Are you ready for a big chair?

The folks over at Fairfax/MyCareer have been busy little bees in the last few months, Seth Yates being just one. They have built a very nice site called “The Big Chair“, designed for $100K+ roles across all industries.  (I’m sure if I subscribed to ShortList I would have seen it earlier)

This is not your ordinary job board, at least not in Australia, for the press release on April 12:

Fairfax Media CEO, Mr David Kirk, said, “The Big Chair exclusively serves this premium market, and will capture the interest of Australia’s senior talent. The website leverages the outstanding strengths of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and is a new avenue of growth for Fairfax Digital” Mr Kirk said.

This is before you add in the upgraded UI making things almost Web 2.0’ish.  After you choose your industry the screen is divided into 3 major sections, search refinement, job listing and job display. A single screen no more page refreshes, nice.

A slider is used to refine your search criteria, adjust the slider and the listing of jobs dynamically updates.

The Big Chair

See a job you like, click a job and the job displays in the area below, no page refresh.

The Big Chair

The application process is a little different as well, it is an “Expression of Interest” with an optional CV as a starting point. While this may not site well with “in house” recruiters, I can see agencies warming to the idea of an exploratory chat before anything too serious.

They have also brought together other luxury items from the Fairfax stable to provide an executive play ground:-

  • Executive News
  • Podcasts
  • Gadgets
  • Cars
  • Houses
  • Movers & Shakers, although this is a bit gossipie for my likeing

There are a few UI things that would make the site even better. There is lots of space wasted at the top of the screen. A smaller header logo for starters as you loose about 3 cms just there. It would also be nice to have the job listing collapse for more screen real estate for viewing the job and the open back up on mouse hover.

All in all a great addition to the online job space in Australia.

Google Australia has a blog

Just a quick post to say that Google Australia has a blog, cool, (via Ben Barren and others).  As they say in the intro post Google Australia has been an important site outside of the mothership.

We’re proud that Google Australia was one of the first international Google offices and is now a hub for the entire Asia Pacific region. Google Maps started here, but lots of Australians are keen for more information about Google in Australia: Who works here? What do we do all day?

Maybe they can tell us more about how we can get a job there, I know there has been lots of posts on working for Google but it would be great to get a local perspective as well.  Do you need a PhD, when can I live in Melbourne and work for Google, etc?

Status of jobs in Australia

A couple of weeks ago Seek released their latest round of the Employment Index.

The SEEK Employment Index (EI) is a measure of the balance between demand and supply in the Australian labour market. In March the seasonally adjusted EI increased by 2.1 points to 102.3. On yearly basis, the index is 8.1 points higher than the same period last year. Since January 2007, the EI index has consistently been rising on an upward trend suggesting a continuous tightening of the labour market. On the basis of this evidence, Australian jobseekers will have witnessed higher hopes of employment through less competition for available positions.

Over the last 3 months the index has risen from 98.1 to 102.3 with strong growth in Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland. South Australia, Tasmania and ACT have had declines with NSW and Victoria climbing in the right direction.

Top 5 most competitive jobs

Industry Occupation
Manufacturing Packer/Filler
Call Centre Call Centre Operator
Hospitality & Tourism Airlines
Hospitality & Tourism Housekeeping
Retail Sales Assistant

If you work in one of the above occupations you will need to work very hard to stand out from the crowd.

5 occupations in most demand

Industry Occupation
Legal Solicitor
Government/Defence Navy
Healthcare & Medical Radiology/Sonography
Construction Landscape Architecture
Real Estate & Property Valuation

If you are in the above group, approached carefully, with the right skills you have a much better chance than average in getting a job. You might also find salaries increasing and extra bonuses are on offer.

Annualised Seek’s research says that there are 40% more new job ads than March 2006 a good sign. A side note Recruit.net’s measure of job ads year over year shows just a 19.5% increase less than half that of Seek’s, either way we have had a large increase in jobs ads.

What is interesting is how this research compares to the ABS labour figures showing a 2.8% growth in employment over the last year. My read is that business confidence must be running very high as the demand for labour is definitely out striping supply. Or is it that we have the wrong skills in Australia?