Jobs Outlook for 2021: Contingent Workers and Beyond

If you’re thinking the jobs outlook for 2021 is all bad news, think again. Yes, 2020 was a year of turmoil for most people, across multiple facets of life. Job losses, lockdowns, economic hardship… it was a year most of us would like to forget. But there’s a small light at the end of the tunnel..

As the summer holidays wind down, and the new year takes shape, we decided to review the jobs outlook in Australia for 2021.

There’s a job crisis in parts of the country, retail, and hospitality are two sectors to have been hardest hit. But conversely, there’s also hope.

Here we’ve reviewed the industries, sub-sectors and job categories that are worth noting across the market in Australia, where contingent workers are commonly engaged. Whether you currently host contingent workers in your business, or you plan to this year, you can use the following as a guide to market expectations.

1 Data Analytics Talent

In the jobs outlook for 2021, the ‘data analytics’ job families, are particularly hot for skills.

High-performance computing is both a technological and scientific enabler and influences almost all areas of life in today’s world.

Occupations in this job family are associated with growth via data-driven decision making. The main jobs include:

The key facts: Data Analysts

A data analyst collects, analyses, stores and presents data on a multitude of company information. This includes sales figures, logistics information, market research, linguistics interpretations, and a host of additional behaviours. They bring technical expertise which ensures high quality and accuracy of data is available to company decision-makers. They process, interpret, design and present the data to assist business leaders and teams to make better commercial decisions.

jobs outlook for 2021

These skills are those most frequently mentioned in Australian job advertisements for Data Analysts.

The key facts: Data Scientists

Data scientists extract meaning from and interpret data, which requires both tools and methods from statistics and machine learning, as well as human interpretation. Data scientists build mathematical models, collect, clean and present data insights, and recommend ways to utilise data findings.

jobs outlook for 2021

These skills are those most frequently mentioned in Australian job advertisements for ‘Data Scientists’.

2 Cyber Security Talent

With remote working now commonplace at both a government and organisational level, business leadership has had to rethink their approach to data security and systems security and integrity. No surprise then that the jobs outlook for 2021 shows high demand for talent in the cybersecurity sector.

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network anticipates a demand of around 7,000 more cybersecurity workers for all industries across Australia by 2024.

The Key Facts: Cyber Security Experts

Cyber Security Specialists’ key functions, include:

  • seeking to build in security during the development stages of software systems, networks and data centres
  • looking for vulnerabilities and risks in hardware and software
  • finding the best way to secure the IT infrastructure of an organisation
  • building firewalls into network infrastructures
  • constantly monitoring for attacks and intrusions
  • when the cybersecurity specialist finds a potential threat or attempted breach, closing off the security vulnerability
  • identifying the perpetrator and liaising with the police if necessary

In mid-2020, RMIT warned that Australia faces a looming crisis; the cybersecurity talent shortage is likely to place Australian public sector organisations and businesses at great risk. In the absence of these workers, Australia’s ability to embrace the rapid digitisation of today’s work environment will be severely limited. The impact of the new ‘work from home’ (WFH) shift, has called for an increased need for cybersecurity specialists to secure distributed networks – but the talent simply isn’t available.

3 Call Centre Talent

Call centre jobs in Australia are set to continue 2020’s growth trajectory, in 2021. With companies providing the technology, hardware and communications infrastructure accessible ‘anywhere’, call centre workers are now frequently home-based. And offshore call centres have started closing down.

With international restrictions in place due to COVID, companies like Telstra have closed offshore centres and re-established services in Australia – often with home-based call centre talent.

In addition, with the rapid rise in online shopping and sales, companies in Australia are establishing onshore contact centres, to service Australia’s customer demand. The call centre becomes the epicentre of retail brands’ interface with customers. And in terms of the jobs outlook for 2021, it’s a sector that’s set to continue to grow this year.

The Key Facts: Call Centre Talent

The typical roles found in call and contact centres include:

  • Call Centre Agent
  • Team Leader
  • Call Centre Manager
  • Customer Services Director
  • Resource Planning Analyst
  • Quality Analyst
  • Head of the Call Centre
  • Digital Contact Director
  • Operations Manager
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Trainer
  • Coach

4 Risk Analyst Talent

A risk analyst’s role is to formalise and manage the process of risk management in an organisation. This involves business decision-making, assessing risk factors and recommending courses of action to the business, to mitigate harm and/or leverage the commercial opportunity. There are multiple types of risk analysts: operational, financial, commercial, personnel, regulatory – all of these roles look at the likelihood of risk associated with events, situations, opportunities, investments and processes – to achieve the best possible outcome for the business.

In the jobs outlook for 2021, risk analysts are a highly sought-after talent group.

The Key Facts: Risk Analysts

Risk Analysts identify and review potential risk areas threatening the assets, capital, operations, technology, talent or regulatory compliance of organisations. Risk analysts use statistical analysis to evaluate risk, make recommendations to reduce and control risk and review documentation for legal compliance.

jobs outlook for 2021 

These skills are those most frequently mentioned in Australian job advertisements for Risk Analysts.

Other Sectors of Note

There are other sectors of note in the jobs outlook for 2021 that will continue to demand high numbers of talent throughout 2021. These include:

Finance managers:

Businesses want to spend less money, and put more money in the bank. And in this era of COVID, their focus on cash and financial security is significantly heightened. The demand for talented financial managers is high and expected to continue to grow. Financial managers keep a business on track day-to-day while planning for a more profitable future.

Healthcare talent:

This is the sector with perhaps the greatest impending crisis associated with a talent shortage. Nurses, aged care nurses and disabled carers are amongst the highest in-demand jobs in the country. The aged care sector has been particularly hard hit. According to the ABC…

Traditionally, the aged care sector has struggled for staff and that challenge is set to continue with an estimated 57,000 extra nurses needed across the country to comply with fixed minimum staffing ratios being recommended to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and 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, please contact us here.