Australian business leaders not ready for the onslaught of Industry 4.0, new report finds

25 Oct Australian business leaders not ready for the onslaught of Industry 4.0, new report finds

25th October 2017. Sydney, Australia. 1 in 2 Australian businesses are not innovating fast enough, especially when it comes to talent acquisition to get future-ready for Industry 4.0, a new report released today has found.
The report, Recruitment Trends 2017: To gig or not to gig? How to get future-ready for Industry 4.0 by FuturePeople, has found that half of Australian business and HR leaders haven’t changed their talent acquisition strategies over the past 12 months and don’t intend to do anything differently in the year ahead.

The report found that organisations are not investing in the business models, technologies and skillsets required to innovate in Industry 4.0 and the Gig Economy. At a time when global giants like Apple are investing heavily in IoT apps [1] ready for Industry 4.0, and with 3 in 10 Australians seeking out short-term or ‘gig’ work [2], organisations are under pressure to adopt more flexible and agile business models. Yet HR and business leaders are reluctant to change, and investment in technology is lagging.

Despite candidate demand for digital recruitment channels, just 16 per cent of leaders are recruiting via technology and digital. Further, only 9 per cent of leaders are hiring for ‘gig’ work. It’s clear that organisations are not adapting fast enough to accommodate for the Gig Economy and the inevitable demographic tilt towards a millennial workforce.

Linda Simonsen, CEO of FuturePeople, says, “Our reports findings indicate that organisations are struggling to disrupt traditional methods of recruiting. Most leaders still have a ‘quick fix’ mentality when it comes to hiring. In the last 12 months, nearly half of organisations have not embraced new software or technology to enable leaders to make better hiring decisions.”
The report’s findings, which are being discussed today at an exclusive round table lunch event at Gilbert + Tobin, indicate that while leaders acknowledge the need to innovate in recruitment, many organisations lack the tools, budget and effective leadership needed to remain competitive and agile.

As little as 2 per cent of organisations believe that their recruitment strategy is excellent as it is. However, most leaders are not embracing smarter technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data. Leaders are also not actively prioritising diversity, with just 4 per cent of leaders stating diversity as a key measure of recruitment success.

Ms Simonsen says, “As AI, machine learning and robotics take over processing tasks, the true value of human capital lies with talent who have the emotional and social intelligence skills to enhance customer engagement and internal collaboration, creativity and leadership. Our report indicates that 75 per cent of leaders are not recruiting for these skillsets currently.”

“The best-performing organisations of the future will be those that strike a balance between recruiting for the emotional and social intelligence skills that differentiate man from machine, and implementing smarter tools and technologies to drive digital transformation. At the same time, forward-thinking leaders can tap into a wider talent pool by actively recruiting a diverse workforce.” ~ ENDS

For a copy of the report, to attend the round table event, or to arrange an interview with Linda Simonsen – please contact or

About the report: FuturePeople launched the Recruitment Trends Report 2017 in response to the rapidly shifting landscape of HR and recruitment in Australia. The report canvasses the views of more than 200 executives to provide the latest opportunities, challenges and strategies for today’s HR and recruitment leaders to adapt to disruption in Industry 4.0 and the Gig Economy.

About FuturePeople ( FuturePeople is an Australian company leading the way in enhancing business performance via highly engaged employees on the front line. Since inception in 2002, the company has helped high profile organisations identify, engage and nurture emotionally intelligent people to engage their customers. In recognition for its innovative approach, the company has received a long list of accolades over the last 15 years.