The State of Australian and New Zealand Recruitment: 2019
What will 2019 hold for the recruitment industry? More than 2,000 industry professionals worldwide weighed in with their thoughts on the top priorities, challenges, and issues that will be top of mind in the coming year. Here’s a look at what 262 Australia and New Zealand recruitment leaders had to say.
Recruitment Industry Outlook
Optimism runs high in the recruitment industry for Australia and New Zealand. Expectations for revenue, budgets, investments, and placements in 2019 are all higher than they were heading into 2018.
How do you expect revenue to change in 2019?
Most respondents anticipate an increase in 2019 revenue versus 2018. Just 2 per cent of respondents expect to see revenue decrease in the year ahead.
Recruitment professionals say they expect to see temporary placements increase in 2019. Also on the rise? Operating budgets, investments in technology, and efforts to increase workers’ skills through education and training. Only the percentage of business done through VMS was expected to remain the same.
How do you expect the following to change in 2019?
Less than 7 percent of respondents expect to see decreases in temp placements, tech spending, efforts to reskill workers, and VMS business.
What’s your business’ primary growth strategy?
Organic growth is the industry’s primary growth strategy in 2019. Only 7 per cent say they expect to grow by acquiring new companies and even fewer (3 per cent) expect to be acquired.
Top Priorities for Recruitment Professionals
Aside from the obvious—driving top-line revenue growth and increasing profitability—respondents say they’ll be firmly focused on candidates in 2019. Other priorities on which they’ll focus? Embracing digital transformation to improve their operations, developing their employment brand and enhancing their marketing strategies, and working on how they manage relationships with clients.
What are your top priorities for 2019?
Candidates will matter most in 2019, with sourcing (54 per cent) and candidate engagement (41 per cent) leading the pack. Beyond candidates, take a look at some other notable priorities.
Top Challenges for Recruitment Professionals
While optimism abounds, the outlook’s not all rosy. From hiring and operational challenges to the issues macroeconomic and political shifts present, there are plenty of tricky problems recruitment industry pros will have to tackle in 2019.
What are your top hiring challenges for 2019?
Beyond the perennial skills shortage, recruitment leaders grapple with how to get employers to increase candidate pay rates and how to navigate the gig economy.
What are your top operational challenges for 2019?
Pricing pressure and margin compression are always big challenges, but respondents say the top operational challenge they’ll face is how to embrace digital transformation to improve operations.
What are your top macroeconomic and political challenges for 2019?
If you’re feeling a bit skittish when it comes to future growth amidst an uncertain economy, you’re not alone. But the job market’s healthy and unemployment rates reflect that, which explains why many respondents say low unemployment is the top challenge for the year ahead.
In Australia and New Zealand, respondents found the skills shortage, embracing digital transformation, and the uncertainty over the economy and growth as the top challenges to tackle in 2019. Australia and New Zealand agencies were also more likely to view legislative changes as a challenge over firms in North America and Europe. This should come as no surprise as in Australia the 457 visa program restrictions are something recruiters are watching keenly.
Opportunities or Obstacles?
Digital transformation. The globalisation of business. The increased mobility of talent. Online talent platforms. Disruptive forces are impacting the recruitment industry, all of which pose the question, “Are these opportunities or are they obstacles?”
Will digital transformation help or hurt your business?
Respondents overwhelmingly believe digital transformation—the integration of technology into all areas of business for the purposes of improving operations and the way companies deliver value to customers—will be a benefit to their business.
Thanks to the globalisation of business and advancements in technology, workers are more mobile than ever. Increasingly, companies can hire qualified candidates beyond their local area and get the best people for the job. So is this an opportunity for the recruitment industry or a bigger challenge?
Do globalisation and the increased mobility of talent pose a challenge or an opportunity?
Most respondents say globalisation and the increased mobility of talent is an opportunity for their business.
With the emergence of online talent platforms, questions have swirled in the global recruitment sector. Will these disruptive businesses ultimately present an opportunity amidst the rise of the gig economy? Or will they pose an existential threat to the industry?
Are online talent platforms making recruiting for sought-after roles easier or harder?
The jury’s out on whether online talent platforms are helping to make things easier, but sentiment signs point to a belief that they’ll have a more helpful than harmful impact.
United or Divided?
Many factors influence the Australian and New Zealand recruitment industry. Beyond the industry’s outlook for the year ahead, here’s a look at how recruitment professionals feel about key topics that could influence the ways in which business gets done in 2019.
Do you agree or disagree with the following topics?
Respondents overwhelmingly agree: recruitment agencies must embrace digital transformation, reskilling candidates is critical, and employers must accelerate pay increases. See where respondents are united and divided.
Learning and Development
Ongoing learning is crucial for recruitment industry professionals. See how respondents rate their understanding of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the topics on which they think their peers need more training, and the most interesting trends about which they’d like to continue learning.
How would you rate your understanding of machine learning and artificial intelligence?
Most respondents give themselves average marks when it comes to their understanding of machine learning and artificial intelligence within recruitment.
The recruitment industry is continually changing, which means professionals must constantly keep up with new topics and learn new skills. Respondents believe their fellow recruitment industry professionals would benefit from having additional training on these topics.
|Search engine optimisation||6%|
|Use of technology to automate manual processes||16%|
|Staffing/recruitment software (CRM, VMS, etc.)||9%|
|Data protection and security||6%|
|Client management and relationship building||21%|
|Candidate screening and selection||11%|
|Candidate nurturing and redeployment||6%|
What is the top area in which your peers need the most training and development?
Respondents think fellow industry professionals would benefit most by having additional training on how to use technology to automate manual processes, social media, and how to manage clients and build relationships.
What’s the most interesting industry trend you’re following?
In recruitment, it’s important to stay current on trends impacting the industry as well as trends that are influencing your clients’ businesses and the candidates you’re working to recruit. We asked respondents to share the most interesting industry trends they’re actively following.
Most commonly, respondents say they’re interested in artificial intelligence and how it relates to automation and the recruitment industry. The second most common responses relate to social media and how to leverage it for opportunities within recruitment. Other common responses include topics like digital marketing, the gig/freelance economy, and VMS.
Use of AI generally, and use of AI in recruitment specifically.
AI assisted recruitment. How to break away from traditional methods.
Technology to automate manual processes that are time-consuming.
Is AI is going to be a real issue/influencer in the coming years for recruitment?
AI and digital tools to source and engage candidates and deliver candidates to clients faster than the competition.
Embracing AI and other technological advances and changing our approach to benefit from these - otherwise we will be left behind.
Understanding and identifying top millennial candidates psychologically.
Employer Branding. Is it a load of spin or is there substance to it? Increasingly, candidate seeks employers whose values and culture align.
Video recruitment processes & AI recruitment.
Maximising Facebook as a recruitment tool.