ACT employers report decline in hiring intentions

By Angela Dorizas

Employment confidence in the government sector has seen a decline in hiring intentions, according to a new report released today by recruitment firm Hudson.

The Hudson Report surveyed 4182 employers from across Australia on their employment expectations.

It found that 26 per cent of employers in the ACT were planning to increase their permanent staff levels over the October-December 2010 quarter, which was 10.5 percentage point drop in hiring intentions from the previous quarter.

Employers in the government sector reported a 14.2pp drop in hiring intentions from the last quarter, largely due to the survey taking place when federal government departments were in caretaker mode.

Husdson ACT general manager John Henderson said hiring intentions had shifted from being twice the national average to well below the national average. He said a net 15.2 per cent of employers reported an intention to increase permanent staff levels by December.

“Even though we have a new Government in place, the medium-term hiring prospects for the ACT are still far from clear,” Mr Henderson said in a statement.

“As new portfolios are established and policy agendas prioritised, the influence of specific departmental resourcing requirements will take some time to be reflected in hiring intentions.”

Mr Henderson advised employers to maintain a “diligent view on their workforce” and pay particular attention to key talent and high performers.

“Emphasis must be placed on employee performance,” he said.

“Competition for the best people is already fierce and employers need to put in place the right strategies and processes to ensure they are hiring the people best suited for specific roles.”

He added that employers with forward-looking recruitment strategies would be best placed to deliver on growth opportunities.

At a national level, employment confidence has softened slightly, but still remains strong. The Hudson Report found a net 33.5 per cent of employers across various sectors planned to increase their permanent staff levels over the October-December quarter.

New South Wales was the only state to see a rise in hiring intentions, with sentiment increasing a further 0.7pp to 33.8 per cent in the sixth consecutive quarterly increase.

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