The Australian job market – Between booms

Cottesloe-BeachDavid Owens gives us an exclusive look at what is happening in the Australian job market right now.

The summer is over and whilst the beach towels have been stowed, Australia is back at work and there is much to be excited about.

2014 finished strongly; there was an air of “get the job filled” before we head out for a summer break so we saw a lot of activity in the lead up to Christmas and then 2015 started with a spring in its step and optimists everywhere.

The Australian economy is between booms.  I suppose it’s like an actor between jobs; the confidence and the front is there but they just dine out less and so it is with the Australian economy.  The 10 year long resources boom is dead; actually one is not allowed to say that, so let’s agree that it is snoozing on the sofa.  Meanwhile, the states on the East coast are in recovery mode, whilst New South Wales, and its main city of Sydney, feel very much alive right now.

With a relatively small population of HR professionals in Australia, the HR community has, in my view, almost reached full employment again.  I believe that much of the spare talent, which was available in relative abundance six to twelve months ago, has been absorbed by a market where we see a stronger appetite for contemporary HR professionals. We see the Banks and the Financial Services Sector has led the charge.  Having said that, many other industries have been upping the ante in HR land and the public, ‘not for profit’ and the education sectors, for instance, are all looking to get better Tactical support as well as performance and engagement outcomes from the HR team.

In summary, with supply constrained and demand in the HR labour intensive white collar sector firming, the outlook is positive.  We are seeing strong interest right now for OD, Talent & Development, Talent Acquisition and HR leadership type roles.  Demand is currently being satisfied through the local market but we all know that will not last.

These are interesting times in a changing Australian economy and with change there will be opportunity. Watch this space!


  • The Australian HR community has almost reached full employment
  • With supply constrained and demand in the HR labour intensive white collar sector firming, the outlook is positive
  • Focus of Economy changing – the future appears much less mining oriented- more growth in services sector

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