Salary spike predicted against talent shortage


A new report highlights the urgent need for talent investment in the growing field of emerging tech. It has been revealed a talent shortage in emerging technology poses a serious threat to the growth and competitiveness of Australian businesses, according to a Randstad Technologies report.

The nationwide survey of more than 400 tech leaders identifies Cybersecurity (63%), AI (60%) and Digital Transformation (56%) Specialists as the skills in short supply and most urgently needed to support local business growth in the next 2-5 years.

According to the findings, cost is the biggest barrier to securing talent for businesses and is only set to increase with demand. As a result, half of the leaders polled expect emerging tech specialist salaries to grow by 10 per cent within two years, and a third predict a 20 per cent growth.

Alex Jones, Director of Randstad Technologies, has witnessed first-hand the increasing demand for skilled talent and the imminent challenges facing the industry.

“The coronavirus pandemic, economic backdrop and increased spate of cybersecurity breaches in Australia has seen the technology sector emerge as a key driver for both our economy and our way of life in a world with COVID19. But the almost-overnight surge in demand has left the pool of talent in the emerging tech market behind in the dust.

“Our findings reveal a worrying trend whereby a shortage of talent in emerging technology has the potential to pose a serious threat to the growth and competitiveness of Australian businesses. The good news is that there is a lot that businesses can do to combat this skills shortage depending on whether you need a short-term, mid-term or long-term strategy.”

 Critical specialisations

Leaders are finding it difficult to shift focus from generalised roles to niche specialisation, as emerging technologies become increasingly critical to delivering success for Australian businesses. Sectors most important to delivering business needs over the next 2-5 years have been identified as cybersecurity (83%), digital transformation (66%), cloud computing (65%) and big data analytics (60%).

Reflecting the increased spate of cybersecurity breaches in Australia combined with the accelerated transition to machine learning systems such as cloud computing service Azure, tech leaders anticipate that the largest headcount growth in new tech will be required in cybersecurity (89%), followed by AI, automatics and robotics (33%), digital transformation (33%), big data analytics (32%), IOT (27%) and cloud computing (26%).

Barriers to securing talent

Despite accelerated demand for specialised roles, over half of leaders (54%) believe it will be difficult to secure talent specifically in AI, automatics and robotics, followed by cybersecurity (45%), IOT (40%), digital transformation (37%), big data analytics (36%) and cloud computing (30%) – those same areas critical to growth. Further to this, one in five leaders (22%) say talent shortages will knock their ability to retain existing talent, reflecting an increasingly competitive marketplace. Randstad Australia’s 2020 Employer Brand Research Report further suggests, talent with niche skills can get a 10-15% rise by moving jobs.

Meeting the demand

Talent shortage has proven to not impact demand as 32 per cent of businesses state they still need and plan to grow headcount in emerging technologies by over 20%. Businesses desperate to bolster headcount are planning a mixed solution of reskilling staff (36%), hiring experienced talent (27%), outsourcing (17%), hiring graduates (10%), contractors (5%) and engaging consultancy partners (4%). However, leaders have claimed the top three barriers for securing talent to be:

  1. Budget constraints
  2. Meeting salary demands
  3. Growing skills shortages

If employers cannot find the right talent within the next 12 months, they will consider upskilling existing employees (60%), supporting educational programs in Australia (34%) or capitalising on the work from home revolution by hiring remote domestic (32%) or international (18%) workers.

Without the right talent in the emerging technology space, over 4 in 10 decision-makers say their business will be unable to meet future demand and grow, while a third (34%) claim they will lose their competitive advantage. With the accelerated adoption of emerging technologies becoming ever more critical, this research highlights the impact the growing skills shortage is having on the labour market and the subsequent concerns of tech leaders in meeting demand and future-proofing the Australian tech industry.

In response to the demand, Randstad Technologies has invested to help Australian businesses find, hire and upskill talent in emerging technologies, supporting their immediate requirements and long-term future growth.