The Election Aftermath!

Jamie Harding

So, after months of discussion, debate, confusion and uncertainty, the election has been and gone!! After months of talking about it, the “Bright New Future” we were all promised is apparently here and we are told “Australia is open for business”…..or is it?!?

Election night provided high drama and long speeches, and as a Pom experiencing my first Aussie election, I was fascinated to hear that people held Election night parties, cancelling their usual Saturday night escapades in favour of a night in front of the TV.  And so, out of sheer curiosity, I too also tuned in to watch what all the fuss was about!!

Whether or not you tuned in to Channel 9’s coverage, with an ever grinning Karl and Lisa and a huge panel complete with a lady with a bright fish patterned blouse and numerous graphics of defeated (Labour) candidates being dropped into a shark tank and eaten, or you watched the more sedate and informative ABC coverage- what unfolded was exciting and dramatic and I must admit kept me glued to the TV!

So, now the dust has settled, what does the result mean for Australia and especially families and business’ in Queensland.  The good old Sunshine State seems to have dealt its current state representatives a wake up call by bucking the national trend and supporting (predominantly) Labor.  Has the result provided clarity, green shoots of economic recovery or will it mean more money in the pocket of Australians and Queenslanders?  Only time will tell…….

Even before the new government has been sworn in, this week has seen more positive news within the mining sector, the dollar up, markets trading higher and, according to the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment released on Wednesday, consumer confidence is at its highest since 2010.  So far, so good!!!

It is early days but what is certain is that the new administration has a big job on its hands and with Australians, and business’ watching, it will need to act quickly to show that Australia really is open for business.

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Innovation in Healthcare

Last week our Health Recruitment team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment successfully planned and launched our first ever round table event for healthcare professionals. Held in conjunction with Medical Journal Australia (MJA) Jobs, who recently launched their new careers page, we could not be more happy with the outcomes and the environment we helped create to allow like-minded healthcare professionals share ideas and network with their peers.

Our clients and the continual range of questions and conversations we heard across all the industries we work with drove this event and led us to the theme of ‘How to deliver safe and quality healthcare in the current financial climate with a health system focus.’

There has been much media lately in regards to the commercialisation of government assets as well as the move to a national health system structure that it seemed logical to include this topic, and we thought correct with 3 of the 4 tables focusing on this broad topic.

A further challenge for the healthcare industry has and will continue to be is the issue of workforce, which includes recruitment and retention especially in remote and regional locations and in a changing workforce landscape. This became our second topic and proved to reveal some of the most interesting insights and innovations of the night (i.e. Nurse wants a farmer).

Eden Ritchie Recruitments Health division and MJA Jobs team invited over 100 people and at final count on the night we had 35 people attend. Proving that even with the challenge of national budget night we still managed to draw quite a crowd, Again this made us realize the topic and concept to connect the health industry together to bounce ideas and generate discussion in a facilitated open forum is the right direction.

We really need to thank our facilitators for their passion and commitment on the night to guide each of the groups. Firstly for working with the tables to think up creative ideas, before working them towards a unique or innovative approach to the problem of ‘commercialisation and workforce in the current financial climate with a health system focus’.

All of our clients who attended on the night have spoken fantastically about the night and are looking forward to both the follow up report that will detail the ideas and table summaries as well as our next event to build on these ideas and connections further.

SueTTo find out more follow us on LinkedIn and look for our Health Innovation group in LinkedIn as well.

2013 in Queensland – a positive outlook or more of the same?

Dan2012 was a tough year for many Queenslander’s with the employment market suffering from a lack of Government spending on projects and infrastructure. The large number of redundancies across the Government sector as well as the reduced confidence of the large mining and resources companies all contributed to a significant reduction in the hiring of both contract and permanent staff across most industries in Queensland throughout 2012.

With 2013 now in full swing, what is the outlook for the remainder of the year? We have seen a steady increase in the number of contract and permanent opportunities throughout the first couple of months of year which is certainly a welcome change from the last quarter of 2012. After a strict spending freeze since the election in March last year, the State Government appears to slowly be ramping up its spending on new projects which has created the increased need for contractors with specialist skills to help deliver key initiatives.

The lowering of interest rates by the RBA over the past six months has increased confidence in the Australian economy and has seen many commercial sector organisations increase their recruitment to help meet deadlines and drive growth. We have seen a significant increase in the number of permanent roles in Queensland compared to the past 6 months.

Overall, the increase in Government spending combined with the increase in confidence in the Australian economy certainly bodes well for the year ahead. With the Government’s need to deliver critical services across the state, we should see a substantial increase in the amount spent on projects for the remainder of the year. For anyone looking for a new role, this should have a positive impact as the number of both permanent and contract opportunities rapidly increases to meet the demand of employers.

Making the Move from Government to Commercial

Linda ParkerHave you recently taken a redundancy from the State Government and considering the move into a commercial organisation?

You are not alone.

In the current market more and more candidates are attempting the transition from the public sector to the private sector.

Unfortunately there is a ‘public servant’ myth, which can hinder your ability to even get an interview. So how do you convince the hiring manager of a successful blue chip organisation that you have what it takes to work in a fast paced environment?

Tips to bear in mind when presenting your application to a commercial organisation, or through a recruitment agency, is to highlight the ‘commercial’ aspects of your previous roles and have a clear plan in mind.

Do your research!! Going into an interview without any prior knowledge of the company and its operations or strategic vision is a sure fire way to not get the job!

In recent years, Government organisations have been recruiting candidates with commercial experience in order to change the culture and drive greater efficiencies and performance. This argument can be used to flip the public servant perception on its head.

Private sector employers who fail to recruit the most talented employees, and prejudice themselves against people with different career backgrounds are unintentionally exposing their own management weaknesses. Their inability to recognise that public sector workers have an enormous amount to offer suggests a lack of foresight on their part and can potentially make them appear narrow minded.

There are so many strengths that you can bring to a role in the private sector including your ability to manage change and varying levels of bureaucracy, not to mention multi-million dollar budgets!

Take the time to think about what you can offer, and sell it!

If you’re currently preparing your CV, or would just like to enhance your current one, this article from Business Insider offers some great advice on what to avoid putting in your resume.

Queensland IT Market Update

What a difference a couple of months make! It’s good to see some positivity returning to the Queensland IT market after a relatively quiet six month period following the state election in March this year. Whilst the market hasn’t yet returned to the busy times we saw during 2011 and the early part of 2012, it seems there is momentum building slowly across a number of organisations, with key projects requiring resources as we come into the traditionally quiet Christmas period. This bodes well for 2013, particularly as the State Government starts to undertake new projects following the results of the ICT Audit that it is close to finalising.

In a number of conversations with employers and candidates throughout the year, I have mentioned that I believe we will see significant growth in the market from around March next year. I still hold this belief after hearing QLD Government CIO, Peter Grant, speak at the ICT Industry Forum last week, where he mentioned the government’s plans for significant spending on ICT initiatives as we move into the New Year. This has a flow on effect for many private sector companies that are influenced by the spending, or lack of, by state and local government in Queensland.

So what does this mean for the ICT employment market? My expectation is that the need for ICT contractors will increase as these ICT projects begin. In the early months of 2013, we should see a steady increase in the number of contract roles, particularly Project Managers and Business Analysts. As the year continues, we should see growth across other areas as these projects ramp up their recruitment.

Despite what has been an up and down year for many, it is good to see some positive sentiment in the market. Good signs for the industry as we move into 2013!