Communications among top 10 in demand skills in 2024

By AdNews | 21 February 2024
Source: Nick Fewings via Unsplash

Communications specialists are among the top 10 skills most in demand in 2024, according to recruiters Hays.

This coincides with a rise in job vacancy activity across Australia, showing a month-on-month increase of 1.7% in January.

With just eight weeks into the new calendar year certain skills are sought after more than others, says Matthew Dickason, CEO Asia Pacific at Hays.

“These roles are at the top of employers’ wish lists, with the ongoing skills shortage amplifying existing attraction and retention challenges for organisations,” Dickason said.

In comparison last year the skills market remained incredibly tight, with 88% of employers experiencing a skills shortage.

“We’ve seen a very active market so far,” Dickason said.

“After the anticipated lull over the Christmas period, we witnessed a swift return to pre-Christmas levels of vacancy activity. 

“This year, some employers contacted us in early January to get the jump on competitors and secure strong talent. The first quarter of a calendar year is traditionally a peak period for job searching, so savvy employers know they can make strategic hires to lay the foundation for a strong year ahead.”

The skills in strongest demand relative to supply:

Accountants: Accounting professionals are sought across the board, particularly at the intermediate level. A decline in people undertaking an accounting degree is adding to the skills imbalance.

Technical Financial Accountants and Management Accountants with experience are particularly highly valued, as are Assistant Accountants, Finance Managers, Accounts Payable Officers and Payroll Officers.

IT Project Managers: As organisations continue to embed agility or new technology into their operations, Project Managers are sought to lead programs and guide a project’s output.

Executive Assistants: Office support professionals are in demand across all industries. Executive Assistants are the most highly sought after, with experienced and skilled professionals not remaining in the job market for long.

Administrators, Personal Assistants and Receptionists are also valued.

Business Analysts: Given the pace of digital transformation, Business Analysts are sought to translate business requirements into technical solutions, identify areas for improvement and facilitate innovation.

Candidates must possess exceptional analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Business Development Managers: Many organisations are placing increased emphasis on sales growth.

This is fuelling demand for Business Development Managers, Account Managers and Sales Engineers, with experience using Salesforce highly desirable.

Electricians and Diesel Mechanics: Electricians are in high demand, especially A-Grade licensed Electricians. Diesel Mechanics are also sought.

Engineers: From Civil to Structural and Grid, engineering professionals remain in high demand. With both federal and state governments continuing to focus on infrastructure projects, hiring demand is evident across the nation.

In addition, the focus on decarbonisation and energy supply transformation projects means Grids Connection and Power System Engineers are also in high demand.

Software Developers: Despite the rise of AI such as ChatGPT, Software Developers remain in high demand in both tech firms and across most industries.

As organisations increase their rate of digital adoption, streamline operations and look to stay competitive in a digital-first world, these professionals are sought to design, build and maintain software solutions.

Procurement Specialists: With contracts up for renewal, candidates with experience in setting up panels leading tender requests and drafting contracts are in high demand. Contract Managers are also needed, thanks to a heightened focus on the use of external suppliers, which has fed demand for professionals experienced in handling more intricate contracts.

Candidates must possess skills in assessing supplier performance, negotiation and managing established contracts, with the latter an extremely rare skill at present.

Communications Specialists: Professionals with corporate communications experience do not remain on the market long. The sheer volume of work available sees demand outstrip supply. 

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus