What Does a Candidate-Focused Market Mean for the Year Ahead?

The employment market has shifted since the pandemic, so what can we expect from the tech job market in Australia? Emanate Technology’s Queensland-based Associate Director, Ben Wright, shares his insights for the year ahead.

Both jobseekers and employers in the tech and IT sectors have noticed that there have been some challenges in the industry happening throughout the pandemic. It’s been a difficult time due to the skills shortages and the lack of international contractors that would usually contribute to modest rates.

Despite all the challenges throughout the pandemic, contractors now have multiple options, and these have been largely driven by rates rather than the option to work from home. At Emanate Technology, we have continued to communicate with both employers and jobseekers alike, ensuring that we are on top of delivering the latest industry trends – including the changing rates and working dynamics.

Changes in the IT and Tech Sectors

There have been plenty of ups and downs throughout the past year and one of the biggest challenges has been in finding the right talent in the IT industry. With so many options out there to attract candidates looking for work, clients are working harder to offer more and keep up with the market.

Some clients are keeping pace with market rates while offering a 50:50 split with hybrid working. Those who aren’t doing these things are struggling to attract talent, and that means elongating their recruitment processes to find the right person. Jobs pre-pandemic that would get 80+ applicants are now only attracting a small handful of jobseekers, with candidates jumping contracts over as little as $5 per hour.

A Candidate-Focused Market

Right now, we are seeing a market that has shifted from being client-focused to candidate-focused. This has meant that candidates are moving through the market quickly, juggling multiple opportunities with extremely high rates up for grabs. This has been coupled with more flexibility and hybrid working options which means that there is less of a fight for a position. Candidates are in demand and have a wider pool of employers to choose from rather than the other way around.

While we’re not seeing a pay gap between men and women in the Brisbane contracting market, we are seeing that candidates are using their position to get counter offers and increased rates. This has a knock-on effect on clients who are unable to compromise, as they are being left behind in favour of employers who can adjust and offer more.

Business Analysts, Change Managers, Testers and Developers are in high demand, especially those with SAP and Dynamics 365 in their toolkit. Despite the lack of candidates available, clients are willing to wait for the right applicants to come along if they are in specific need of these skills.

We have noticed, however, that clients are more willing to see Business Analysts with a couple of years of experience and then provide training to upskill. The willingness to wait seems to depend on the role, with clients happy to see candidates with more industry experience over qualifications.

The Year Ahead

For the year ahead, we believe that the currently high contract rates are likely to level out once international contractors return to Australia to work. For clients, however, there must be more streamlining in their recruitment processes if they want to attract the right talent and remain competitive.

We usually have a three-day turnaround for most government roles, so state government clients should give agencies more time to work roles for the right candidates in this market. We think that the new change in government will have an impact on recruitment in the year ahead and some clients such as those in the Healthcare industry will benefit from these changes.

Overall, clients should consider leaving their roles out in the market a little longer to attract the right candidates. Their processes should be faster, turning around interviews quicker in their contracting roles with prompt offers so that they don’t lose out on the best candidates.

We are happy to talk to both jobseekers and employers about the current trends and help you to make the changes work for your business. If you’d like to discuss any of these insights further, feel free to get in touch today!