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Global uncertainty has limited effect on headcount decisions

  • 58% of employers reported that global uncertainty is not impacting hiring decisions
  • 23% of companies will be increasing headcount in the fourth quarter
  • Most businesses (41%) will be focusing hiring on revenue generating roles

Employers in Australia are set to continue their steady investment in new headcount despite uncertainty around the global business environment, according to the latest Michael Page Employment Index.

The majority of employers surveyed (58%) reported that weak economic conditions in the US and Europe are not impacting fourth quarter headcount decisions, with hiring activity expected to remain largely unaffected.

“Clearly sectors like retail and manufacturing are under pressure, but this is being offset by strong growth in areas like mining and resources. Recruitment levels within the professional labour market are varied but the overall picture is still one of sustained hiring activity,” said Mr. Phillip Guest, Managing Director of Michael Page, Australia and New Zealand.

Some 68% of the companies surveyed will be maintaining current staffing levels in the fourth quarter, with a further 23% intending to boost headcount. Over half of the employers surveyed also expect business conditions to remain stable or improve during this period.

“Most companies are investing in revenue generating areas like sales and business development. We are also starting to see companies recruit more broadly across their business to include operational and back office functions, as employers look to establish the right teams to support growth in 2012,” said Mr. Guest.

With sustained hiring activity expected to continue over coming months, the pressure is increasing on employers to keep their most valuable people engaged. For almost half of the companies surveyed, training and development opportunities will be offered to top performers as a key incentive to remain with their business. A further 24% of respondents plan to offer performance-based rewards in order to keep their top talent over coming months.