Annual Trends Review: The Australian Workforce (2019/2020)

2019: Australian workforce year in review – Are you prepared for 2020?

2019 – it was quite a year for the Australian workforce. Typically, as another year comes to a close, many of us take stock of the achievements, shortcomings and opportunities which the past year has presented to us. And here at CXC, when we look back at 2019, it was a year that provided much food for thought. From technological developments in HR to the ingrained presence of non-employee workers, it was a year that taught us a great deal.

And with 2020 well and truly underway, we’ve also taken the time to look ahead. So that we, and you, can be prepared for the industry changes that we all need to factor into our daily lives.

Our mission?

To provide the insights that set you on a path of success for your organisation in 2020.

You can download our related eBook here, which provides a greater depth of insight on all the points we raise below.

2019 review of australian workforce trends

2020 australian workforce trends

2019: Overriding trends for the Australian Workforce

Looking back on the year that was 2019, we recognise a number of trends that were prevalent for the industry, our clients, our peers and our contractors.

These trends showed a consistent, dominant theme, in the requirements of both individuals and organisations. That is, the ability to adapt to the modern era of working. Not an easy option for many, but one that’s proving the genesis of longevity and success.

From our research, there were three overriding trends that prevailed in 2019. These were:


Technology was the most overriding influence on the HR, talent and the Australian workforce, throughout 2019.

HR DATA: is making the HR function a more strategic influencer in the organisation, with intelligent workforce planning and smart hiring.

AUGMENTED ANALYTICS: a smart software that examines an organisation’s HR data, and turns that data into actionable insights.

TALENT EXPERIENCE: data can provide a personalised experience for workers, and positively impact diversity and inclusion.

BLOCKCHAIN: impacts include better process management, increased worker information transparency, borderless payroll, improved cybersecurity and fraud prevention.

“Build tools on the way the world actually is […] we’re moving into a world of big data, so we better make sure it’s good data in and good data out, not garbage in and garbage out. Just make good tools that help humans at work.”

Marcus Buckingham, Head of ADPRI People + Performance


Once dubbed the ‘alternative’ workforce by Deloitte, contingent, contract and non-employee workers are now mainstream in the Australian workforce and a part of the forward-thinking organisation’s strategic workforce planning.

Given skills shortages in many disciplines, leveraging and managing these workers is essential for ongoing business growth.

These workers include contingent, contract, freelance, gig work (paid-for tasks) and the crowd (online talent networks).


A successful total talent management strategy will empower your organisation to focus on the value that a worker can provide your organisation without focusing on their employment status.

“The concept of TTM integrates and engages the full range of talent sources, from traditional employees to a wide variety of non-employee workers including temporary workers, independent contractors/consultants/ freelancers, volunteers, outsourced resources, and even non-human options such as robots, drones and cognitive computing applications.”

Staffing Industry Analysts

Three major benefits of Total Talent Management:

  1. Brings strategic planning into the HR function.
  2. Achieving a competitive advantage through attracting and engaging higher quality talent.
  3. Improving the organisation’s employer brand.

2020: How Prepared Are You?


As the new year is well and truly underway, we’ve taken a look at what’s in store for the coming 12 months for the Australian workforce.

Will there be more of the same?

Or will new workforce and talent trends start evolving?

The answer is both.

With insights from our clients, the media and across the industry, we believe the following issues are the ones to be across for your organisation to have a successful year in 2020:


How an organisation treats its workforce, and how it establishes and maintains a healthy environment for their daily lives in the workplace, is directly aligned to their standard of work and its output. It also has an undeniable impact on their interactions with customers.

Here are three (of many) indicators of an employee-centric organisation:

  1. Accessible management, who make the employee the central focus. The typical organisational pyramid is hence inverted.
  2. The provision of robust working arrangements that allow for flexible and remote working options.
  3. Organisations that listen to their people, consistently and act on their learnings.


Healthier employees are better at their jobs. And are more likely to be retained in your organisation for longer.

HR departments across the Australian workforce are increasingly focusing on health and wellness initiatives for workers. However, there’s a disparity in the value perceived by workers, and that offered by the organisation.

What’s clear, is that organisations need to be prepared to assist with the mental health of their workers. This scourge of today’s society is permeating into the workplace at record numbers. And the impact on the organisation could potentially be profound.

Planning ahead to assist workers, will mitigate future potential crises in the organisation. The time to act on this is now.


In this era of digital transformation, while human beings are still the dominant workforce, artificial intelligence is already performing low-level, repetitive tasks; as well as intuitive, user-centric outputs.

AI helps with eliminating repetitive manual processes with automation.

Organisations can save time and resources using chatbots and improve the overall quality of the tasks being performed.

Access to HR information, people interactions and execution of HR strategies are going to become more widely available on smart technologies like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.

These are exciting times.

“Companies are delegating considerable responsibility to these machines, and the list of personnel tasks in which A.I. plays a role is likely only to grow. Low unemployment and tight labour markets are putting employers under pressure to take any technological advantage they can get in the war for talent.”

Maria Aspan, Fortune Magazine

As one of the world’s top suppliers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is perfectly positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across 5 continents, and with decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help with your contingent workforce solutions please contact us here.