Employers urged to hoard great staff as job market tightens

Australia’s tightening labour market means start-ups who stumble on a great potential recruit should consider hiring them immediately, a recruitment expert says.


With the latest employment data showing the unemployment rate fell by 0.2% to 5.2% during November, with an additional 54,600 jobs created during the month, recruitment industry veteran Bob Olivier of Advantage Resourcing says small businesses need to start hoarding staff to avoid getting caught out with skills shortages.


“You must continue to recruit – you just don’t stop and start. The best thing to do is be continually looking for people and snap them up when you can.”


“If you’ve got someone who comes to your front door now and they’re good, snap them up, because in six months time you’ll be looking for them and they’ll be gone.”


Olivier, who is director of global market intelligence at Advantage Resourcing, says engineering and mining are driving the jobs growth, recording a 46.44% increase in jobs in the past 12 months.


“And with a number of planned infrastructure projects for the coming year, this trend is set to continue,” Oliver says.


Financial services and banking was the only industry to record a decline while sales, marketing and retail recorded a rise of just 0.58%.


Olivier says in light of the strengthening job market, the pressure is on employers to ensure their staff don’t look for work elsewhere.


“For smaller employers, I would just say that the golden rule is to look after their best performers,” he says.


The one downside of a strong jobs market is upwards pressure on interest rates.


ANZ senior economist Amber Rabinov says the RBA’s main concern regarding job growth is what it means for household spending and wages growth.


“The undeniable strength in employment growth provides significant support to aggregate household incomes. The risk is that consumers may return to their freer spending and borrowing ways of pre-crisis times,” she says.


“At the moment, retail sales are printing softly, with retailers needing to rely on discounts to drive sales volumes. But retailers may start to regain some pricing power if spending picks up again, which will add further upward pressure to an already forecast step-up in inflation.”


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