In the ever-evolving landscape of Victoria's labour market, 2024 promises both challenges and opportunities for employers and jobseekers alike. As we head towards the new year, it’s crucial to gain a sense of the transformation we anticipate, as well as insights into the trends and dynamics that will shape the world of work in the future.

outlook and employment dynamics

Victoria, like the rest of the world, has weathered the tumultuous waves of the pandemic. As we transition into 2024 and try to bring inflation under control, the unemployment rate, which remained relatively stable this year, may see an uptick. Even then, it may not impact the market too much as we expect to have more people employed next year than we did before pre-pandemic levels. 

Despite potential challenges, opportunities still abound in the marketplace. If we talk about opportunities for job seekers next year, it’s important to recognise that the competition for top talent remains fierce. Organisations are continually seeking exceptional individuals to join their ranks, and this demand is unlikely to wane. In recent years, we've also witnessed career transitions that were previously unimaginable. Jobseekers have moved across sectors, seizing opportunities that were once out of reach.

However, the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and evolving recruitment technologies will pose a unique challenge. With potentially less human interaction in the hiring process, and less jobs being advertised, it may create barriers for jobseekers when applying for jobs. But both employers and job seekers will need to adapt to these changing conditions. 

As unemployment rises, people won’t see as many job advertisements and activity around hiring, but that doesn’t mean that organisations aren’t still willing to meet and consider talent. Forward-thinking hiring managers will always remain open to meeting potential talent, even if they aren't actively advertising.

In this environment, building a personal brand, expanding your professional network, and focusing on your online profile become paramount. With reductions in talent team sizes and budget constraints, jobseekers must leverage their branding and networking to stand out and navigate how they seek employment next year.

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challenges and opportunities

The role of leaders has become increasingly complex. Organisations are becoming even more data-driven in their decision-making, requiring leaders to adapt to a more analytical mindset. The integration of technology into businesses has accelerated this transformation, presenting challenges related to skill sets and data-driven decision-making.

One well-documented challenge is the onboarding of staff in hybrid and remote work environments. People leaders must possess high emotional intelligence, self-awareness, adaptability and trust-building, especially in a remote work context. The responsibilities of leaders have also expanded to include a more significant focus on the mental and physical health of their teams, as well as themselves. The world of work has changed significantly, and leaders must be equipped to handle these new responsibilities effectively.

Upskilling and training for business leaders are imperative, as the role of leadership looks vastly different from just a few years ago. However with budgets being cut and less movement in hiring support positions the workload of leaders continues to rise. Leaders must focus on their own health and well-being as they continue to evolve to meet the demands of this rapidly changing and more demanding work landscape.

industry insights and the regional dilemma

In Victoria, industries such as services, health, and community services are poised for growth in 2024. The professional, financial, and information services sectors also show promise. However, the employment landscape is complex, with around 3.7 million people making up Victoria's labour market.

It's important to note that regional Victoria faces unique challenges. While the state's unemployment rate hovers around 3.6%, regional areas experience a disproportionately high percentage of unemployment. The reliance on overseas workers to fill roles in these regions has been disrupted, and the demand for employment in regional areas remains significant. However, sourcing talent for these areas is becoming increasingly challenging.

As a result, organisations in regional Victoria must consider innovative approaches to attract and retain talent. These challenges emphasise the need for a strategic focus on employee experiences, flexibility, and benefits to remain competitive in these regions.

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two women and a man in the middle talking in an office space

predictions for the future of work

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations to become more agile, creative, and quick in their decision-making. The adoption of hybrid and remote work models represents one of the most significant shifts in the workplace. Individual priorities have also shifted, with many employees seeking greater flexibility and work-life balance.

Frontline workers experienced these shifts differently, increasingly leading to career transitions, now seen as an overflow from exposure risks during the pandemic. The sectors hit the hardest were emergency services, trades, healthcare, education, production and manufacturing.

As we move into 2024, sectors and organisations with frontline workers will need to reassess their employer value proposition, their employee experiences, flexibility, and benefits to attract and retain talent effectively in the future.

The emphasis on reskilling and upskilling employees is expected to continue. Jobseekers need to consider how they can enhance their skill sets to remain competitive in the evolving job market.

Next year presents a dynamic and evolving employment market in Victoria. Challenges and opportunities will shape the future of work, demanding adaptability and resilience from both employers and jobseekers. By staying informed, embracing innovation, and building strong relationships, we can navigate the path ahead and secure success in 2024 and beyond.

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about the author
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an image of a man wearing a collared polo shirt smiling while looking to the left

adam weekley

director randstad