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For our TrustED Conf 2021 VR World Tour, we heard from EL Phan, a Talent Acquisition Specialist who’s been active in the APAC region for the past 4 years focused on the IT division before switching to digital marketing on how the talent market changed after the pandemic.

How has the talent market changed after the pandemic?

Let’s take a look at the digital landscape

The Talent Report from IAB Australia has confirmed growing discussions about the talent shortage across the national advertising industry.,

The report found that job vacancy rates for digital advertising and ad tech industry roles have more than doubled in the last 12 months, to reach 9.8%, this being driven by several contributing factors, including strong market growth, changes in visa rules, lack of incoming talent due to border restrictions, and the entry of new large global organisations into the local market.

Probably 15 to 20% of Australia’s talent is ordinarily imported, but the labour market testing laws changed by the Federal Government, came into force in the previous September.

“Historically, if somebody was on a 482 visa and was working at X agency, I could easily go and approach them and move them on that visa into another agency, for example. You can’t do that now without immigration lawyers, labour market testing, and now there’s a backlog of getting these things processed. As a result, it becomes extremely challenging to move existing talent who are on these certain kinds of visas across to other agencies.” 

Callum Jaspan, Mumbrella

“The demand for talent in the Australia digital advertising market is the highest that I have seen in my 20 plus years in the industry”

Gai Le Roy, The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia CEO

So where is the low point?

Recruitment on How has the Talent Market Changed After the Pandemic

The most competitive sector of the recruiting market currently was identified as people with three to five years of experience (75-150k), which often results in organisations opting for candidates with less experience, factoring in costs for internal training and room for upskilling.

What talent wants

Most important priorities for candidates overall (Australia & New Zealand)

  1. Good work-life balance
  2.  Excellent compensation and benefits
  3.  Colleagues and culture
  4.  Open and effective management
  5.  Job security

Most important priorities for candidates overall (SEA)

  1.  Excellent compensation and benefits
  2.  Good work-life balance
  3.  Colleagues and culture
  4.  Open and effective management
  5.  Job security

We know how competitive the current market is. Let’s dive deeper into how we should tackle these challenges, first by understanding our candidates’ needs.

Good work-life balance tops the list of the most important factors when considering a new employer, followed by excellent compensation and a workplace that inspires employees to do their best. Similar data was applied for the South East Asia region. 

Work flexibility used to be a distinctive perk. Today, it’s increasingly an expectation. You might not get special attention for offering flexibility, but you will probably stand out for not having it (and not in a good way).

“Good work-life balance tops the list of most important factors when considering a new employer”

LinkedIn: Talent Market Drivers Since the Start of COVID: Australia Report

Again, throughout the LinkedIn report and Mumbrella insights that press the importance of creating a work-life balance culture, let’s not look at this as a perk and good to have but a serious problem we need to solve in order to sustain a healthy workforce and grow the business.

Fastest-growing priorities since COVID (Australia & New Zealand)

  1. Employee training +16.7%
  2.  High calibre talent +12.8%
  3.  Compensation and benefits +11.4%
  4.  Inclusive workplace +9.4%
  5.  Job security +8.7%

For Australia and New Zealand talent access to ongoing training grew the most in importance, up 16.7%. Working with inspirational talent (12.8%), excellent pay and benefits (11.4%), and inclusive workplaces (9.4%) also grew in importance.

Before the pandemic, companies reported that the primary challenge to a successful organisational transformation was not having the right skill set to execute. As COVID-19 proved, rapidly adjusting capacity and redeploying resources is critical to success. 

As we observe the transition to a post-COVID-19 economy, what becomes more important than skills themselves are the enduring human capabilities and the ability to learn, apply and effectively adapt to evolving skills requirements. Organisations that nurture and cultivate these human capabilities in their workforce will have a strategic advantage, as their people are better at adapting to increased disruption and change.

The sad truth

Employee Priorities on How has the Talent Market Changed After the Pandemic

Companies aren’t delivering what talent wants. While work-life balance and compensation are the most important priorities for candidates, employee surveys reveal that companies score poorly on those priorities relative to other factors measured, as I mentioned before, Flexibility now becomes an expectation, yet companies still put it as a benefit perk.

For all the benefits of remote work, talent may be enjoying in Australia and New Zealand, there’s a dark side: employees are more likely to struggle with work-life balance[2]. With remote work[3] remaining a likely reality for many, organisations should foster workplace culture to support workers, and unlock the productive gains[4] that have been witnessed from more flexible arrangements.

What companies want

Okay, it’s fair to only consider what talents want. Let’s also look at the needs of companies. Both Australia/NZ and SEA market will be growing in Technical related jobs, with SEA as an outsourcing hub for technologies companies worldwide with huge demands for Engineer/Developers & Customer Services. The more mature market has more specialist resources like Australia witnessing the growth of Account/Project Management role.

Jobs with the fastest growing demand: Australia

Q2 2021 vs Q2 2020 (Australia)

  1. Teacher +7x
  2.  Account Executive +5x
  3.  Account Manager +4x
  4.  Full Stack Engineer +4x
  5.  Cloud Engineer +3x
  6.  Business Analyst +3x
  7.  Software Engineer +3x
  8.  Business Development Manager +3x
  9.  Executive Assistant +3x
  10.  Technical Specialist +3x

Jobs with the fastest growing demand: SEA

Q2 2021 vs Q2 2020 (SEA)

  1.  Software Engineer  +4x
  2.  Customer Service Representative +3x
  3.  Product Manager +2x
  4.  Business Development Manager +2x
  5.  Full Stack Engineer +2x

What are companies doing to deal with the challenge?

Immediate Priorities Of Companies on How has the Talent Market Changed After the Pandemic

Company Performance According to Employees on How Talent Market Changed After the Pandemic

With all the challenges and the competitive market, companies are forced to change. We see companies are trying to create their best practice of remote/hybrid working or start.

What does it have to do with us?

This means a great number of opportunities for In Marketing We Trust to promote our existing culture, the culture of work-life balance people are searching for. Saying it is easy, but it’s not going to be a 1-person game.

Coming into 2022, we’re all going to need support from our teammates, acting as a brand ambassador, or raising your voice and becoming the Key Opinion Leader of your industry. It can start by sharing LinkedIn-related posts or attending more events as a speaker, or create training about related topics, or simply introducing some of the channels/platforms that you see digital marketers are acting on.

Moving forward — Suggestions to accelerate

Because In Marketing We Trust has been a remote agency for 10 years, we have all the benefits of making mistakes and becoming better, we’re actually ahead of the curve, and to utilise that benefit, we need to think of a solution to accelerate.

By building talents and a learning ecosystem. By understanding future jobs and valued skills in our business, function, or company and thinking broadly about where and how learning occurs. Understand who has these skills, wherein our organisation they are needed, and how they are best cultivated beyond organisational boundaries.

By enabling employees to see shared futures, good careers management connects the employees’ talent plan and the organisation’s business plan. Create ways to tell employees what future skills the business needs, amplify complementary skills and relevant opportunities, and share pathways for moving into future roles.

Kirsten Tanner

Kirsten Tanner

Editor in Chief at In Marketing We Trust. Passionate about content marketing and dogs. Loves creating long-form, evergreen and 10x content. Is mentioned in Guy Kawasaki's latest book.

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