruitment activity themselves. “Opportunities can now come directly to candidates – SEEK does this through job alerts, for example” says Broderick. “Candidates don’t always have to go out and search.”

3.    Employers have new needs

The recruitment environment is also changing for hirers. Global competition is placing more pressure on companies to increase efficiencies through augmentation, automation and a greater use of technology. As a result, Broderick says many companies now view themselves as technology enterprises rather than traditional service providers.

 “This has put a crunch on a broad range of technology focused roles,” he says. “Sourcing talent for these roles is challenging. One way is to recruit new talent into the business. Reskilling inside the business is another way and skilled migration has also played a key role, however this is quite a hot policy debate at the moment.”

4. Preparing for tomorrow, today

To overcome recruitment challenges in the future, Broderick says employers must place a greater focus on workforce planning and strategy. “This includes understanding your current workforce and their existing skills, so you can identify where the gaps are and what your business will need in the future.” 

Broderick adds that employers must redefine recruitment and the tools required for recruitment success. “There are more tools available to source candidates and employers should note that more candidates are wanting opportunities to come to them as opposed to the other way around,” he says. “The proliferation of online profiles actually helps businesses in their efforts to proactively source candidates.”

The employee value proposition has never been more important, adds Broderick, and employers who can adapt their proposition to suit differing needs will be more likely to thrive in the future. 

“What might appeal to an accountant may not necessarily appeal to a software engineer,” says Broderick.

“Tailoring your proposition to the groups of people that you want to employ will be a much more effective way of sourcing candidates.

“The current trends in the job market will have an impact on the future of work,” adds Broderick. “Employers need to apply a strategic lens to help them plan ahead.”