Is your role in demand?

Each year recruitment giant Hays Personnel Services interviews Australia’s major employers to find out their hiring, firing and salary intentions for the financial year ahead.

You can see the Hays series of salary surveys on by just clicking on Career Resources and then Dollars & Sense. In the meantime, here is what the experts have to say about your industry.


It has been a challenging year for office support candidates with even highly skilled, experienced staff finding job shopping tough going. Roles in demand include receptionists and office juniors. In the public

sector the roles of executive assistant has been on the rise but not in the private sector.

“Additionally, restructures and technology have further eroded administration roles with job descriptions changing from traditional roles to include areas outside of “office” support such as analysis, resourcing, policy, procurement, sales, IT and research,” says Hays.

In turn this has created a multi-tasking mindset – such as receptionists working on accounts processing.

“As positions are merged employees skills have to be upgraded,” says the report.

Organisations that were unable to merge or upgrade skills made staff redundant and then hired replacement staff with the skills they were after. This also meant that candidates were hitting the market without the skills in demand.

The research also shows that while the role of executive assistant is on the rise in the public sector, in the private sector PA/EAs “have been replaced by more junior multi-skilled roles”. Companies are also keen on using temp to perm candidates to ensure they find the right person for the role. Hays advise candidates to be flexible and to keep building their skills and keeping existing skills sharp.

“Do your research – look at the big picture and discover how a company operates and what its structure is before accepting a permanent role. Ensure it meets your career objectives. “Be flexible on salary requirements as it may be necessary to take a slight drop in your expectations now in order to progress your career further in the future. You will find that working in an environment that you enjoy will automatically create more opportunities.”

July 22, 2003

Is your role in demand? (contd)

Call Centres

Candidates with either call centre experience or experience in a certain industry sector are most in demand. Overall, the services supplied by the call centre sector are now better recognised by corporate Australia elevating the status of contact centre professionals.Hays advise candidates that the minimum requirements expected by most clients include Windows ability, a typing speed of at least 25wpm, strong customer service ethic, customer service experience, working to and meeting targets.

Be prepared in job interviews to draw on your time working in the industry to provide specific examples of how you handled various work-based situations.

Sales & Marketing

The roles of sales representative, roles under the account management banner and territory management have been the most in demand. Sales candidates should maintain an edge with constant care and attention paid to their skills, education and training.

Marketing roles across the board have been in short supply and candidates are advised to stay in their respective industries. Those with direct marketing experience are most in demand and Hays predicts

continued strength in this area. Demand for marketing communication professionals has been “reasonable”. The best areas for marketing candidates are IT&T due to the roll out of 3G product, financial services and the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector.


After a year or so of gloomy, employers are now painting a brighter picture with a return to the use of contractors leading the way. Hays says that companies are taking a “risk evasive” approach to recruitment. This means IT professionals are being taken on for the lifecycle of a project where there is a guarantee of return on the investment or an expected loss if the project doesn’t go ahead.

Roles in demand include those within infrastructure, networking and support.


Trends the banking sector include outsourcing back office processing functions and boosting business development and frontline sales staff – particularly in the retail arena. Growth areas of banking include mortgage lending, property, finance and commercial lending and wealth management and financial planning. Risk analysts and risk management roles are in high demand for Hays banking

clients. Areas that have contracted include investment and merchant banking and stockbroking.

All information based on the Hays Personnel Services Salary & Recruitment


Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can

be directed to CareerOne by emailing:

July 22, 2003