Demand for Victorian tech talent remains strong

Demand for Victorian tech talent remains strong

A new report by LaunchVic and the Tech Council of Australia (TCA) has revealed that despite reported layoffs in larger tech businesses, the demand for talent in the Victorian startup ecosystem remains robust.

The Startup Skills Report confirms that Victorian startups need more than just technical talent, with many facing significant issues in recruiting and retaining business, operations and design talent.

But these shortages are not driven by a lack of suitably skilled talent. For every vacancy in these business and operations roles, there are approximately 25,000 people in Victoria with suitable skills and experience.

The report highlighted that attracting people with non-technical skills to work in startups is currently hampered by a ‘winner takes all’ effect. This is where a small number of widely recognised startups receive very large numbers of applications for open positions, while others struggle to attract talent to apply.

Cultural mismatches between potential employees and startup cultures is also difficult with conventional recruiting methods. Adopting new ways to recruit are becoming more common.

Shortages in technical talent remain a pressing issue for Victorian startups and the broader tech sector. Previous Tech Council research has found job vacancies are 60% higher than the national average, with a forecasted growth rate triple that of other sectors1.

LaunchVic’s CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the Victorian startup sector had grown 16x in just six years putting it on par with Tel Aviv’s ecosystem size in 2016. The report confirms what we’ve anecdotally known – our ecosystem is experiencing growing pains.

“Despite reported job layoffs in the tech sector for notable startups and scaleups the demand for talent is strong. We need to look at better pathways to attract talented Victorians to work at startups and help them better transition into the startup world – so they stay there.”

Tech Council CEO Kate Pounder said, “The resilience of tech jobs over the last twelve months has been encouraging.”

“However, despite the incredible opportunity that working in a start-up can offer, many start-ups are still struggling to connect with the talent they need.”

“Government and the tech ecosystem need to find ways to connect tech workers to start ups and raise awareness about the range of pathways they can take to build long-lasting careers in the tech sector. That’s why we welcome this joint work by LaunchVic and the TCA, on top of the initiatives LaunchVic is running for start-ups in Victoria.”

“Start-ups are where the innovative ideas and companies that will power Australia’s future are nurtured – we need to make sure they have every chance to succeed.”

Eight recommendations have been made for consideration which include programs to help the transition of executives to startups, information campaigns and targeted outreach, collaboration of existing initiatives by governments and industry nationally, and advocacy for the issue to the Commonwealth.