It’s impossible to talk about hiring in the tech sector without acknowledging the talent shortage. Employer demand for tech talent outstrips job seeker interest worldwide—and Australia is no exception.
But here at Indeed, we know that’s only part of the equation. Our economic research team keeps a close eye on the labour market, studying real-time job search data to understand what’s happening in the economy. And our findings reveal there’s more to the tech industry than meets the eye. Here are three things we’ve learned about the tech talent shortage in Australia:
Candidates are showing increasing interest in tech jobs
Yes, there is a shortage of candidates in the tech field. But over the past two years, that shortage has lessened. Between 2013 and 2015 the gap between job seekers’ interest and employer demand for tech roles decreased in Australia as a whole and in key cities.
This rising interest is precisely the kind of shift that employers can capitalise on. Understanding what people are searching for is the first step to reaching them, especially in a talent-short market.
Australia is a top destination for international tech talent
Previous Indeed Hiring Lab research has found that Australia is among the world’s top destinations for talent. Indeed data on candidate searches for the last twelve months confirms that Australian highly livable urban centers are the most attractive locations within the country. In particular, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane were the most sought after locations in terms of concentration of international job seekers looking for openings in the city.
Indeed search data reveals that foreign job seekers are 3.2 times more likely to click on a tech job than on the average job in Australia.
Moreover, an ABS study on migrants’ characteristics—carried out in November 2013—estimated that 62 per cent of recent migrants had obtained vocational or higher education before arrival in Australia. Of these, 72 per cent had obtained a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. While of those who did not have a qualification when they moved to Australia, almost one third had obtained a vocational or tertiary qualification after their arrival, with an estimated 42 per cent obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
Migration has long been a source of talent to Australia. To continue building and maintaining a competitive tech sector, employers will need to continue attracting candidates from abroad and developing their talent once they’re here.
Sydney and Melbourne are Australia’s leading centres of tech employment
Indeed data tracking searches for tech roles highlights that job seekers interested in a range of high-skill software and technical jobs showed a concentration of interest almost five times as large for Australia’s two largest cities than for the rest of the country in Q2 2015.
Thanks to the high living standards and level of amenities offered, these two modern coastal cities are very attractive destinations for job seekers. They also host world-class universities which provide a steady supply of talent to the local labour market.
It will come as no surprise to employers that these cities are home to great candidates. The key will be to provide the opportunities that keep and continue to attract them there, especially as tech employers face more and more competition from the US and elsewhere.
Despite the dominance of Sydney and Melbourne as leading centres of technology employment, the distribution of technology job postings suggests that technology opportunities do exist outside of the country’s two biggest cities. Brisbane—with its attractive lifestyle and world class university—enjoys the most marked comparative advantage when it comes of attracting foreign job seekers in the sector. This will be a city for employers and job seekers to take note of in the coming years.
Read the full report to learn more about the tech talent shortage in Australia and how the labour market is changing.