Room at the helm

Adelaide companies are starting to employ more senior staff as businesses shake off the tough period caused by the economic downturn.

Senior roles are being created to help firms expand, lead an economic recovery and increase profits.

Existing senior staff also are feeling more comfortable now than in the past few years to retire and need to be replaced.

Prescott Securities chief economist Darryl Gobbett says new divisions are being created by expanding companies confident to press ahead with economic growth. He says executives and professionals are being headhunted behind the scenes more than responding to advertised positions, as competition is strong to get the best staff first.

"People are thinking that they need to get senior people on board," he says. "We don’t see many of these appointments being advertised, but they are done through headhunters, so I get the impression that the more senior end of town now is starting to pick up."

He says demand for senior skilled workers is particularly strong in the engineering and mining sectors as they start to grow. Commercial property also is faring well, causing demand for architecture workers, he says.

"With the strong population growth that we are now seeing, businesses from architecture and building supplies need to get ready because the demand for housing is not going away," Mr Gobbett says.

Recruitment firm Hays regional director Lisa Morris says more and more new jobs are being created.

"The financial services sector and in particular banking is leading this charge," she says.

"Large corporations have also begun recruiting with the small and medium enterprise market taking longer to recover or perhaps being more cautious." Architectural, engineering and environmental consulting firm GHD is expanding its business in South Australia, hiring more staff to join its 70-strong workforce.

They include Leo Chandiok, who has 13 years’ experience in the industry and has worked in commercial, residential and defence areas in Sydney and Adelaide, as principal architect.

"It’s exciting to be joining GHD at a time when it’s growing its architectural capabilities," Mr Chandiok says.

"The firm has a strong reputation in the marketplace and an invigorating office culture built around a great team of professionals."

GHD state manager David Luscombe says the firm wants to boost staff to continue providing high-level, integrated design solutions to its clients in Adelaide. "His strong leadership skills, experience and client relationship focus will be instrumental in our continued expansion," he says.

Article from The Advertiser, May, 2010

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