The only way is up… baby.

I don’t usually write posts like this. I mostly leave them to people who are much more clevererest than I am… but I keep spouting on about being an expert… providing your clients and candidates with real value… owning your space. I do it all the time. So maybe… just maybe I should provide you with a little ammo… some stats that you can take on your next client visit… information that will show your network that you know stuff (that’s the technical term for things don’t you know?).

hiring3The only avenues we have to compete in the recruitment industry are: price, service, network/relationships and expertise. You have the first 3 covered right? And I can’t help you much with expertise in your… well… area of expertise. Someone explained to me earlier in the week the difference between front end and back end development and UI/UX… I’ve forgotten already…

What I can do is make sure you understand recruitment trends… where the investment is… what areas are growing. Not only that I can give you a little commentary to help you out… would you like that? Good… read on.

Firstly, do you know just how big our industry is? Go on take a guess… don’t cheat and scan forward… have a punt…

In Australia the recruitment industry is worth $21billion annually. That’s the 6th largest recruitment market in the world. Not bad for a country that population wise sits at number 51. The global size of the market is $416billion and the market is trending to grow 6% year on year for the next 5 years. (A big thanks to Greg ‘Savdog’ Savage for those stats… I was taking notes during your recent Acumen series!).

So that gives you a sense of the pure size of our industry… and comfort that despite the naysayers… we’re not going anywhere.

PrintThis week a very interesting report by Hudson presenting hiring intentions in Australia for the next quarter was released. The stats are really interesting, and many of your clients should see them. To make it a little easier I’ve broken it down to 5 important learnings… and these are the things you should be talking to your clients about.

  1. Hiring Intentions are strong – 17.1% of employers plan on increasing their permanent staffing levels… Let your clients know that their competitors are investing in attracting new talent with the express purpose of winning market share from them.
  2. Hiring is driven by Vic & NSW – This is great news. Vic and NSW are the traditional hubs for commerce in the region. With Victoria trending at 21.9% and NSW at 19.7% this demonstrates a return to confidence in industries outside of resources. An increase in confidence in commerce tends to drive increase in investment in other areas.Print
  3. The rise of Office Support – It doesn’t matter what sector you recruit in… if Office Support is buoyant it bodes well for all of us. Simple economics show that when an economy is trending badly (that’s the technical term for not going so good), support roles are stripped. When there is confidence the trend reverses. Office support s currently the 4th strongest sector, with a projected 21.1% of employers planning to increase in that area.
  4. ICT Contracting is back baby! – The ICT contracting sector is growing. After almost 3 years of decline 22.1% of employers are looking to grow headcount in this area… time to work on that engaged talent community… if you’re struggling for a name call it ‘Geeknation’.
  5. Professional Services takes the lead – In a similar vein to Office Support – Professional Services (Legal, Accounting etc.), generally sets trends. One of the first to pick up before other sectors when we are coming into a good market… and one of the first to fade in a slowing market. 30.9% of employers in the legal space (that’s 1 in 3 to the uneducated) are looking to add headcount in the upcoming quarter… and that is very, very good news.

If you want to show your clients you understand the market you need to be on top of these trends. It will help you create a point of difference… and that should be more than enough motivation.

Craig Watson


3 thoughts on “The only way is up… baby.

  1. Neil Bolton on Reply

    Great post Craig! Probably the best I’ve read for a long time.

    Keep blogging – you’re getting damn good at it!

    FYI I guessed the industry size at $3B, so I was off by a factor of seven . . . I feel quite embarrassed.


    1. Ross Clennett on Reply

      Neil – no need to feel embarrassed as ‘industry size’ varies depending upon whether you use ‘total sales’ as the measure or ‘gross profit’ as the measure. Gross Profit is ‘only’ net contractor/temp margin as distinct from ‘total sales’ which uses total contractor/temp invoice total. Hence the difference between $21B and $3B.

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