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Project managers well-placed in employment figures

PM News
January 18, 2012

Project managers are poised to benefit from positive employment expectations despite negative global sentiment about the economy, according to global recruitment specialist Hudson.

Hudson released results from its latest Employment Expectations survey, which revealed that more than a third of surveyed hiring managers intended to increase permanent headcount in the next quarter.

Once again the resources sector led the positive charge with a net 57.7% positive hiring sentiment, more than 30% above the industry average, with other traditional areas for project managers also strong.

“Despite the current international uncertainty, and changing conditions at home, employment expectations in Australia on the whole remain positive, particularly in the resources, transport and construction and engineering sectors,” said Mark Leigh, CFO of Hudson Asia Pacific.

“Furthermore, we expect high demand in certain roles, such as engineering, geology, HSE [health and safety] and operational roles as well as for customer facing IT specialists.”

The strength of the resources sector has caused employer confidence to rise in related areas such as construction/property and engineering, with net 38.7% of organisations intending to increase permanent headcount over the coming three months.

A net positive 39.7% employer confidence in IT represented a drop of 3% over the quarter but is Australia’s third most confident sector. Almost half of surveyed employers intend on increasing permanent employees.

The professional services sector also recorded solid figures despite a 6% drop. A net 44.7% of employers in the professional services sector intend on increasing permanent staff numbers.

“The two speed economy continues to drive significant differences in employer sentiment between the sectors, with those industries connected to resources remaining most upbeat. Industries outside of resources are more closely reflecting the global economic uncertainty,” Leigh remarked.

“In spite of this sector divergence, it is encouraging to see that all regions and industries are reporting positive employment expectations for the first three months of 2012.”

The report took into account a survey of more than 4,300 employers across Australia, conducted late last month. Almost 36% of respondents intend to increase permanent staff numbers this quarter, while 54% will keep numbers steady and 10.1% aim to decrease their headcount. The numbers reflect a slight weakening, from a net positive 27.9% last quarter to 25.7% but are still considered strong.

The figures also showed the states where the most employment activity is to take place. Resource-rich states Western Australia and Queensland lead the country with a net positive hiring sentiment of 45.1% and 35.4% respectively, while increased confidence in New South Wales saw the state move to third with a 2.4% rise for a net positive of 23.5%.

“Now more than ever, in a turbulent economic climate, the cost of a bad hire is crippling. It is essential that employers have a robust process in place to rigorously assess and secure the best people for their businesses,” said Leigh.

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