J.W. Marriott built what is now the world’s largest hotel company, so we can take his word for it when he says that “great companies are built by people who never stop thinking about ways to improve the business.”

Finding the right person for the right role (i.e. recruitment) is a critical undertaking – but these days, we can see the importance of recruitment on a whole new level. The effects of a bad hiring decision reverberate through time and have real effects on the fortunes of a given business. The same goes for the beneficial effects of a good recruitment decision.

Finding the right fit, and making it stick, can drive value for years on end.

So what goes into a quality hire? There are innumerable factors, including expertise, experience, and sometimes a little luck. It’s also important to understand specific industries. There may have been a time when certain recruiters could get away with a one-size-fits-all approach to the craft. But this sort of approach becomes less and less tenable as time goes by, as we can see by looking at four major industries in Australia.

1. Tourism and hospitality

The total tourist spend in Australia has been growing at an average annual rate of 4.7%, with a total spend of A$163.1b projected for 2020-2021. Accordingly, Australia’s hotel investment market shot up 26% between 2017-2019. The speed of growth appears to be levelling off, but it’s still a huge and thriving industry with a projected labour shortage.

And why exactly is there a labour shortage? Negative perceptions of the industry have a lot to do with it. These include long and unpredictable hours, high levels of stress, and little chance for long-term growth. The idea that the sacrifices of a career in hospitality aren’t worth the rewards has steered many talented people away.

Recruiters need to reframe tourism and hospitality as a vibrant, flexible, rewarding career that can support a modern lifestyle. Not everyone who enters the industry needs to have a degree from a hotel management school, either. Smart recruiters are looking for talented people to cross over from other industries.

2. Mining

The Australian mining industry has been on a roller coaster these past two decades. First it soared on the strength of the millennium mining boom. Then it dipped as the demand for minerals slowed down. Now the industry is working to isolate itself from market volatility, incorporate new technology into its operating system, and reboot negative perceptions – including in the job market.

Talented people in this industry need job opportunities that tick the right boxes. They want to work for mining companies that are people-centred, family-oriented, and lifestyle-friendly. A company that isn’t working to improve social license, or upgrading its business model to protect against market volatility, will have a hard time tapping into the talent pool.

3. Finance

More older Australians are retiring, and more younger Australians are taking steps to ensure their financial stability. At the same time, according to a recent report by Deloitte, existing brands in the Australian finance industry are under pressure from disruptive newcomers who seek to exploit customer friction – particularly in banking, but also insurance. This will cause incumbent service providers to adapt their own business models in order to preserve and grow market share.

These conditions set the stage for a dynamic job market in the financial sector – one that attracts top talent to progressive companies. Innovative HR jobs in particular will become more relevant as companies seek to keep their existing talent engaged, whilst bolstering their reputation as a desirable destination for new talent.

4. Healthcare

The healthcare industry continues to be Australia’s largest employer. This position will be maintained, if not strengthened, by a number of important factors, including: an aging population, more chronic disease, higher labour costs, new technology, and the expansion of healthcare systems in regional markets.

Meanwhile, healthcare delivery systems continue to evolve and be disrupted. A labour shortage, especially of nurses, is expected to continue into the future. People in the indutry want flexibility in their roles. Lifestyle perks such as employee wellness initiatives are important. Attracting talent to regional areas will become a more urgent goal in 2020 and beyond, with slower and healthier lifestyles being one of the selling points.

A dynamic, industry-specific recruitment strategy

Business models and talent pools are constantly changing. For hiring managers and professional recruiters who navigate job markets across industries, the learning process never ends. Each industry has strengths and weaknesses, while some factors – such as the desire for flexibility and healthier lifestyles – are more broadly applicable.

All of the various agents involved in recruitment have different things to offer, and want different things in return.

The more you understand about your industry and the people moving around within it, the more you understand a given company’s unique position.

The more you understand a company’s position, the better you can realistically articulate its strengths to the job market. That’s how you bring in top talent and build the kind of company J.W. Marriott describes – one that thrives on the strength of its people.

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