Australian recruitment predictions for 2017

Most of the business world is experiencing disruption and recruitment is no different. Businesses looking to attract and retain top talent in 2017 face a fragmented marketplace where job candidates are using different types of platforms to find opportunities and are looking for non-traditional types of employment.

Julian Sallabank, CEO, Ignite, said in a media release, “Despite the changes in recruitment methods, basic principles still apply. It’s important to find people with the right skillsets and it’s absolutely crucial to make sure there is a strong cultural fit. Employers should be looking for employees that can deliver business results, not those who can simply fulfil attendance requirements.”

To get on the front foot for 2017, Ignite recommends businesses embrace five key trends:

1. More demand for part-time work: Part-time work has made Australia a more competitive economy and many skilled workers are choosing to work part-time so they can spend more time with family or pursuing hobbies. This results in a more flexible labour market and it can mean that businesses can get the help they need, when they need it, without having to pay full-time rates. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are now around 120,900 more people working part-time than there were a year ago, and around 35,300 fewer people working full-time. (1)

Sallabank said, “Organisations should consider part-time arrangements because it can be a very effective way to get the skills you need in the business. Often, part-time workers can deliver higher productivity and better results than full-time workers because their attention is more focused when they’re at work. The key is to choose the right people for the right role.”

2. Increased demand for flexible working conditions: For some organisations it simply isn’t possible to pay top dollar for skilled employees. However, for many employees, it isn’t just about their salary; they may be interested in other benefits such as flexible working conditions. This can be a win-win as the business gets the high-performing, skilled staff it needs while the employee gets the flexibility they need to attend to other commitments. Sallabank says employment and family life shouldn’t have to be a proposition. Most businesses can offer flexible working arrangements where an employee comes into the office later, goes home earlier, or takes work home with them. “For example, the ABS found last year that around 30% of dads now take advantage of flexible work hours to look after children, compared with 16% of dads two years ago.” (2)

3. A focus on business outcomes rather than the hours worked: More businesses will start to focus more on the outcome they want to achieve rather than forcing process for how work is performed or demanding that a specific number of hours be worked. They will place the emphasis on meeting objectives, being future focused and ensuring employees understand the measurable impact of their actions. Sallabank said, “While many organisations claim to be outcome-focused, many job descriptions still remain focused more heavily on the how rather than on the what and why. Organisations that want to get the most out of their employees will empower them to contribute beyond a role description by setting broad target outcomes and unleashing them to achieve them however they wish. In addition to creating a culture of accountability, placing the emphasis on outcomes encourages collaboration, innovative thinking and adds a much greater sense of freedom and ownership.”

4. More gigs and more contractors: Workers, especially millennials, don’t necessarily want to be tied down to a single employer. Instead, they would prefer to market their skills more broadly, taking on projects for various employers. The rise of the gig economy, as it’s called, means employers have the ability to manage short-term demand spikes without the overhead that comes with managing full-time employees. Research shows that a third of the national workforce currently participates in contingent work, and more than three in four employers believe that it will be normal for people to complete additional work through freelance job related websites or apps. (3)

5. More remote workers: Technology and globalisation continue to drive an increase in remote workers who prefer to work from home or any other location rather than commute to an office each day. These employees may go to the office once a week, a few times a month or never; but they remain productive due to their cultural match with their employer, use of sophisticated communication and collaboration tools.


(1) ABS, 2016,[email protected]/0/46DFE12FCDB783D9CA256B740082AA6C?OpenDocument

(2) ABS 2016,


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