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Hiring stagnates as business exercises caution

If you’ve had your new small business or start-up on the backburner for a while, now may be the perfect time to revive your plans. The ball remains firmly in the employer’s court, as a new report shows employers intend to keep their current headcount steady rather than hire for new positions.

The latest report on employment trends released by Hudson revealed just 22.5 per cent of employers are looking to increase their headcount, while a further 14 per cent intend to decrease their numbers.

Mark Steyn, CEO of Hudson Asia Pacific, isn’t surprised by the caution excercised by employers given the tough economic climate.

“There is still a real sense of uncertainty regarding the international economic outlook, which has a strong bearing on the hiring expectations in our local market,” he said.

Intentions to hire in Australia trail well behind other nations in the region. Over 50 per cent of Chinese organisations surveyed intend to hire, alongside 48.7 per cent of organisations in Singapore.

Although hiring expectations in Western Australia have dropped due to the peak of investment in mining having passed, it still remains the state with the strongest intentions to hire, along with the ACT.

Victoria has the lowest number of employers intending to increase their headcount.

By profession, legal has the strongest intentions to hire, with almost 40 percent of employers looking to increase their headcount. On the other hand, employers in the technical and engineering profession have the strongest intentions to decrease their number of staff.

Steyn warned that the stagnant employment market may soon lead to talent shortages within organisations.

“Australian employers are challenged with an emerging mismatch between the skills and competencies that exist within their organisation and those required to operate successfully in today’s economic climate,” Steyn said.

This means employers must invest in their current employees.

“To address this, organisations need to develop employees with the right blend of cultural fit, technical skills and leadership qualities to take their businesses forward,” he said.

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Gina Baldassarre

Gina Baldassarre

Gina is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She enjoys learning to ice skate and collecting sappy inspirational quotes.

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