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Profile News: HR Insight Q3 2017

In the Macmillan Davies magazine, ‘HR Insight Q3 2017’, Profile's Amanda Clarke shares her thoughts on HR recruitment trends in Asia. The article is extracted below.



“As we enter the final quarter of 2017 we are still seeing an increase in overall time-to-hire, in part due to the summer holidays causing a lag in the hiring process, with key decision makers away. This has occasionally resulted in clients missing out on preferred candidates who have received multiple offers and accepted positions elsewhere. Brexit continues to cause disruption to our client’s hiring plans.


The number of new vacancies overall remains steady from last quarter and we are seeing higher levels of recruitment activity for specialist roles across all sectors. As organisations continue to go through group wide change there has been a resurgence in specialist change & communications positions. Similarly, we have seen an increase of in-house recruitment roles across all sectors, mostly paying under £50,000. With the changing political landscape, businesses are continuing to remain cautious and we are seeing the continuation of the ‘try before you buy’ approach to hiring, with many clients opting to hire on an interim basis initially, or extending current contracts before turning perm.


As businesses look to cut costs and create a leaner HR function, demand for professionals with diverse experience is on the rise. This is particularly evident in the public and third sector with growing demand for HR generalists who are skilled in delivering on specialist projects such as change and reward.


Towards the senior end of the market, there’s been a slowdown in hiring, particularly within Financial Services which remains very client driven as suitable candidates outnumber advertised roles. Improvement & implementation of HR technology such as workday & the increase of succession planning has meant that a lot of senior roles are being filled internally, with clients instead hiring externally for junior to mid level positions.”

Darren Hayman & Angela Franks - Macmillan Davies


“Despite a promising start to the year, hiring in Asia has been relatively slow in both Hong Kong and Singapore. That said, the China market has been buoyant for the last two quarters and shows no sign of slowing down. Roles in financial services have been sporadic although the insurance sector has continued to hire across a range of roles and levels. The retail market has continued to be cautious but we have seen a marked increase for roles within pharmaceuticals and healthcare (particularly in China).


Talent Management and other specialist roles such as Rewards and HR Operations have been in demand and we predict further interest in technical areas such as HR Analytics.


Interestingly we have seen an overall rise in vacancies in the last month, and with a shortage of strong talent at the more senior end of the market, it will be interesting to see who is prepared to buy potential bonuses out and compete for some of the top talent as we go into the last quarter of the year.”

Amanda Clarke - Profile Search & Selection


“As we come towards the end of Q1 of the Australian Financial Year, the HR recruitment market has remained robust with growth occurring in all major states. Even the Resource rich states of Queensland and Western Australia, which experienced a prolonged downturn for a number of years, have shown encouraging growth in the last 12 months. Opportunities have surged by 33% in QLD, and 24% in WA over the last 12 months. As previously reported, both of these growth figures are from a low comparison base, but in QLD there are now talent shortages in the junior to mid-career market.


The larger economies of NSW and Victoria have both also continued to grow well in the last year, with 13% and 12% growth respectively, which combined with the other states bring the overall national growth in advertised roles to 16%.


The interesting feature of this growth has been the bias towards contract opportunities versus permanent roles. Whilst growth in permanent opportunities has been consistent, contract role growth is accelerating as organisations manage their headcount needs and supplement that with specialist or temporary support.


The industry sectors that continue to see outstanding growth in opportunities for HR professionals are healthcare (+49% YoY) and professional services (+29%). Professional Services in the Australian market, also includes the engineering and infrastructure consulting firms, which have seen major growth with the boom in infrastructure spending in NSW and Victoria, a phenomenon that will soon occur also in QLD with ambitious infrastructure projects about to commence and run for the next 5 years.


Within the individual occupation groups, both generalists and specialists have been in demand. The senior market in NSW, Victoria, and to a lesser extent QLD, have been active, and there has been strong demand across the mid and junior markets. The changes made by the government to the Class 457 long term business visa, has made it harder for businesses to bring in international talent below the most senior levels, an issue that is hitting the Recruitment specialism the hardest, as the UK and other countries was a significant source of talent.”

John Baker - The Next Step


To read the full magazine, please click here



Amanda Clarke, Director, Profile Search & Selection


October 2017

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