A new skills shortage is emerging in Australia. Rather than broad industry-wide shortages, which were rampant pre-downturn, today’s demand is far more focused around certain specialist, “super skills”.


And in our Hays Quarterly Report for October – December 2014, which tracks candidates in demand, we show that the number of these specialist skills in short supply is increasing.


During the height of the resources boom, the skills shortage was uncontained within a number of industries. For example, anyone with resources experience was in huge demand, and anyone with accountancy, IT or construction knowledge was of great interest to employers.


Today, the skills shortage is much more focused around particular job functions. We are not seeing industry or sector-wide shortages. Instead, each industry and sector has a list of niche skills that are in short supply. Given the demand for these skills, Australia is on the verge of an exceedingly tight labour market for these highly-skilled professionals.


This is supported by findings from the recently released 2014 Hays Global Skills Index, which shows that wages in Australia’s high-skill industries are rising much faster than in low-skill industries.  Such wage pressure indicates that employers are competing for highly-skilled professionals in high-skill industries.


According to the Hays Quarterly Report for October – December 2014, the following skills are in short supply:


Hays Accountancy & Finance – commerce & industry

  • Finance Business Partners / Commercial Analysts – Employers are strengthening their teams with analytical expertise in order to look into costs and improve profitability.
  • Management Accountants – Employers are looking for commercially orientated Management Accountants with a broad-based skill set that encompasses transactional, reporting and analytical expertise.


Hays Accountancy & Finance – professional practice

  • Business Services Manager – There is particularly strong demand from small to medium firms for Managers with advisory and compliance experience.
  • External Audit Seniors – Demand is very high for suitable Auditors who are CA/CPA qualified and have solid Australian experience.


Hays Architecture

  • Retail Architects – The retail sector is growing strongly, which is creating high demand for Architects who have experience overseeing the design and delivery of individual shops or centres.
  • Statutory Planners – Given the increased number of development application approvals, Statutory Planners who are immediately available and can work on a contract basis are in strong demand. 


Hays Banking

  • Credit Assessors – Candidates holding a credit authority of more than $750,000 are in high demand within the residential and commercial banking space.
  • Financial Planners and Paraplanners – There continues to be demand for Financial Planners and Paraplanners, with candidates often receiving more than one offer.


Hays Construction

  • Contract Administrators – There has been an increase in demand for Contract Administrators across all building sectors, particularly for candidates with large scale residential development experience.
  • Cost Planners – Quality Cost Planners/Estimators with local knowledge are sought to meet demand resulting from a higher volume of small building projects.


Hays Contact Centres

  • Telemarketers – There is high demand for Telemarketers, but a shortage of skilled and experienced candidates with outbound sales experience.
  • B2B Telesales – Those candidates within the IT or technology space that have demonstrated success and commitment in this area are in the highest demand.


Hays Education

  • Early Childhood Teachers – There is very high demand for childcare in Australia and this has resulted in a shortage of Early Childhood Teachers for long day care centres.
  • Trades Educators – The changing regulations and formalisation of apprenticeships and trade courses offered is creating demand for a new breed of specialist Trades Trainers.


Hays Engineering

  • Revit Modellers/Drafters/BIM professionals – Very strong demand exists for candidates with Revit MEP experience. There is also a shortage of Revit Modellers in a BIM environment.
  • Structural Engineers – With the current increase in activity in the high rise residential market, intermediate Structural Engineers with commercial buildings experience are needed.


Hays Facilities Management

  • Facilities Managers – Mechanical Facilities Managers with NV2 clearance and extensive knowledge of projects and facilities are in demand as assets undergo technical and maintenance upgrades.
  • Cleaning Managers – Senior Managers in the cleaning industry are in demand due to ongoing staff turnover and contract changes.


Hays Healthcare

  • Registered Psychologists – Employers are looking for registered and highly experienced candidates, who are in short supply.
  • Registered Nurses – Experienced AHPRA registered nurses are in demand for vacancies in remote clinics, not-for-profit organisations and private hospitals. 


Hays Human Resources

  • HR Advisors/HR Business Partners – Senior HR Advisors with employee relations and performance management skills are needed.
  • Instructional Designers – Many companies are focusing on learning and development and this requires strong Instructional Designers to create training programs.


Hays Information Technology

  • Developers – There is a shortage of solid front end Developers. Candidates with IOS and Android Native development skills are in most demand.
  • Cloud specialists – With the big move towards Cloud infrastructure, organisations are looking for candidates who have experience with the relevant technologies such as Office 365, Azure or AWS.
  • Business Analysts – Senior Business Analysts with particular domain experience and SME knowledge of the subject matter of a project are in demand.


Hays Legal

  • Construction Lawyers – Demand remains high for Construction Lawyers with good experience at PAE level for both front and back end roles.
  • Insurance Litigators – There is increasing demand for candidates with specialist skills in defendant work across professional indemnity, public liability and financial lines.


Hays Life Sciences

  • CRAs and SCRAs – Good quality CRA and SCRA professionals with multi-site independent monitoring experience within pharma or CRO (contract research organisations) environments continue to be in demand. 
  • Regulatory Affairs Associates and Senior Regulatory Associates – In particular demand but limited supply are candidates with experience registering new prescription medicines with innovator companies. 


Hays Logistics

  • Fleet Controllers – As these positions are demanding and require long hours there is always high demand across all areas, especially container transport.
  • Inventory Controllers – Controllers who are open to working in regional locations across multiple industries are in most demand.


Hays Manufacturing & Operations

  • Maintenance Supervisors – Demand is high for Maintenance Supervisors across the manufacturing sector, particularly for candidates with recent experience on the tools.
  • Production Supervisors – High level Supervisors who can be hands-on whilst also managing the day-to-day functions of teams are sought after.


Hays Marketing

  • Social Media Consultants – Candidates with experience in social media are in demand as employers look to drive engagement and brand awareness with consumers.
  • Digital Analysts – Large organisations are looking for candidates who can analyse online activity to better understand how consumers are responding to their digital marketing efforts.


Hays Office Support

  • Executive Assistants – Candidates with professional services experience are sought, especially those with minute taking skills who have supported C-Suite level professionals.
  • Experienced Residential Prestart Consultants – Demand is high for these candidates due to ongoing strong sales within the residential building sector.


Hays Oil & Gas

Western Australia:

  • Instrumentation Technicians – These professionals are in demand as several major projects in Western Australia are now in construction phase.
  • Cost Engineers – As costs remain the focus of employers across the state, we have seen a rise in demand for Cost Engineers who can work in a reporting role as well as analyse cost trends.



  • Petroleum Engineers – Engineers with coal bed methane or tight gas experience are highly sought due to new tenements being explored with low permeability reserves.
  • Commissioning Engineers – These professionals are needed to complete infrastructure works and activate them. 



  • Project Engineers Gas Pipeline – The upgrading of distribution assets and extension of the network is creating a need for these skills with most civil gas contractors.
  • Construction Supervisors – There are some large construction projects occurring in regional Victoria but a shortage of Supervisors who can manage multidisciplinary construction.


Hays Policy & Strategy

  • Business Analysts – Candidates with experience scoping current operations, researching new operating models and bedding down new business processes through mapping and documentation are highly sought.
  • Economists – Economists with experience in economic modelling, forecasting and funding are sought.


Hays Procurement

  • ICT Procurement Specialists – Organisations that are improving their ICT systems are looking for specialist skills within this area.
  • Purchasing Officers – Candidates with a focus on risk mitigation are in demand. This has become a focus for employers as local supplier networks go into administration.


Hays Property

  • Land Acquisition Managers/Development Managers - Demand for land is increasing, creating a need for professionals who can locate and secure medium density infill sites.
  • Property Managers – Residential Property Managers are sought in response to the booming residential property market.


Hays Resources & Mining

New South Wales:

  • Mechanical Fitters – The need to make constant mechanical upgrades has fuelled demand for Mechanical Fitters.
  • Maintenance Planners – Good Planners are highly sought after to maximize a crew’s performance.


Western Australia:

  • Surface/Underground Heavy Diesel Fitters – Fitters with significant underground and surface mobile maintenance experience are sought.
  • Reliability Engineers – Most Engineers pursue a career in projects or design, creating a shortage of Reliability Engineers.


South Australia:

  • Project Schedulers – Multiple interstate companies are winning contracts in South Australia and require local candidates to fill these roles.  
  • Senior Mechanical Engineers – There is a shortage of Senior Mechanical Engineers as a large number of South Australian candidates are occupied interstate on oil and gas projects.



  • Underground Electricians – Candidates can receive a higher pay rate in the coal sector, which is creating demand for Electricians in Queensland’s metalliferous mines. 
  • Fitters – There is currently a high level of ongoing shutdown work demanding local candidates with the right inductions.


Hays Retail

  • Buyers – Competition remains fierce among supermarket retailers, which has led to experienced Buyers being highly sought after.
  • Merchandise Planners – Merchandise Planners are in demand for their advanced analytic and reporting skills.


Hays Sales 

  • Business Development Managers – Candidates with a proven ability to grow businesses or enter into new markets are highly sought.
  • Sales Representatives – Businesses that are growing have a need for more counter sales and on the road sales representatives. We are also seeing demand for ‘hunter’ style sales professionals.


Hays Trades & Labour

  • Skilled Labourers – Reliable and hard working labourers are always in demand.
  • Machine Operators – Construction companies are looking for multi-ticketed Excavator Operators with stable backgrounds.


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