Here is our market update for the month of March. Recent events concerning the spread of COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty for companies around hiring and the future of Australian businesses.
We have been surprised by the Newcastle tech market amidst this transition period and it has been great to see companies that are pushing ahead and continuing to hire remotely.
Our team at Newy Tech People hope you are all doing well and most importantly staying safe!
Welcome to the Newy Tech Jobs update for March, 2020. I don’t think the results are gonna be surprising to anyone. Right now, we’re in the middle of COVID-19. We’re in isolation. I’m recording this from home as opposed to our little studio inside INNX there.
Like most companies, recruitment has been affected. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Newcastle tech community and the Newcastle tech markets. So, jobs numbers have been falling across the board. Obviously a lot of, I guess, hesitation or just uncertainty with the companies that have pulled roles, they’re just uncertain about what their future is. So, I guess instead of putting somebody on and then having to let them go in a couple of weeks slash months. There are companies that are pulling back from hiring right now or putting roles on pause. So, that’s definitely happening across the board. There’s no point in hiding from that.
There are other companies, though, that are pushing ahead and starting to hire remotely. So, both doing interviews remotely, either via Zoom, Hangouts, some Skype, still via Skype. But less and less via Skype these days. And starting to figure out what that on boarding process could look like remotely. So, that’s probably the bigger challenge out of the two is on boarding remotely, as opposed to interviewing remotely.
I think most people are pretty comfortable with video interviews and things like that now, but with Zoom and teams out there, I think there are companies that are starting to sort of navigate that on boarding process as well. So, props to anyone that’s going through that at the moment and changing their processes to make that a more smooth and as fluid a process as possible. So, yeah, props to any companies that are currently navigating those challenges and still pushing forward with hiring.
Before I get started in the numbers, just a quick shout out to anyone that has been affected by COVID-19 with a loss of job, reduced hours, harder times financially, or even worse from a health perspective. I just wanna share my well wishes. I hope things turn around for you or your loved ones that might have been affected. So, that’s obviously more important than the amount of jobs that are being posted. I think as a community, one of the best things that we’ve seen through COVID-19 is that more community spirit being shared, especially with the, you know, buy local type movement that started with trying to help support small businesses. I think that’s the biggest positive we have seen, so hopefully as a community, we can come together and support those that are going through more difficult times, so that’s just my well wishes. It doesn’t mean a great deal, I know, but, yeah, I hope you and your loved ones get through these times.
Onto the jobs. In March we had 127 jobs posted in Newcastle tech scene, which is a smaller number than the previous months and previous years but not dramatic, not as dramatic as we might have thought. That might really hit home in April.
It was down 35% month on month, so down 35% on February and down 21% year on year. So, relatively big fall, not unexpected, I think we all knew that companies would start to hold off on advertising new jobs and just, sort of, sit and wait and see how this plays out for a little while. The fall is probably not as big as I expected, but maybe April is where we really see it start to feel that hit.
Before companies, maybe in March, April, June, March, June, July understand that working from home is not now a BAU and we can hire and push forward for business, so I expect April to be down, May will probably be down again. Maybe we’ll see a bit of resurgence around that June, July time. So, we’ll see how it plays out.
For the type of jobs being advertised, 80% of the roles were permanent and 20% are temp and contracting space. I think that shows that, hey, if companies are gonna hire, they’re looking for those long-term hires. We’re not gonna onboard somebody now, remotely, for a short-term contract. What we’re really gonna do if we’re gonna push forward with a role that’s one of those more important business critical roles.
We will hire those people in a permanent fashion so 80% of the roles are hired permanently, that is pretty significant increase on the month gone by. So, not overly surprising, again, I think businesses are pushing forward with hiring right now, understand the real needs for those roles to the business going forward so they’re making sure that they hire those people on a permanent fashion.
Who’s actually advertising? Predominately recruiters, actually. It’s been a flip from February. So, February 35% of the roles were advertised by recruiters and last month, there was 60% of the roles being advertised by recruiters. Couple of different factors that could come into that, obviously HR teams are under the pump at the moment with figuring out different policies for people working from home, working remotely and then also looking after mental health of staff, making sure that people can push through this as well as, unfortunately, there are layoffs and staff cuts and reduced hours being enforced across the board, and this is happening in multiple different companies at the moment. So, HR is extremely busy time to be in HR. If there is something that they can outsource, it’s predominately recruitment.
There are more recruiters advertising at the moment than private advertisers. I would just say that’s probably a mix of some really hard to fill roles, so recruiters getting engaged, and then also just the sheer workload of HR at the moment has got to be extremely difficult, so, props to anyone in HR. Hopefully it gets a little bit easier for you The types of roles being advertised.
It’s probably not too dissimilar to in the past, business and systems analysts, that and developers, software developers, are number one and two, followed by really closely by tech support. So, tech support obviously really important at the moment. With a lot of teams going remote, making sure that, you know, you’ve got the, the right things set up for people to be able to access when they need to online, being able to work with their different systems from home. Tech support’s invaluable through these periods. Business and system analysts, I guess, a lot of projects, are still gonna go push forward. I guess there’s probably those business critical roles we talked about before and software developers, I would say fall into that as well. Companies that are investing in software development. It’s probably core to what their actual business is doing, and making sure the business can continue to operate going forward. So, those are the three most popular roles being advertised at the moment, not too dissimilar to anything that’s happened in the past, those three tend to be at least within the top five month in month out.
All in all, definite fall month on month, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of companies still hiring in Newcastle. I would say that Newcastle tech scene if this sort of COVID hit four or five years ago, we would have been in really dire straits or with a bare market.
I guess from a jobs perspective in where the opportunities are for candidates out there but because there are so many companies investing in technology now, there are still opportunities for people, so I do think it’s a positive sign for our community and how far we’ve grown in the past four or five years, so. That is a positive sign, and hopefully we do see an uptick as business continue to push forward and understand that, working from home might be our BAU for six months plus, and that’s what it might be looking like at the moment.
If anyone’s looking for some advice around, you know, how to onboard, or how to video interview or interview remotely, feel free to reach out. We’ve found a couple of articles that are written by people that know more better than what we do, and we’ll happily share those with anyone, so. Until next month, where I’ll share the April update. I don’t think it will be an overly positive story again. But, we’re continuing to push through it. I think companies are still investing in hiring which is a really good sign for the Newcastle tech scene, so we’ll share that update then.
I hope everyone stays safe more than anything, I hope people are looking after their mental health working from home. Making sure they get a little bit of time to get away from their computer and get away from day in day out work and look after themselves and their families. I’ll reach out to you again next month with the next monthly jobs updates. Stay safe. I hope everyone gets through this as best as we possibly can, cheers.