Digital jobs: Why recruiters should start tracking students


HR and recruitment functions should start getting creative in order to fill digital roles, even looking at how to track younger candidates who are still studying.

Australia needs an additional 100,000 ICT workers by 2020 to meet the demands of the country’s growing digital economy, according to the Australia Digital Pulse report by Deloitte. However, a shortage of skilled ICT workers has the potential to stall this growth.

In consultations with the Australian Government Department of Employment, recruitment agencies revealed the most difficult ICT roles to currently fill are cybersecurity specialists, mobile developers, SAP developers, SCCM developers and Sharepoint specialists, with emerging areas of demand being seen for cloud computing specialists, infrastructure specialists, and data scientists and miners.

Australia needs an additional 100,000 ICT workers by 2020.

Australia investing in digital education 

What is concerning is that the number of Australian students enrolling in computer science has been falling – from around 40,000 a year 15 years ago to about 28,000 now.

“If you walk around Australia into any of the major universities, you’ll find that there’s been a drying up of people who want to study computer science,” said Deloitte Australia’s John O’Mahony, talking to Sky News. “And with that pipeline of graduates slowing up, there are fewer people who are going into the workforce.”

A new subject called ‘Digital Technologies’ will be mandatory in Australian schools.

A new subject introduced into the national curriculum called ‘Digital Technologies’ is going to make it mandatory for school children to learn how to understand digital systems and programme coding.

O’Mahony suggested it was a good idea and that starting in schools would help turn things around.

“We’ve got to start now if we’re going to make this investment for the long term,” he said.

“By 2020 we’re looking at a digital economy that’s worth about 140 billion dollars a year. It’s going to create a lot of jobs, but we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the students, the know-how, the Aussie where-with-all to take those opportunities.”

We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the students.

What can recruiters do?

One of the biggest challenges that Australian digital and tech recruiters currently face is finding the right candidates to fill an ever-increasing number of roles. This problem is only likely to get worse in the coming years as Australia’s digital economy expands. New pools of young talent are emerging and creative recruiters may do well if they can identify and track students before they graduate.

Adopting a recruitment software solution that is able to track potential candidates who haven’t even started their career will be enormously beneficial. Not only will it serves to streamline the hiring process, automate the workflow and make time-consuming admin tasks more efficient, it will also provide recruiters with an end-to-end recruitment system that can open doors for younger talent streams.

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