In our latest project, we asked small, medium and large Australian businesses about their hiring practices, how they’ve changed and the issues they are facing. The NAB Business Confidence Survey tells us business confidence was down slightly at the end of 2015, this survey being based on telephone research and a combination of simple metrics. We found that the impact of reduced confidence since the end of the mining boom has been profound. This should come as no shock to anyone but this finding led to something far more interesting. The Technology Sector has been experiencing quarter on quarter growth as we enter the new ‘digital economy’ and investor confidence in this area remains robust. However, hiring practices appear to have become more cumbersome, in a sector that due to a combination of lack of foresight and a lack of educational planning is incredibly short of top practitioners. So we did the research again, on a slightly smaller scale, this time focusing on the tech sector. The following key findings relate to this –

 

Hiring process

In other words, a great many tech businesses are running on hope that their best and brightest won’t move on. Slightly fewer are completely reliant on key talent staying, having no plan to replace critical people should they leave.

Ineffective

The hiring strategy of a business during boom times can make or break it in the long run and have a huge impact on competitive advantage in the short term. We are running a follow up question regarding priorities but do not have enough data to quote as yet. However, that businesses would not be focusing on getting the best and brightest now seems a bizarre misalignmnet of prioroties. And yet –

hiring levels

There is awareness around the issue, perhaps more planning and proactivity both on the part of internal recruitment teams and senior executives is key. If senior members of staff make hiring one of their key priorities, the business is likely to fall in line. One final measure however set a powerful tone –

confidence

The challenge for the tech sector is obvious. More skilled programmers, coders and specialists are required and how they are brought in needs to be streamlined. The talent glut is very real and not enough is being done to make sure it doesn’t reach critical levels. As more jobs go digital the infrastructure needs to be built to accommodate this. Businesses like Slack, Evernote and Xero are just the tip of the ‘virtual business’ iceberg. But the future is exciting as business have their eyes up, shoulders back and are ready to change the world.

To learn more about this research, please contact Rhys Knight rhys@knight.global