Quarterly Review – Q3

As we bring you another instalment of the Granite Consulting Quarterly Review its fair to say 2014 has been a busy year in recruitment so far with a visible increase in activity across most industries. At Granite we are experiencing the busiest period in a couple of years reflecting more buoyancy in the market, and a lot more hiring decisions than past quarters, particularly in contract recruitment.

Consumer confidence has continued to grow, with notable changes in spending and consequently a lot of activity across several of Australia’s key retail organisations. Growth in business confidence for medium and larger organisations continues to be evident, with an increase in the volume of project work in the market, though there is still caution among smaller companies.

There is an emergence of requirements for very unique and specialised skill sets, often with fewer limitations around rate and more of a focus on sourcing and obtaining the top talent. The colloquialism “war for talent” seems to be making a gradual resurgence back into business conversation (after a post-GFC hiatus), hinting movement away from the buyer’s market we have seen in recent times to one in which there is greater choice for candidates, with many of the best getting snapped up quickly upon completion of a contract.

Simply put, we can report that things are looking better than they have in a good 18 months – a welcomed sigh of relief for many.

The World Stage

Undoubtedly an event that will have a resounding affect for several years to come is the perplexing disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, a tragedy that has touched many nations.

This being the Digital Age where information is on demand every second of every day, the simple fact that an enormous metal structure can seemingly disappear without a trace has baffled many. Despite the many conspiracies and theories have emerged in the weeks that have followed (ranging from the very far-fetched to the entirely possible) one thing is certain – significant questions have been raised about security, surveillance and information, both the availability of it and the apparent absence of it on this occasion.

Post 911, air travel has been a tightly governed and closely monitored industry with intense security screening for passengers, restoring our confidence in the technologically advanced industry. With the intense innovation and adoption of Smartphone technology (social media, GPS, electronic banking etc) supposedly creating a digital footprint that tracks us at every click and swipe, modern society had seemed to accept the fact that Big Brother is always watching. With this in mind, the very concept of an aircraft with 239 souls on board to somehow log out of the matrix and become untraceable, is deeply puzzling.

As the search continues off the coast of Western Australia, the tireless efforts and cooperation of many organisations across multiple nations, is something that those waiting for answers can hopefully take some comfort from.

Home Turf

Here at Granite we have had a very busy start to 2014, having been recognised as preferred suppliers to a record number of Australia’s key organsations, and a full calendar of events.

Towards the end of last year our professional development series expanded with the formation of a new community specifically for our friends in Human Resources – Granite’s HR Professionals Network. This has been an increasingly popular group, for which we have now hosted three events on the topics of Creating a Culture of High Performance, Personal and Professional Goal Setting and Getting the Most Out of Your Teams (summaries of all these discussions can be found on our blog). It is exciting to be offering learning and development opportunities targeted to a new community of professionals and we are grateful for everyone who has attended these events and contributed to the quick success of this group.

Special acknowledgement must go to Andrea Marlan (PlayUp), Susan Tonks (VRC), Kieron Nicholl (Vic Police), Alexie O’Brien (Lululemon) and Leigh Coutie (Talent2 Payroll) who have all facilitated fantastic discussions.

Other topics featured in our Leader Series event calendar in Quarter 3 have included:

  • Breaking Down the Barriers: Communities of Practise & Cross-Silo Communication facilitated by Evan Leybourn
  • The Role of CIOs in Business Today, facilitated by Steven Tame (newly appointed CIO at Indian LCC IndiGo)
  • Project Management in an Innovative Disruptive Age facilitated by Alex StokesAmongst the hype of Australia’s 5-nil Ashes whitewash we were also fortunate enough to welcome a particularly special guest to our offices – former English cricket captain Andrew Strauss. With a team comprised of almost equal part Poms and Australians, the occurrence of back to back Ashes tours was a dominating conversation topic at Granite over recent months, so welcoming a cricket legend was an historic occasion. Strauss led a spirited discussion on leadership and team building, sharing anecdotes of a 100-test career as one of England’s most successful captains, though it is possible the Granite team’s highlight was a spot of office cricket with the man himself.

As mentioned, if and when commitments prevent you from attending our professional development events, a synopsis of most discussions can be found on our blog at www.graniteconsulting.com.au/blog. The very best place to keep informed of when events are happening or when summaries are available is Granite Consulting’s company page on LinkedIn HERE and our Twitter handle HERE. Do take a moment to visit these links and click follow, to stay in touch with us.

Looking Ahead

With the extended Easter/ANZAC period behind us and all hands and feet firmly back on deck, we begin to look ahead to FY14/15. Visible increases in business and consumer confidence have us looking ahead to the new financial year with optimism and positivity and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead.