HSE job opportunities at an all-time high

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Sunday, 11 December, 2022 - 12:45
Industry news
National News

HSE job advertisements have more than doubled in two years, with demand at all-time highs across a number of areas of the job market for HSE professionals, according to a new analysis.

HSE coordinator roles, for example, are up 243 per cent compared to the same time last year, while opportunities for early-career HSE professionals are now at an all-time high.

HSE job opportunities within the public sector also remain very high, and this demand aligns with strong government spending and an increased focus on compliance, governance and scrutiny.

“The job market continues to present excellent opportunities for HSE professionals looking for a fresh start in the new year,” said Aaron Neilson, CEO of The Safe Step, which recently released its latest HSE Job Opportunities Index.

“All major sectors employing HSE professionals saw record demand in 2022, and demand for HSE people wanting to work in resource-rich states such as WA and QLD is substantial and will remain high in 2023.”

Nielson noted employers continue to experience inflationary pressure around salaries, and ‘grow your own’ strategies are now playing a key part in many organisations’ talent acquisition and retention activities.

“We are seeing many organisations refocus their attention on graduate programs and plans to develop and promote their people from within,” he said.

“In order to secure the right people, organisations are prepared to meet market expectations on salary, however, they are now seeking greater confidence in the ability of individuals to have an immediate impact when they join the business.”

Changing WHS legislation is also creating a greater emphasis and clarity around employers’ responsibilities to prevent and manage psychological risks at work.

As a result, he said organisations are sharpening their focus on identifying barriers to their people’s well-being, productivity and performance, with the overall aim of improving their experience of work.

“Organisations are now realigning for the next phase of the economic cycle,” said Nielson, who added that demand for HSE leaders will continue in the new year.

“As the availability of talent improves over the next 12 months we expect to see some changes in team structures, focused on lifting capability and managing cost,” he said.

“We are seeing ‘collective exhaustion’ among job seekers and hiring managers alike. People now have their eyes on the end-of-year finish line and are looking forward to summer holidays.”

Contracting opportunities continue to present for those looking at a different way of working, Nielson added.

“As permanent employees take a well-earned break, it is common to see increased interim opportunities to help manage the Christmas/new year period,” he said.

“The flexibility that this provides is attractive for many such that they in some respects can be the architect of their work schedule, scaling up and down as required.”