Predicting the Employment Market in 2017

With 2017 fast approaching, the team and I have taken a look at the year that was 2016. We have made some predictions about the approaching year to help you prepare for success.

Amy Chavarria, our General Manager, iPeople, is often asked her view on the employment landscape in Australia.   Clients have been keen to know whether the pendulum has shifted. They wonder whether we are seeing more of a candidate tight market, particularly in NSW and Victoria.

The Employment Landscape

Amy believes the pendulum does certainly look like it has shifted somewhat in certain states of Australia. Judging by the number of advertisements posted in job boards, the rate of job advertising has grown to about 3.2% for FY16. This is very good, however other states still remain an employer’s market due a weak labour market.

NSW remains Australia’s largest job market. Job advertising is up 8.2% year on year this June. This is followed by Victoria and Tasmania. They both are displaying strong advertising growth with an increase of 6 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively.  An increase in the number of jobs becoming available makes for favourable conditions for job seekers.  They are now able to shift the balance of power from employers. We are finding that Candidates are more selective. They tend to negotiate more on salaries and working arrangements. We also find them at times quite up front in stating whoever offers the role to them first gets the candidate.

The Importance of Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace

We are also often asked whether employers today have a strong focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace. Times have certainly changed over the years. Businesses tend to be less static and more changeable.  We have become more accessible to our clients and to our work. Employees find it difficult to turn off at home.  How many of us keep reading work emails in bed, over the weekend? Or call clients or deal with business issues over the weekend? This does not give us the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of work.

It has been estimated that, at any point in time, one in six working age people will be suffering from mental illness. This can be associated with stresses at work and not being able to have any downtime. Mental illness is one of the leading causes of health related absenteeism and long-term work incapacity in Australia. It is also attributed to reduced work performance. There is increasing evidence that workplaces should play an important and active role in maintaining the mental health and well-being of their workers.

Every business has a legal and moral responsibility to provide a safe and fair workplace. Creating a mentally healthy workplace has many benefits for both employers and employees. A well designed workplace should support individual mental health. This will lead to reduced absenteeism, increased employee engagement and improved productivity.

Questions Employers Need to Consider in 2017

  •  Do your leaders, (who may be under 40 years old,) know how to initiate conversations regarding retirement plans with team members a generation older than them?
  • Are you offering transitioning support for your mature-age workers?
  • How are you creating flexible strategies to retain and engage your mature-age staff?
  • How are your mature-age staff to inject their wisdom back into your organisation in a sustainable way?

We are living in the age of longevity – an era of increasing life expectancy and, therefore, an ageing workforce. So it goes without saying there are huge implications for both workplaces and mature-age workers.

I am particularly proud of the programs developed by Tom Brockhurst and Sarah Wood in 2016 as part of our newest division, Career People. They help our clients better respond to these changes.

There is enormous value to be gained by transferring the hard-gained experience of your more mature workers to all other parts of the organisation. This is relevant to entry level through mid-career to late career employees.

We know there are many facets of our lives that are supported by work. This includes our identity, the purpose it provides, our social network, our routine.

There are tangible commercial benefits for businesses to engage in formal “wisdom transfer” programs. The mid-career people you’re employing right now – the people who are gaining experience and skills that are important to the company’s future success – have the potential to be with you for many years more than was once considered   “normal”.

So there’s really only one room that elephant needs to be in: that’s in the boardroom. This is where strategies can be discussed to ensure a win/win for employees and their employers.

From my team to yours, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Prosperous 2017.

If you are looking for a new role in 2017 then we can help. Visit our website here to find out more about Arnold Group and our recruitment services.

Want to learn more about how Career People Australia can help your organisation?

We provide flexible, customised services designed by an experienced team to meet the needs of our clients and their employees through an organisational change. Find out more here.