MARS Recruitment is busier than ever as we kick off the new financial year!


March 31, 2021

MARS Recruitment is busier than ever as we kick off the new financial year! Our Technology Principal Consultant, Charles D. Cartney, provides an end of financial year update on the Melbourne technology market.


Market summary

  • In the first half of this year, we saw the greatest ever increase in demand for technology professionals
  • We have seen the market transition radically into new territory from last year’s ‘employers’ market’ to a significant ‘candidate driven market’.

Factors driving this current candidate-driven market

The substantial reduction in skilled migration

We’ve always seen skilled migration as an important part of our workforce particularly for technology candidates.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited skilled migration across the market. This is impacting many areas of technology that previously benefited greatly from that migration, and now many employers are under great pressure, as it becomes increasingly difficult and close to impossible in some cases for them to find talent.

Increased business confidence to initiate technology projects or make hires

Many businesses cut hard and cut early in 2020 and this included putting technology many projects on hold.

As 2021 rolled out, many businesses increased their stability as their bottom line improved and as a result kicked off or restarted many of their technology projects. This resulted in necessary headcounts approved (or re-approved) and many businesses went to market all searching for the same scarce people.

Candidates have an abundance of opportunities to consider

  • Candidates’ job prospects have been transformed from 2020 in Melbourne, at the depths of lockdown to the current period.
  • Candidates have now up to 5-7 interviews in their pipelines.
  • This means that candidates can be very selective in terms of the roles they go for and accept.

How should businesses respond in the current candidate-driven market?

Move away from short-term contracts

I believe that employers having a “view to simply extend existing contracts” does not cut it now in the market, since technology candidates are in high demand and can easily get longer contacts elsewhere. I recommend now in discussions with clients to go for 6 months minimum when going out to market to contract.

Further open up using remote options as the norm

Many teams continue to evolve to operate more and more remotely, and this will continue especially with technology staff. So, I recommend a strategic solution for employers, which is to open up even more and embrace further the remote-working options available around Australia. Further remote working provides a much broader range and depth of candidates and increase the success and reduces the time to fill critical roles.

Paying appropriately is now even more critical

The reality in 2020 was that pay rates generally went down for technology staff and particularly for technology contractors. This has now reversed and pay rates are strengthening.

Also, there are a lot of figures thrown around about the “cost of re-hiring” or “hiring the wrong person” (some estimates are as high as $100,000) but I say with confidence that it is a lot less than an extra $5-10,000 to get someone on board and at the right level.

Streamline the recruitment process is a competitive advantage in recruitment

I have always emphasised the need to streamline recruitment processes to keep the candidates engaged in the process. So, it is now even more crucial to not drag out the time between interviews / testing / meetings. Such delays are at odds with the now generally accepted use of Zoom, Teams or WebEx. Any unnecessary delays in the recruitment process will be a significant issue with candidates. Many businesses that cause real or perceived delays in their recruitment processes are losing out now if they cannot progress things with candidates in a timely manner. The boot is firmly on the foot of the candidates who simply will not wait around during a slow recruitment process since they can go to many other interviews.

Charles has been working in the Melbourne technology recruitment market for 6 years and is the Principal Practice Lead for the Melbourne business.




— Article wirtten by —

Mars Recruitment