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GFC encourages growth of project professionals

Australian companies are looking to project professionals to compensate for the lack of in-house staff created by the GFC, according to a new national survey out today.

Project professionalsThe survey, by professional services firm Resources Global Professionals, reports that 57 percent of consultants who work on a project basis have experienced a greater demand for their service, compared to 78 percent experiencing less demand in 2009.

These results indicate a new post-GFC business environment, one that focuses on balancing staff numbers while containing costs, according to Resources Global Professionals managing director (Asia Pacific) Jacinta Whelan.

“Companies are realigning to reflect the new business environment. Redefining or improving processes is the first step in this new reality,” Ms Whelan said.

“An ongoing trend towards very lean core teams with a freeze on permanent hires means companies do not have spare capacity when a project need arises, so they bring in
consultants as and when they are needed.” Ms Whelan added.

The survey states that the majority of project professionals, at 53 percent, were hired to make up for a lack of in-house expertise, followed by 43 percent hired to compensate for the lack of staff available to execute projects.

These statistics show how companies are using interim expertise to supplement in-house teams with shorter bursts of expertise.

“48% of respondents said they’d worked on process improvement projects over the past
12 months. This supports anecdotal evidence that we are in a ‘realign’ phase of the
business cycle – since the GFC first hit, companies have gone through great change, be it
downsizing, evaluating core business, consolidating or divesting,” Ms Whelan said.