Roles & Skills That Are HOT Right Now

Roles & Skills That Are HOT Right Now

A snap shot of which roles are in demand across a number of different sectors. Read on to see if you are hot or not.

Hays Personnel Services is one of the largest recruitment firms operating in Australia. It has recently published its yearly survey of employment opportunities and salary trends based on interviews with 700 of its clients.

Banking & Finance

What's hot: Business development managers particularly those with margin lending and commercial lending experience. Credit analysts and securities/settlements officers, superannuation administrators - corporate superannuation specialists - commercial lenders, commercial assessors and commercial securities officers are also all in demand. Analysts and managers for the business banking sector are also needed. Financial planners remain hot but these days you must have industry- recognised qualifications and a proven track record. Residential lending is also still hot making mortgage lending staff, and mobile lenders a must have.

Tips: Grads be warned - in challenging times employers want people with experience who can pay their way from the get go. You will need to find a toe into the employment market even if it is part time, project based or in the finance area of a call centre. Don't be passive or bitter. Keep marketing yourself - at the very least it will show you have what it takes to sell for those wanting to get into the revenue end of the finance sector.

Accounting & Finance

What's hot: Compliance officers, compliance managers, insolvency and corporate recovery, specialised industry roles and mid-level accounting and business analyst positions, qualified, experienced accounting staff, degree-qualified assistant accountants, chartered accountants, risk-management and back-office treasury accounting skills (particularly the energy sector).

Tips: For young members of the profession, if you've ever considered doing the big trip to the UK, now is the time. Ensure you get contract work in your field of interest but all experience will help you back here. Note too that postgraduate qualifications will continue to be vital to a good long-term career.


What's hot: Claims roles have been in hot demand in both commercial and general insurance so if you have solid experience you will remain sought after. Demand has dropped slightly for underwriting professionals as the latest software enables customer service professionals to make underwriting decisions. There has been a marked increase in the number of call centre, sales and business development roles on offer. Employers want good customer service and administration skills in all employees.

Tips: Call centres are a great way to break into insurance even for those who want to get into claims management and underwriting. Again, working overseas in insurance will stand you in good stead particularly if you can gain commercial insurance experience. The insurance industry also looks favorably on a business degree majoring in insurance and courses offered by the Australian & New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance.

Call Centres/Customer Service

What's hot: Those with good product knowledge in areas such as financial services, insurance, telco products are in demand. Also those with solid tele sales experience, good sales skills including up selling and cross selling, relationship development and debt collection experience is hot.

Tips: Shift work is part of the game so having a cooperative attitude to work hours is advised. Those without solid experience should target large employers that can afford to train staff. There are industry and TAFE courses available but check with your recruitment consultant to find how these are viewed by employers as many prefer to train their own staff.


What's hot: Security is very big so if you have experience you are white hot. Other areas of experience in demand include CRM, insurance, web application servers, network, billing, environmental resource planning (incorporating systems such as PeopleSoft and Oracle), wireless communication technology, 3G programming and mobile-commerce. PC and network support teams continue to employ new staff.

Tips: Demonstrated good soft skills are in demand. Remember, there are more IT staff than there are jobs so employers can afford to be fussy. Companies are just starting to embark on new projects so demand will gain momentum in the next year.

Construction, Mining, Engineering

What's hot: Specialists in mining and resources, civil engineers, project leaders and managers are all in demand. Projects leaders are the roles hardest to fill and professionals with good communication skills, the ability to motivate staff and good administration skills, including managing a budget, are what employers want.

Tips: For those looking for the best career opportunities and financial rewards the resources sector continues to lead the way. There has been greater specialisation across the main sectors providing less opportunity to retrain and jump sectors. Overseas opportunities for young people, particularly in the UK, remain good and often include perks such as air tickets home. Home building remains strong for now. Projects in the mining and power industries are also creating strong demand for workers. According to Hays, salaries are expected to exceed inflation.

Human Resources

What's hot: Those that specialise in occupational health & safety, injury management and rehabilitation -including co-coordinators are all in demand. HR administrators and training co-coordinators are also big.

Tips: Permanent HR staff have seen a contraction in the last year. Many HR professionals are being employ on a temporary basis which later turn into permanent roles.

Sales & Marketing

What's hot: In the marketing arena, demand has focused more on people with good administration and strategic skills rather than creative experience. Marketing professionals have to be bottom-line focus and able to do more with less. Product-related roles, particularly life insurance and superannuation have produced employment demand. On the sales side, business development professionals in a variety of sectors - particularly wealth creation and consumer and commercial lending - have also been in demand.

Tips: Employers are looking for a proven track record in a particular industry or with a particular type of product.


What's hot: The hottest area at the moment is front-end construction and major projects. Insurance litigation remains strong with special demand for professional indemnity and public liability lawyers. Industrial and workplace relations lawyers, commercial litigation and insolvency lawyers, tax specialists, those with a background in intellectual property and mid level legal eagles with experience in pensions/super and other funds are also in strong demand.

Tips: The overseas market for Australian lawyers remains good especially in the UK but various parts of Asia also offer the chance to gain commercial and corporate experience.

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