Chandler Macleod Group says employment opportunities still exist

During February 2009 the Chandler Macleod Group (CMG) conducted a survey of 5,250 candidates in the Australian workforce and found some interesting but not surprising results. I have summarised some of the highlights from the press release below, or you can read it in full online.

  • 30% of all candidates have been affected directly or indirectly by job loss due to redundancy
  • 76% of employees who remained in organisations that had cut staff planned to seek other employment opportunities
  • Job vacancies still exist, mainly in the government, not-for-profit, health and utilities sectors
  • 50% of employers are introducing “innovative” ways to retain talent, ie 3 or 4 day work weeks
  • Applications for the jobs that remain have doubled in the last three months

For the job opportunities that remain candidates need to stand out from the crowd to quote Peter Gleeson CMG’s Executive General Manager of Professional & Executive Recruitment:

“Qualities that employers are looking for today in candidates are: resilience; strong leadership; ability to seek ways to remain competitive from a business development standpoint; and the ability to be more productive with limited resources,”

Earlier in the press release David Reynolds, Chandler Macleod Consulting’s Executive General Manager said:

“I believe that job losses will continue to rise steeply before the financial year end in June 2009 as organisations will need to show they have the strategies and structures in place to face the challenges of the financial year ahead.”

In summary while there might be job opportunities out there, and employers are looking for people who can help them survive times are going to get worse before they get better.

But don’t despair as Phillip Tusing from Destination Talent says unemployment is a bit of a strange thing:

For instance, Cabramatta struggles with an unemployment rate of 15.6%, while Wollstonecraft is 2.9%. To residents (employers and job seekers) of both suburbs, the national unemployment average doesn’t mean much.

Is the IT Sector softening?

I have been interested over the last few weeks to see the varying discussions that Australia is or is not in a recession at the moment. While the jobless figures overall are not too bad at 4.3% for July 2008 (according to the ABS), there are reports of the RBA easing interest rates due to concerns on the health of the economy. The Seek Employment Index has a 27% drop in job ads in the last 12 months.

So it was with some amusement I saw the following three articles on the Australian IT site.

Firstly from 23rd July about increases in skilled migrants entering Australia to help with our “deeping skills crisis”.

The second has NAB offshoring about 2,600 jobs over the next few months as part of a $1 billion technology restructuring program.

Finally yesterday we have an article announcing more falls in the job vacancy rates, with a fall of over 17% in the last six months.

So I have to wonder what is going on? I think I know. Yes vacancies are falling, yes people are cutting jobs and yes there is a skills crisis. The issue seems to be that many of our corporate IT workers just don’t have the right skills for the new work required.