Each and every day I get asked the same question; “How’s the market going?”.

If it isn’t those exact words, it’s a variation of this. This line of questioning isn’t only reserved for Monday to Friday either. I was asked this on a Sunday evening the day after my wedding whilst enjoying a beer in Coffs Harbor! Albeit from my uncle who lives in Brisbane and works within the resources sector.

I’m not writing this to complain about being asked the same question, quite the contrary. I actually enjoy having these conversations. I’ve come to realise that as a Recruitment Consultant having conversations with individuals and businesses from all types of industries and sectors, I am able to give a lot of people a unique and valuable cross-section of what we are seeing in the business world.

My answer to this question for probably the last 3 months has been very similar:

“People and businesses are waiting for something to happen… the problem is; no one knows what that something is!”


I usually get a few puzzled looks and then I explain further. From what I’m seeing, the Brisbane market is full of conversations, activity, and curiosity but it is underlined by uncertainty. On many
occasions, we are having clients asking our professional opinions on salary guidelines, turnaround times on a recruitment process, employee engagement methods and potential cost savings through remote resourcing projects. All of these conversations indicate that the market is fairly optimistic and moving in the right direction, however, very few of these are being followed through on. Therein lies the uncertainty!

Candidates as well are asking us about what opportunities are available. More often than not they have a role but want to see what else is out there. They may even go to an interview and then decide it isn’t what they are looking for. Again, all signs that people are interested in moving on as they are in a comfortable position financially and they feel there are good career opportunities out there which is a positive sign in an employment market.

What I am seeing is that everyone is waiting for something to happen to rid them of the uncertainty that they feel and provide them with the reassurance that everything will be alright. But no one knows what that something is!

We have seen Financial year end come and go, the Australian election provided no magic pill, State politics are providing no certainty and the respective coal and iron ore prices aren’t doing enough on long enough time frames to appease any fears.

My thoughts;

There is no magic pill! There isn’t a single event that will make everyone feel better and will get consumer and employee confidence back to the top of the cycle. There are, however, more than enough positive signals in the current Brisbane market that indicates businesses should be making positive, growth orientated decisions.

Why wait for the event? Why not capture the market, beat your rivals (businesses or candidates) and show them the way!

Isaac Dufficy – Executive Consultant

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