A report from Bullhorn has found four out of five recruiters believe that agency revenue will increase, and nearly three quarters believe that hiring needs will increase in 2018. Overall, Australian recruiters are confident about the industry in 2018 as a result of the generally positive hiring outlook. Fifty-five per cent of agencies feel more confident about the future than they did at the same time last year. Sixty-three per cent expect increases in billable hours and 66 per cent expect increases in temporary placements.
Despite their optimism, however, there is also some concerns about bill rates, economic growth, and visa restrictions. The majority of Australian agencies (57 per cent) anticipate that bill rates and margins will either stay flat or decrease over the coming year, and a large portion (55 per cent) rank pricing pressures and margin compressions as major challenges for the year.
Seventy-eight per cent worry about Australia’s economic growth rate, and more than half worry about consumer spending (59 per cent), inflation (53 per cent), and interest rates (53 per cent). While 45 per cent of recruiters indicate visa restrictions will have no impact on their businesses, 35 per cent did say there could be a negative impact on their operations. Further, more than half of respondents (53 per cent) cite restrictive labor policies as a trend to watch.
“Australia’s recruitment firms are optimistic and pragmatic in equal measure,” says Simon Greening, APAC regional director at Bullhorn. “They believe firmly that the industry has a bright future – but they’re not going to pretend that economic uncertainty and visa restrictions aren’t going to have an effect. Australia’s recruiters can achieve success in this environment, but not without employing the right tools and techniques.”
Amongst Australian recruiters, the single best method for sourcing candidates is referrals from successful placements, at 25 per cent. But that strategy doesn’t work best for most recruiters. When looking at what Australian recruiters rank in their top three sources, existing candidates from an ATS edges out referrals for the top position, at 63 per cent versus 60 per cent.
Bullhorn’s report also suggests that recruiters are missing out on opportunities to automate time-consuming, yet critical parts of their daily routines. Of those surveyed, only 17 per cent rank automation among their top three priorities for 2018. Forty per cent don’t automate during the prospecting or client engagement process and 35 per cent don’t automate candidate sourcing, selection, or screening at all.
“Australian recruitment is maturing significantly, but levels of tech adoption remain underwhelming. It’s absolutely imperative that recruiters use every tool at their disposal to get ahead,” comments Greening.
“In a fraught political and economic environment, new opportunities to engage clients and candidates are vital. Technology can help provide these opportunities – either by supporting new innovations in the way recruiters work or by freeing up their time and creating efficiencies. In 2018 and beyond, it’s essential that recruiters take full advantage of them.”
Read more about this report in The Global Recruiter’s upcoming Asia Pacific special e-magazine. Download the app today and lookout for the next update.