Recruiters hopeful about Coalition boost to tech jobs and others.

THE Coalition’s election victory will generate a rebound in technology hiring in the coming months, according to recruiters, but a 457 visa review is needed to ensure skills demands can be met.

Peoplebank chief executive Peter Acheson said the hiring pause since February would create some latent demand.

“There will be jobs that people have held back hiring that we will start to see hit the market, probably by early November,” he said.

“I think the outlook for 2014 looks pretty good.”

Mr Acheson said the message from Tony Abbott’s victory speech that “Australia is open for business” was a positive sign for the business and corporate community.

“It (hiring) will be steady. I am not predicting a boom but we will see some improvement from what we have seen over the last 12 months or so.”

However, Mr Acheson said federal government hiring would be curbed by the Coalition’s review of the public service.

“Federal government hiring in IT will be flat for the next four or five months,” he said. “I then think there will be some trimming of the public service.”

Mr Acheson said new projects under the Liberal government would be focused on e-business and serving the customer using the internet and online systems.

“The most likely outcome is that by this time next year we would start to see federal government ICT hiring improving.”

He also expected “pro-business” changes to the 457 visa program from the government.

“I think you will see some relaxing of the current regime,” he said.

Talent International founder and managing director Richard Earl urged the new government to “act quickly and decisively” to boost the nation’s skilled migration and undertake a complete review of the 457 visa program in line with its commitment to business.

Hays Australia‘s managing director Nick Deligiannis said a change in government meant there was some uncertainty around the NBN, with the Coalition seeking a fibre-to-the-node solution rather than the current fibre-to-premises rollout.

“The feeling at the moment is that could impact adversely on levels of hiring because it is a reduced total expenditure on that particular program,” he said. “Certainly the ICT policy framework generally (from) the Coalition was well received and very positive – the NBN is the question mark.”

Harvey Nash Australia managing director Bridget Gray said that since the election result, employers had acted more decisively about hiring and growth.

“The expectation is that a government with a clear majority and a public commitment to stability will ensure consistency within the IT sector, thus encouraging employers to hire new staff and expand their business.”

She said within the next 12 months there should be greater clarity on ICT policies and on the progress of the NBN.

“We welcome the proposed plans for technology at a federal level, including the use of big data, the establishment of an ICT advisory board and moving towards a digital government, including increasing use of the cloud.”

Spark Recruitment director Luke Singleton did not expect to see any significant impact from the new government until the second half of the financial year.

“Hopefully, the election means consumer and business confidence will increase,” he said. “Having said this, there may be rationalisation of public sector spending which can quickly cause these sentiments to dissipate.”

He said open source, digital and cloud technologies would change the type of person hired over the coming years.

“The government needs to work to ensure IT professionals are supported through this change and the academic institutions need to be better aligned to produce what the market is looking for.”


 Administrator’s note

This is indeed welcome news from those at the pointy end of the labour market. Client companies have been holding their breath for the last 8 months trying to make sense of the outgoing government’s bizarre union- inspired attack on the 457 visa program particularly and hopefully wondering what a new liberal government would bring.

All indications are that the position will begin to improve slowly – in IT but also across the board, to allow employers (and their workers) to benefit from more stable conditions from which to launch fresh into 2014.

More of the same please!