Accounting to retail: The skills employers want in 2019


Digital project managers, finance business partners and other roles involving non-routine tasks not subject to automation will be in high demand in the first-half of 2019.

That’s according to recruitment firm Hays, which has released its twice-annual list of the most in-demand skills across the economy, providing an insight into what businesses across the economy are looking for.

There’s an overriding trend towards highly specialised roles, which has been going on for a while, coinciding with broader labour market trends concerning automation and outsourcing, particularly among SMEs.

But in some cases where SMEs have outsourced jobs, such as finance functions, a counter-trend has emerged where businesses are seeking to bring functions back into their businesses, Hays said.

That’s driving demand for finance managers and financial controllers, while payroll managers and officers are also sought after, although businesses are looking for people experienced in their relevant accounting software.

Looking at retail, disruption is driving many businesses to change their business models, which is creating new kinds of demand for candidates in the industry.

Store managers that can take ownership of changing strategic priorities are in high demand, while merchandise planners are still in short supply following earlier changes to 457 visas.

The high-demand jobs for the first-half of 2019

Accountancy and finance

Finance managers, financial controllers, finance business partners, senior auditors and insolvency professionals.


Civil site engineers, project engineers, estimators, project managers, commercial contract administrators, site managers and residential site supervisors.


Store managers, merchandise planners and merchandise allocators.


Construction and property lawyers, commercial litigators and commercial contract lawyers.

Information technology

Data scientists, data engineers and data analysts with SQL, R or Python experience, cloud engineers and infrastructure engineers.

NOW READ: Is Australia headed for a robot tax? Government urged to adopt new approach to future of work

READ NOW: Future of Work: Four trends tipped to change the workplace


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments