An election year tends to coincide with a level of turbulence in the market with businesses unsurprisingly taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to making strategic decisions, particularly when it comes to major investments and recruitment.
Recruitment activity is often regarded as an indicator of market confidence during these traditionally unstable periods, and although there has been relative caution in some sectors, if you’re a professional in Digital/ e-commerce, Technology or Property & Construction, the election this year will be little more than a blip on your radar.
1. Digital & E-Commerce
In Australia right now, there’s an acute shortage of talent in Digital across the board, but it’s in e-commerce that we’re seeing the greatest market pressure. Election year or not, businesses grappling with the best approach to their e-commerce strategy are driving the demand for exceptional digital talent sky high.
In a report by global management consulting firm AT Kearney, Australia is ranked the 10th best e-commerce market in the world behind the United States, China, and the UK, but ahead of Canada, Hong Kong and Denmark.
The Global Retail E-Commerce Index™ ranks the top 30 countries for their e-commerce potential, based on several variables including select macroeconomic factors, consumer adoption of technology, shopping behaviours, infrastructure, and retail-specific activities.
While the buzz for e-commerce is justified, the report does, however, highlight the need for an omnichannel approach to retail, including a physical presence. According to the report, physical stores remain the preferred shopping channel and where the most significant value continues to be created through immersion in the brand experience.
As with Digital, there’s no sign of any slow down in demand for information and communications technology (ICT) professionals as a result of this being an election year.
Although the demand for technical professionals such as for software engineers, software developers and technical consultants remain strong, where we’re seeing the biggest jump in growth is in both full time and contract employment roles that connect those technical roles to broader business requirements such as business analysts and project managers.
Highlighted in a report prepared for the Australian Computer Society by Deloitte Access Economics, Australia’s Digital Pulse, the demand for these types of non-technical roles is consistent with the increasing integration of ICT uses and functions with broader business operations. According to the report, the contribution of digital technologies to the Australian economy is forecast to grow from $79 billion in 2014 to $139 billion in 2020 with the vast majority of this growth (97%) expected to take place in sectors outside of the traditional Information, Media and Telecommunications industry.
3. Property & Construction
It has certainly taken time for the market to recalibrate, but in the next 3-5 years we will continue to see the Property & Construction industry play a key role in the transition of our economy away from resources.
BIS Shrapnel is forecasting publicly funded engineering construction to rise 36 per cent over the four years to 2018/19 due to strong growth in telecommunications, road and rail construction projects.
The continued investment by state governments in large scale infrastructure has provided a platform for growth among mid-tier and large players all gearing up to support these projects. At the same time, current and projected growth has created a perfect storm in recruitment with talent shortages starting to emerge.
So what does this mean for Property & Construction professionals? Career prospects over the longer term are looking good. On the flipside, what we’re likely to see is a blowout in project costs as infrastructure projects across Sydney and Melbourne contend for the best local talent.