Market Update – June 2021

Information Technology
Market Update
Perth, WA

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It’s no secret, WA has bounced back quickly to pre Covid-19 levels of employment growth.  Perth is back to ‘full employment’ market conditions, and it’s great to hear people “complaining” about being busy – what a first world problem!


We’re seeing continued growth helping clients with their “forming, norming, storming and performing” teams, and this is unlikely to change in the back half of 2021 with growth-focused budgets signed off for FY22.


With more candidate demand than supply we are also seeing a few candidate behaviours that irk employers playing out, which is a real shame too.


The upshot if you’re a candidate – you’ll be smiling for the rest of 2021 with new projects, growing teams, increased spending on training, and increases in remuneration.


If you’re a hiring manager – proactive, smart(er) hiring will be your saviour. Stopping reactive recruiting and instead building a hiring system that allows you to recruit and secure the right people will go a long way to helping you hire and retain employees in the future. 


Workspace of future hiring is evolving – it’s no longer about putting adverts on job boards, or giving your hiring needs to every recruiter in Perth.  You’ll create even more work for yourself leading to you complaining more about being ‘busy’ and worse, increasing your direct and indirect costs. People are easy to find. Knowing how to hire the right ones is hard, and getting harder.


2021/22 is likely to present a more perfect ‘talent storm’ than prior years:

  • No international travel, and State border closures reducing talent flow;
  • Strong growth and new employee demand in all States of Australia reducing access to talent (unlike that last boom in WA);
  • ABS are predicting a growth of 3-4% GDP off the back of big government spending and abundance of capital around the globe (money is cheap!);
  • Continued growth in digital economies;
  • Limited / under investment in employee training and development (budgets were slashed in 2020);
  • A WA Premier who is also the Treasurer with big plans for WA growth and investment; and
  • Ever increasing business dependence on quality IT resulting in more transformation programs and investment (security, ERP, application integration projects)… and more.

Background to the post Covid-19 Talent Storm:

  • There are numerous data points confirming we are in a talent short market, putting an increased emphasis and thinking on:
  • Understanding remuneration (the old compensation & benefits) and that work is not just about what you get paid;
  • Managing counter offers and multiple offers of employment;
  • Having a quality hiring system and process that ensures the right candidate accepts the role offered, and starts in their new role;
  • Employers develop and retain their existing employees effectively – play the game of offence and defence, not just defence (think I’ve been watching too much of the NBA of late!).

We are in a ‘V’ Shaped Growth Outlook:

  • In terms of growth in new employee placements, we are seeing a “V” like recovery, not a rolling “W” as is typical…
  • Surprisingly, Information Technology (IT) Permanent recruitment has come back faster than IT Contract when you look at demand month on month.  You may have thought employers would hire Contractors initially as market conditions changed and transitioned post lockdowns in 2020/21. This hasn’t been the case.
(Source: JobAdder Australia - Global Recruitment Industry Report, May 2021)

Growth in contract placements felt like employers switched off the tap in Q2 2020  in the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns in Australia. Fast forward to Q2 2021 and we have a near 100% improvement in IT placement growth and more importantly future staff demand.

(Source: JobAdder Australia - Global Recruitment Industry Report, May 2021)

Is it a good time to be a job seeker in Australia if you already have a job?

  • Yes – there has never been a better time.  According to the ABS, 90,000 jobs were created in the last quarter (Q1 2021).
  • Jobkeeper stopped. The unemployment rate went down (not up as predicted). Job vacancies are at their highest rate since 2008. 
  • Online job advertiser ‘Seek Australia” has employers advertising more jobs than ever before, however applicant numbers (and perhaps quality) are down.
  • If you are planning a career move in 2021, remember to make a change for ALL the right reasons. Don’t change just for dollars and fall victim to ‘bait and switch’ or not understanding the good, bad and ugly of your new employer – remember no employer or role is perfect.
  • If you do decide to make a job move, some of the questions we understand employees are currently asking of prospective companies are centred around:
    • How did they treat their staff during the peak of the Covid outbreak in Australia?
    • Is the industry at risk should future outbreaks occur?
    • Are the employers evolving in regards to their candidate search? Ie. focusing on trajectory and skills instead of years of experience and qualifications.

June – the forgotten month:

June is typically a very busy month for specialist consulting recruiters. Buckets of coffee are consumed discussing both upcoming winter escapes, and ways candidates can further develop their careers and skills in the lead up to the new financial year. 

Of course there is the “am I being paid enough” question, and the “if an opportunity looks like this, can you please let me know…?”


If you’re a hiring manager, June is the critical month to pay extra attention to your team.  The little things you do (or don’t do) are critical for the year ahead – think discretionary effort, retention etc.  Take your staff for a coffee walk and talk, grab a bite to eat (breakfast or lunch only, never dinner) – the important thing is your 100% attention seeking 360 degree feedback and doing something perhaps you would not normally do.  

Resist the urge to grab a drink after work and have a ‘chat’. It’s the wrong message.


The Key Takeaways:

  • You’re a Tech Contractor
    • Your phone will be running a little hot this year.  Rates are still competitive compared to 2019/20, but remember if you have a job you enjoy, you’re doing well compared to a number of people around the globe. We live in an envious bubble in WA (ie. we live on an island, separated from other States by a desert and a large body of water!).
    • In the new FY22 you can expect to see an increase in pay rates of 1%+ (WA Gov) to 2-12% on average in the commercial sector)
  • You’re a Permanent employee
    • If you are a permanent employee exploring new opportunities in 2021, your phone and email will be a little more active across the board.  Most organisations have positive hiring intentions for FY22, which will translate to increased remuneration packages, promotions and other opportunities. Sales Executives, Architects, Business Analysts, Developers and BI specialists are in particular demand at present (with others of course). 
  • There are other industry sectors in WA, not just mining – don’t be a sheep!
    • Because WA is dominated by the mining and resources sector, the perception is you must have experience in this sector on your resume – you don’t. There are a number of opportunities in other industries where you can make a real difference, including mining. 
    • If however you really want to work in the mining sector, hiring managers have evolved their thinking and are hiring ‘non mining’ type people.  However, please think outside the resources box, you will be pleasantly surprised!
  • Sectors hiring more actively than others:

    • Energy: 
      • Climate change is having a greater influence in investment decision making going forward. Several new projects are kicking off this year in this space. 
    • Niche consulting firms: 
      • Again, these firms who have key people with targeted service offerings are hiring and growing exponentially at present (strategic roadmaps, effective use of technology etc.)
    • Software Product Development focused firms:
      • Again, product development focused firms have a bright future in 2021/22 with strong demand.
      •  Integrating niche apps with larger application architecture and ERP’s.

Technology Skills (still) in demand

Specific IT Job Titles in Demand (again)

  • Java (even more so now!)
  • Software and Services Sales  
  • MS .Net Core
  • Cyber Security
  • Automation Testing
  • Automation Testers
  • Sales Executives (modern workplace)
  • Full Stack Software Developers 
  • Solution and Enterprise Architects
  • Business Analysts (MS CRM & Salesforce)
  • Business Analysts (DevOps Technical)
Year on Year change in advertised IT jobs – WAJanuary 2021 VS May 2021

(Source: Seek Analytics, January 2021 vs May 2021)

Advertised IT positions (WA only) – Difficulty to fillJanuary 2021 VS May 2021
Difficulty to source Jan 21
Difficulty to source May 21

(Source: Seek Analytics, January 2021 vs May 2021)

Year on Year Change in Market Demand for candidates – WAJanuary 2021 VS May 2021

(Source: Seek Analytics, January 2021 vs May 2021)

Year on Year Change in Market Demand for IT Candidates – WA January 2021 VS May 2021

(Source: Seek Analytics, January 2021 vs May 2021)

(We source, acknowledge and use data from a range of information sources which may include: Federal & State government bodies, Seek, ABS, IBS, ANZ job series, Jobadder, LinkedIn, Indeed, NPA Worldwide, RCSA, APSCO and many others).

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