Statistical analysis and data mining was the most sought-after skill in Australia this year.
Did you score your dream job in 2014? Chances are you are a tech, data, science or engineering whizz, according to recent research by professional networking platform LinkedIn.
Statistical analysis and data mining was the most sought-after skill in Australia this year, with middleware and integration software coming in at second place. Search engine optimisation, mobile development and digital marketing also ranked highly on the list.
The research comes off the back of Australian’s rising unemployment rate, which hit 6.3% in last month according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A number of commentators have pointed to supporting entrepreneurship as a way to address unemployment, particularly among young people.
LinkedIn’s research suggests many of the most sought-after skills in the Australian economy revolve around data and digital fluency.
Margaret Harrison, director of Our HR Company, told SmartCompany she has certainly noticed a shift towards companies hiring employees with good communication and tech skills.
“I’ve noticed that particularly the not-for-profits have been asking for skills that involve social media, basically to source funding so they can get funds very quickly,” Harrison says.
“They wrap it into their marketing department. Another area that is very strong is communications – internal communications can be really bad in most companies.”
Harrison says she is unsurprised that recruiting was a skill that ranked relatively highly on the list – coming in at number 10.
“A lot of people are bringing recruiting in-house, so that’s another area [that is doing well],” she says.
“I think it’s really positive for businesses to do that themselves. They know the culture and the person they are looking for.”
Harrison says she hoped 2014 would see mature age workers get “a little bit more recognition”, but for the most part that has not happened. Business intelligence did rank as the sixth most popular skill, however, suggesting that Australian businesses do value someone with a strong knowledge of their industry.
However, a particular skill is just one factor businesses should consider when hiring someone, according to Harrison.
“There are a lot of people saying we just want somebody who fits in,” she says.
“So there’s been a lot of emphasis on personality, on initiative, on people being able to work on their own. It’s always the same old story: what can I do for you and improve your business? And improve it socially as well.”
Harrison says it is important for businesses to consider whether someone will improve the company’s culture as well as consider whether their skillset is appropriate for the job.
“The companies that are hiring most successfully are hiring for the person and the skills, rather than just the skills,” she says.
According to LinkedIn, the top 10 skills that got people hired in Australia in 2014 are:
1. Statistical analysis and data mining
2. Middleware and integration software
3. SAP ERP systems
4. Storage systems and management
5. SEO/SEM marketing
6. Business intelligence
7. Mobile development
9. Network and information security