The report tracked the hiring intentions of more than 2,000 employers, as well as the attitudes of 1,330 employees in April this year.
It suggests that the job market is set to remain buoyant going into the second half of 2016, with almost 1 in 3 employers (31.7%) planning to increase hiring, creating a net effect of 22.6% – a slight dip on the first-half outlook, but still higher than the preceding four years.
The net effect is calculated by taking the percentage of employers surveyed who intend to increase permanent staff levels over the next six months, and subtracting the percentage of employers who expect to decrease staff levels.
Executive General Manager, Hudson Recruitment Australia & New Zealand Dean Davidson said: “It appears that despite confusing economic and political signals, employers are getting on with the job at hand and investing in the people they need to grow their business.”
However, these plans could be complicated by a wave of staff departures, with the survey revealing that 44% of employees are actively looking for new opportunities – up from 26% late last year. A further 32% are open to hearing about opportunities, with only 24% content to stay put.
“The number of employees with their eyes on the exit has jumped significantly since last year. More professionals are convinced that the buoyant job market is here to stay, and are considering how they can build their career in this environment. This should sound alarm bells for employers, who will need to redouble their retention efforts and be ready to manage an uptick in staff departures,” Davidson said.
One reason behind this restlessness may be disappointment with training options, in the face of relentless change. The survey found that 98% of employees say developing their skills is important or extremely important, while 60% feel more pressured to learn new skills than two years ago. Unfortunately, however, one in two don’t feel supported by their manager to improve their existing skills.
“Professionals keenly understand that their skills are crucial to their success and employability. We are living in a time of unprecedented disruption: technology evolves fast, change is a constant and employees know they need to keep up. In fact, 98% of them take personal responsibility for their professional development and 66% are spending three or more hours a month on it.
“But employers need to meet them in the middle. Skills development is crucial to ensuring individuals can perform, progress and deliver for the business, yet this continues to be a blind spot for employers, evidenced by the fact that less than half have a defined strategy to train their people.”