The 2024 Employment Outlook Survey conducted by Randstad provides valuable insights into the expectations and challenges for the Australian job market in the coming year. Here is an analysis of the key findings:
economic and employment outlook
The findings by Randstad illustrate an optimistic economic outlook for Australia in 2024, with nearly 79% of respondents expecting the economy to stabilise or improve. This positive sentiment aligns with the hopeful hiring projections, where 70.5% of respondents predict an increase in hiring needs and 87% expect to see the availability of talent improve or stabilise in 2024. These are good signs for businesses and job seekers alike, as a stable or growing economy typically translates to business expansion and increased job opportunities.
talent acquisition and retention
A pivotal concern spotlighted in the survey is the availability of the right talent with the right skills, with 47.5% of business leaders identifying this as a pressing issue keeping them awake at night. This concern is not unique to Australia, but is a global phenomenon, possibly exacerbated by rapid technological advancements and a shift in skill set requirements. The focus on retaining staff (37%) and the increasing talent demands (32.5%) also highlight a shifting landscape in employment, where employees are as valuable as the work they produce.
skillset and role prioritisation
The emphasis on technology roles - revealed as the most difficult to fill - underscores the increasing reliance and integration of technology, AI and machine learning in virtually every sector. Technology skills are also noted as the most critical skills in demand for organisations in 2024, according to almost 57%. Problem-solving (45.5%), and creative skills (38%) also in high demand, reflect a multifaceted workforce needing to adapt to evolving digitalisation and automation across industries. The difficulty in filling sales and relationship management staff roles also signals a need for businesses to foster expertise in revenue generation, customer relationship and retention, and business development within their teams. In a rapidly evolving job market, businesses need to stay agile and adapt to changing skill needs. This requires a proactive approach to training and development.
remote/hybrid work challenges
The challenge of maintaining staff productivity (58.5%) in remote/hybrid working models indicates organisations are continuing to explore optimal operational models. This aligns with the 55.5% of organisations aiming to bring staff back to the office more deliberately in 2024, to better balance productivity and in-person collaboration with the benefits of remote work. It’s paramount for organisations to continue to refine remote/hybrid working models to maintain organisational culture, and productivity. Leadership skills and capability in managing remote/hybrid workforce needs ongoing development as well, according to 42% of respondents.
It is also important to note, not all organisations find remote working challenging. Over 44% say they are not looking to change the status quo, as they are happy with current flexible work practices.
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impact of AI and technological transformations
The impact of AI on job roles is noteworthy, with over half of the respondents believing that AI will impact some roles, and 20.5% believing it will create new roles. This indicates an ongoing transformation within the job market due to technological advancements. The 60% of organisations hiring new skills and 54.5% reskilling impacted employees demonstrate proactive approaches in adapting to AI and technology transformations. This adaptability is key for organisations to remain competitive and for employees to maintain relevance in the evolving jobmarket and an AI-driven world.
wage inflation and talent costs
The expectation of an increase in the cost of talent, including wage inflation, by 57.5% of respondents signals potential pressure points for organisations in managing operational costs. Balancing talent costs with talent needs will be crucial for organisational sustainability.
Overall, the Randstad 2024 Employment Outlook survey results suggest a generally positive outlook for the Australian job market, with opportunities for growth and development. However, businesses should remain attentive to the evolving challenges. The anticipated economic stability and growth are promising, and the focus on acquiring and retaining skilled talent in technology and problem-solving suggests a proactive approach to future market demands. Balancing the challenges of remote working, evolving skill requirements due to AI, and managing talent costs will be crucial for sustained organisational success in 2024 and beyond.
The 2024 Employment Outlook Survey by Randstad in September 2023 gathered insights from 200 diverse Australian business leaders, reflecting their outlook on the job market. These findings offer qualitative perspectives and advice for organizations to align their strategies with market expectations