Five 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.

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, we recommend 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.*

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.

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 per cent of dads now take advantage of flexible work hours to look after children, compared with 16 per cent of dads two years ago.**

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.

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.***

Hiring people to complete a specific project is nothing new: contract work has always been available. Now, we’re seeing an upsurge in the number of people preferring the flexibility and excitement of contract work as opposed to what they see as the boredom of working for a single company. That delivers benefits to organisations who can “tool up,” hiring specialists for specific projects instead of trying to find the rare perfect employee who can go from project to project in the organisation seamlessly.

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.

Whether workers live across the country from their employer or are local and work from home, remote work arrangements often get better results, as businesses are able to find the right person for the role regardless of where that person performs the work. We not only advise our clients to consider these sorts of arrangements but we practice them ourselves. We offer work-from-home flexibility, our talent is dispersed throughout the country and we even have key team members working from the other side of the world. I believe this is good for business and great for morale.

* ABS 2016,[email protected]/0/46DFE12FCDB783D9CA256B740082AA6C?OpenDocument

** ABS 2016,


Julian Sallabank, CEO, Ignite

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