As the school holidays come to a close and we all settle back into the routine of work, it’s worth looking at the jobs that are being touted as the most “promising” for the year ahead. Promising, in terms of professionals who have these skills will be in demand and offered a good salary.
For HR professionals, it’s important to be aware of which jobs are most desirable as well as job growth areas, skills shortages and market value, so that they can create strategy around recruitment and retention.
Taking a global overview of the most desirable jobs is Linkedin. Top of their list is Hospitalist, a term new to me but which means a health care manager who deals with patient care and management, electronic records etc. The job attracts a baseline median salary of US$222,000. Pharmacist, sales engineer, site reliability engineer and product manager all line up behind this job, while coming in at number 10 with a median base salary of $100,000 is ‘scrum master’. (Imagine for a moment your toddler lisping: ‘Daddy, when I grow up I want to be a scrum master’.) Software specialists will understand the top skills required for this position: “agile methodologies, software project management, scrum, requirements analysis, SQL or Structured Query Language”.
Linkedin arrived at their list by giving jobs weighted scores based on salary, career advancement, number of job openings in the US, year over year growth in job openings and widespread regional availability.
Moving the focus more locally, new research shows that Australians working in technology, infrastructure and corporate governance sectors are those most likely to enjoy double digit wage growth in 2017, continuing the trend from 2016.
Robert Walters Global Annual Salary Survey looks at year on year salary changes across 10 recruitment areas. For teenagers or parents of teenagers considering university and career options, IT is still coming up trumps with a strong demand for specialist top talent and high salaries to match, particularly in NSW. Other highly desirable roles, according to the survey, are digital marketing jobs in Victoria and infrastructure jobs in Queensland.
Technology continues to lead the agenda in the workplace, not just in terms of salary levels, but in business investment.
“Technology advances to enable and fast track productivity gains, regulatory pressures within the financial services sector, together with the $50 billion worth of investment committed by Australia’s national and state governments, are the main drivers for salary growth,” says James Nicholson, managing director ANZ of Robert Walters.
Research that emerged from the World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of January, found Australian businesses are spending big on AI technology, for example, investing on average $8.2million last year – behind only the US. A majority of big businesses across Australia have deployed AI but almost a quarter do not have the skills in place to manage AI effectively.
Examples of Australian AI in use today include robots automating a Perth hospital’s pharmaceuticals ordering system, driverless farming tractors, Australia Post drone deliveries, a bank using machine learning to forecast investments and a mining company using predictive analytics to schedule maintenance and reduce machine breakdowns.
Despite these innovations, more than half (55%) of Australian workers don’t think that they have the digital skills to guarantee future employability. New research from HR and recruitment specialists Randstad, shows a further two-thirds (67%) believe that digitisation of the workforce requires different skill sets to those available at their current employer.
Randstad CEO, Frank Ribout, says: “Organisations across many industries are snapping up talent with these digital skills, but not necessarily upskilling their existing workforce. This has led to a gap within the talent pool and that gap will be set to widen if the issue is not addressed. A shift in thinking needs to happen now or we risk a skills shortage in the long term, with a significant section of the workforce ending up unemployable in the near future.”
HR – Demand and Supply
Aside from the training and development of your workforce, if any HR professional is looking for new challenges themselves elsewhere, the bad news is that the outlook for HR doesn’t look quite so rosy. Human resources along with sales and business support are the three sectors most likely to lose out due to oversupply. AHRI’s drive towards professional certification begins to look even more desirable given this employment climate, as a way for HR to distinguish themselves and advertise their specialist skills and knowledge.
Perhaps it’s the time of year, but more than half of Australian professionals are considering moving jobs (56 per cent), according to Robert Walters. Of those, only 28 per cent will change jobs for a better salary. As we have reported before in HRM, career progression, skills development, flexible working conditions and cultural fit all continue to be important, non-financial reasons for job seekers looking to move on.