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Market Update - Building Services (NSW) - 2022

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Market Activity

Simply put, the start of 2022 has been the busiest start to a year that I have ever seen in terms of recruiting activity, far exceeding pre-covid numbers in the number of positions out there and companies looking to hire.

The normal ‘January lull’ that we are used to in recruitment seems to be long gone and it was full steam ahead from 10th January with new requisitions flowing in from clients who were ready to interview and hire candidates immediately.

This activity is not restricted to any ‘tier’ of organisation, and we are seeing consultancies across the board to be extremely active in their recruitment, ranging from smaller boutiques and national tier 2 to the largest global firms.

Whether or not these are consultancies experiencing growth or rebuilding is difficult to gauge and quantify, as a candidate short market is leading to a ‘merry go round’ of candidates switching companies, but I think for the best part it is growth.

Market confidence is back with a bang, previously stalled projects are recommencing, and a plethora of new privately and publicly funded projects are kicking off.

What sectors are busy?

It will come to no surprise to many of you that the stars of the show are undeniably transport infrastructure, healthcare, high-rise commercial, data centres and education.

Huge infrastructure projects such as Sydney Metro and Western Sydney Airport are well underway, and the surge is showing no signs of a slowdown with an additional $17.9 billion earmarked (nationally) for transport related projects in the 2022/2023 State Budget.

There are currently over 110 active healthcare projects in NSW, ranging from billion-dollar precinct redevelopments to new hospitals, community health facilities and ambulance stations. There is no sign of the sector slowing down with a further $10.7 billion investment earmarked for health between now and 2024. Public and Private sector education continues to be busy and remains a core for many at the mid-tier with large upgrade and refresh programs and new builds underway.

Sydney continues to be a growing data center hub and was recently ranked third on a list of global data centre markets by Cushman & Wakefield. The fight for engineering talent within the DC sector continues, with consultancies at all levels fighting for market share and many of the key leaders being snapped up client side.

Other major projects underway include Central Station tech precinct, Sydney Fish Markets, Pitt Street’s OSD, Powerhouse Parramatta and Sydney Modern.

 

Are people returning to the office?

Slowly! We are seeing that most consultancies are back to working in the office, with a flexible/hybrid working approach becoming the norm. A 3 day in the office and 2 day working from home split, seems to be general approach moving forward, with most firms looking to continue this in a dare I say it ‘post COVID’ world.

Is there a talent shortage?

100%! And more so than ever…. Demand has increased, and supply has stood still. With borders been shut and a slowdown in visa approvals, we haven’t seen the usual flow of talented individuals entering the market from overseas, although this should start to ease towards the end of the year as people start to become more comfortable with travelling and emigrating.

On a positive note, we have seen a slight change of mindset around candidates that do not have ‘local Australian experience’ and have seen numerous consultancies looking to spend time upskilling these candidates rather than discounting them.

Has the talent shortage led to increases in salaries?

Salaries have increased between 5 and 10% over the last year, and we have even seen some instances of 20-30% pay increases been offered as companies bid to attract and/or retain talent.

My recommendation to candidates that are considering a move, or a counteroffer, is to assess whether or note the level of salaries been offered are sustainable in the long term. Consultancy fees aren’t increasing, and profit margins are tightening. Will the company be able to maintain these salaries in a year or two time, if things are to slow down, as they inevitable will at some point?

You can check out are recently released salary guide following this link - shorturl.at/itMW7

Which roles are in highest demand?

·         Electrical Engineers w/ data centre, comms, security, or IT experience - intermediate level and above

·         Fire Safety Engineers (C10) - intermediate level and above

·         Fire Protection Engineers (FPAS) - intermediate level and above

·         Hydraulic Engineers – intermediate level and above

·         Senior and above engineers with Healthcare project experience and networks within Health Infrastructure and local health districts.

As ever, I’d be keen to speak with people in the industry for more views and opinions they may have and of course, assist in securing a new role or hiring new building services talent. Feel free to reach out at anytime on 0407719874, or drop me an email on jack@connexusrecruitment.com