At the end of May, in my last market update, I wrote that we were seeing the first signs of recovery in the Australian Data recruitment market and that I felt there was light at the end of the tunnel, post-pandemic. And I was right... for a couple of months at least! In May and June, many of our clients continued to reach out to discuss their hiring freezes coming to an end and what their requirements were likely to be. There was an air of positivity that we hadn’t seen for months, with candidates and businesses being less risk averse. Unfortunately, our collective confidence was short-lived as the second wave hit in July.
Budgets were frozen again, setting businesses back approximately eight weeks, and recruitment processes slowed right down with any hiring needing re-approval. However, without sounding like I am repeating myself from May, it looks like there might be light at the end of this (second) tunnel now. This past month, we have had a number of exciting discussions with clients who now have a backlog that needs to be addressed, projects that were put on hold and that must get underway if they’re to remain on track and competitive. The overriding message seems to be that Australian businesses simply cannot hold off any longer, and this might be the difference this time. Without tempting fate too much, this could be a tipping point for the sector.
To keep our confidence in check, we’ve spoken to a number of leaders in the Data and Analytics consulting sector over the last couple of weeks to see if our observations were accurate. Their experiences are mirroring ours in recruitment, with not just a positive mood among their client base, but actual RFP’s going out for projects that were approved in Q2 of this year, which are finally getting signed off. From our perspective, this will mean more activity as they look to increase both their permanent and contract headcount as they scale their Data teams accordingly.
While this is of course good news, particularly when you consider the number of candidates available in the Data market right now, clients are going to want one thing in these uncertain economic times: the ever-elusive unicorn. A unicorn is a mythical candidate who ticks every box from education to experience and has every skill set known to man on their CV. In my sector, unicorns are also literate in the very latest technology and have no problem translating and explaining data to non-data stakeholders. The reason you don’t see them applying for roles is that they are very risk averse creatures, staying firmly where they are until they see stability back in the market. While this means that my team and I will be working five times harder to find them, we relish the challenge and can’t wait to uncover a few unicorns in the last quarter of this year!
Are there any other key trends you’re seeing in the sector in the second half of 2020? If you’re a Data professional and would like a confidential discussion to learn more about the current opportunities in the market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.Posted about 3 years ago