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  • Australian contracting environment improving - report

    Jan 27, 2016

    With many media reports discussing IT skill shortages, it is easy to believe that the industry isn't growing as well as it could.

    However, according to recent statistics from the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA), Australia's IT employment market is both mature and stable. This suggests that the future could be significantly brighter for IT contractors and those seeking their services.

    Every quarter, ITCRA analyses employment trends from a number of different sources around the industry. Whether this is ITCRA's own members, job advertisements from SEEK or data from BurningGlass, this type of information paints an interesting picture of the industry landscape.

    Increase in contracting positions

    One of the main points to come out of the July to September 2015 quarter report was from SEEK. According to the recruitment provider, contract and permanent advertised roles grew 15.7 per cent over the past year. ITCRA believe this is a sign that the Australia's IT industry is maturing and looking a lot healthier than in recent times.

    The only real concern from these statistics was the rise of permanent roles compared to contracting opportunities. Up five per cent since the start of 2015, permanent positions still pale in comparison with contracting roles, which are dominating the recruitment arena.

    Of course, it was only a couple of months ago that contracting was the employment type on the rise. As such, the IT industry is still finding a balance, which will be clearer in the months ahead.

    Time to place contractors

    Another important factor into the health of the Australian IT contracting industry is the time it takes to place someone in a role. ITCRA describes this as a "gauge of market activity" and varies across every state and territory.

    Once again, South Australia and Western Australia hold the award for lowest Average Days-To-Fill ICT contract roles (23 days). These states were followed by New South Wales (29 days), Queensland (32 days) and Victoria (36 days).

    The ACT remains the hardest place to place IT contractors, as it takes more than double the time (48 days) it takes firms in South Australia and Western Australia to fill positions.

    2016 technology trends

    For both contractors and businesses alike, guessing what technology will be relevant can be quite tricky. Fortunately, the Gartner 2016 CIO Survey has offered some much needed insight into this area. Taking the responses of close to 3,000 chief information officers (CIO) from around the globe, Gartner listed the top five trends for the New Year.

    To provide knowledge relevant to Australian and New Zealand professionals, the research firm separated the thoughts of 175 CIOs from the region to compare with the rest of the world. These respondents recognised business intelligence and analytics as the top trend of 2016

    However, while in the ANZ region, cloud, digitalisation/digital marketing and mobile were considered important for the future, infrastructure and data centres placed in the top five around the world.

    Vice president at Gartner Graham Waller explained the findings in more detail.

    "As has always been the case with business intelligence, the key to big data is to point it at opportunities to harvest real business value from insight. The opportunity is to monetise big data, underpinned by the cloud," he said.

    Additionally, Gartner reported that IT spending is expected to increase 2.8 per cent next year to reach around $80 billion. This suggests that businesses can look at more than one of these trends and ensure they are using the best technology possible.

    The Oncore touch

    Oncore Services deliver solutions that can change your IT contractor management for the better. From payroll services to salary packaging, we can tailor our services to meet your requirements.

    For more information about any of our services, feel free to contact our expert team today.


  • Public sector needs skilled IT workforce

    Jan 20, 2016

    What skills are needed in the public sector?

    According to research from Deloitte, the government is struggling to implement digital transformation. In order to do this successfully, a digitally skilled workforce is required. For recruitment agencies, keeping on top of these trends is essential to business growth. 

    However, this can be difficult to do while balancing administrative obligations. Ensuring these tasks are organised and taken care of can help recruiters focus on industry trends, rather than invoices. 

    Public sector struggling with digitalisation

    The Australian public sector is struggling to respond to growing digital trends, says a recent Deloitte survey. According to the report, The Journey to Government's Digital Transformation, only 27 per cent of respondents are confident that their governmental organisations are well-equipped to deal with digital trends.

    A vast majority (80 per cent) believe that digital technologies and capabilities enable their employees to better serve customers and citizens. Despite this, less than half (43 per cent) think their leadership understands digital trends and technologies.

    "There is also a very compelling argument for more to be done in terms of driving the development and uptake of digital, both in terms of improved access to services and the provision of services at lower cost," says Deloitte Australia National Public Sector and Healthcare Leader Fran Thorn.

    "The report finds that public sector organisations at the forefront of using digital technologies tend to share a number of common characteristics, including a clear digital strategy, digitally savvy leadership, a workforce with the skills to realise their digital strategy, user-focused design, and a culture conducive to digital transformation."

    This may require a skilled workforce that the public sector is not currently equipped with. Research from the annual State of the Service report by the Productivity Commission also suggests that many organisations are not capable of dealing with the challenges posed by technology.

    New survey reports similar findings

    The Australian Public Service Commission has released an article, penned by Digital Transformation Office CEO Paul Shetler that explores the significance of digital transformation in the public sector.

    Mr Shelter underscored data from the 2015 APS agency survey which indicated that organisations are under-equipped to deal with growing digitalisation. The survey found that 35 per cent of respondents had not received adequate training to enhance their digital knowledge. 

    This lack of digital skills indicates that government organisations may require more IT staff. It is important for recruitment agencies to recognise this in order to have the right candidates ready for certain roles. Moreover, the survey reported an overwhelming majority (83 per cent) believe that digital technologies improve access to information, indicating that digitalisation is proving beneficial to the public sector.

    Recruitment agencies can benefit from understanding these trends. However, administrative tasks can often get in the way of appropriately analysing these trends as time is spent addressing financial obligations.

    At Oncore, we understand that recruiters would rather spend time focusing on the growth of their business. That is why we aim to help facilitate this through quality payroll services and employment management. For more information, contact the team with any queries. 



  • How a SMSF can be used to collect your UK pension

    Jan 18, 2016
    Are you looking at retiring in Australia but don't know how you will still access your UK pension? In recent times, there have been significant changes to UK laws that limit the ability for retirement-aged workers to access their UK pension if they wish to retire in Australia. With every door that closes, a window of opportunity opens.

    With Oncore Wealth Solutions, if you are aged over 55 and have a UK pension that you want to access in your retirement on Australian-soil, you can receive pension transfers across to an Oncore Wealth-facilitated Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF).

    Due to recent changes to UK law, all Australian Industry and Retail Super Funds are currently unable to accept UK pension transfers, as QROPS as we knew it is no longer. This means that, for the time being, only a specialised SMSF can be considered an "over 55s fund" and receive the rollover.

    This is where we are pleased to announce that we are able to help. Oncore Wealth Solutions specialises in retirement and taxation planning, and has teamed up with a reputable and proven UK-based IFA provider. This partnership of skills and resources allows us to provide you with a personalised analysis of your options and, should a transition be favourable, facilitate a transfer of your UK pension funds. We are ready to assist you in your retirement goals!

    Once your UK pension is received in your Australian Over 55s SMSF, Oncore Accounting Solutions can manage any of the tax implications that come along with the transfer. This ensures every aspect of your SMSF is managed compliantly and with a company you can trust.

    If you have any questions about getting your UK pension transferred to an Australian SMSF with Oncore Wealth Solutions, please contact the team by emailing wealth@oncoreservices.com or by calling 1300 654 484 from within Australia.




  • Is it time to go back to school?

    Jan 11, 2016

    According to a report from Deloitte in collaboration with the Australian Computer Society, it may be time for IT professionals to consider heading back to school.

    A demand for higher qualification

    According to this new report, the overall demand for ICT professionals is set to increase at a healthy 3.4 per cent for per annum for the next six years. However, the demand for those IT professionals with postgraduate qualifications is set to increase at a rate of 4.2 per cent. Higher qualifications are quickly becoming a standard for the industry.

    As Australia heads toward a more heavily ICT-based economy, the demand for digital knowledge is increasing across all industries, from retail to human resources. As quoted in a November 6 feature in The Australian, Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, even goes so far as to say that "there's hardly any industry now in which you don't use programming skills". From retail to recruitment services, ICT pervades every aspect of modern business.

    This change comes from a shift in Australia's focus from the mining boom (now swiftly coming to an end) to a more knowledge-based economy. There has been a swift adoption of ICT for business practices. Our ICT workforce numbers are average (3.6 percent of the workforce are ICT specialists) compared to other similar countries, but the research expenditure in ICT remains low at 10 per cent of the research and development budget.

    Paradigm shift

    However, this status quo is not to last. There have already been pushes in the education sector to start teaching computing and coding skills earlier. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was reported as saying that coding is as "fundamental as reading and writing", and the new school curriculum to start next year is introducing the skill as early as primary school.

    This is a change that begins at the very roots of Australian society. As children begin learning programming younger, the demand for more advanced ICT skills will only increase. Tertiary students with programming knowledge from primary school could very easily outpace any professionals that lag behind.

    ICT and the people who make up the industry are set to drive the Australian economy. Businesses are swiftly adopting new technologies and strategies that make computing knowledge a requirement, while the demand for higher qualifications increases every year. As demand increases, knowledge of solutions such as management software and other administrative tools may become commonplace.

    For those interested in joining the industry, now is better than ever to take the leap. For those current ICT professionals, it may be time to consider heading back to school.


  • What does 2016 hold for IT contractors?

    Jan 06, 2016

    With the new year upon us, businesses, recruiters and contractors will be gearing up for new and old challenges as well as opportunities that may be presented.

    To facilitate this, it is about time to look back at 2015 and review the trends and patterns that have impacted contractor services and may persist into 2016.

    Trend 1) Increasing demand for IT contractor assistance

    According to Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA), there has been significant growth in demand for IT contractors.

    ICT Employment Trends Report found that the time it took to place an information and communication technology (ICT) contractor had increased throughout the country - except in South Australia. 

    The report released figures for all of Australia's states and territories in comparison to the previous quarter:

    • Australian Capital Territory rose from 40 days to 45
    • Victoria increased 17 days from 16 to 33
    • New South Wales saw an increase of 11 days to 28 - up from 17
    • Queensland grew from 20 to 25 days 
    • Western Australia jumped to 20 days, up from 13
    • South Australia dropped 20 days to 25

    "The market is feeling confident which is being reflected in strong job advertising growth, so it is not surprising that it is becoming more competitive to place ICT contractors," said ITCRA CEO Julie Mills. 

    The trend may mean that Australian companies are taking innovation and IT seriously, demanding more work throughout the year. As technology continues its forward progression, organisations may continue to demand contractor assistance as they roll out new IT services, processes and strategies throughout 2016. 

    Trend 2) Innovation may drive deregulation

    According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), businesses continue to feel constrained by unwieldy regulations. 

    ACCI 2015 National Red Tape Survey found that approximately half of respondents said that the impact of regulatory legislation had negatively impacted their ability to grow their business.  

    Additionally, over 1 in 4 respondents reported that they allocated 11 hours a week or more to spend on compliance, with almost half of all respondents estimating that the annual cost of being compliant was more than $10,000. 

    "Every hour that an entrepreneur spends filling in paperwork is an hour they are not growing their business, satisfying their customers and creating job opportunities," said ACCI CEO Kate Carnell. 

    However, with the election of a new prime minister and the launch of the government's new National Innovation and Science Agenda there should be more opportunities to create a dynamic and advanced Australian economy. Central to this will be the reduction in red tape.

    If regulations are eased on small businesses, there could be further demand for IT contractor services as SMEs aim for growth in 2016. 

    Trend 3) Better gender equality and more female IT leaders 

    According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Australia is currently falling behind the rest of the world in a series of categories that measure digital literacy. 

    "Australian businesses achieved an overall 'Digital IQ' score of 75 points, over 2 per cent below the global average of 77.2, and well below the score of 81 for the survey's forerunners, suggesting that we lack the confidence to embrace digital innovation," said PwC Partner and Digital Services leader John Riccio.

    One way Australia could facilitate a better grasp of digital technology is by encouraging a greater range of tech and commercial leaders. One major barrier that is currently afflicting Australia is gender equality. 

    As 2016 closes in, it is essential that the Australian government and its economic leaders work to reduce the limits placed on female leaders in the tech sector as well as other industries. With a new pool of leadership talent, Australian companies may be able to better compete with their global peers. 

    If you are interested in trends that may affect your business in 2016, talk to Oncore Services today and find out how their services can help your business become a more innovative organisation. 


  • Taking it to the top in IT

    Dec 22, 2015

    What does it take to reach the top in the IT industry? Is it willpower? Intelligence? Education? Work ethic? We take a look at what experts at the top of their field had in common, and their advice on how everyone from contractors to executives can improve their career.

    In a recent series of surveys by Hays, over 200 people at a CIO level in their industry answered questions about their background, education and careers.

    The "CIO DNA"

    One of the most consistent similarities between those asked was the level of experience they had. Nearly half of all participants had over 20 years of experience in IT, and 40 per cent had only ever worked in IT.

    While staying in the profession, many certainly did not stay in one place for long. The majority of CIOs have worked outside of Australia in the past. Pursuing this path is made far easier with the correct research into adequate career mobility services.

    Julie Bale, CIO of the Bank of Queensland, describes how a varied experience even within the industry is valuable.

    "There's no straight path from A to Z. Some of my best career moves have been sideways," she said.

    This further emphasises the importance of experience, perseverance and adaptability, no matter what stage of your career you are at.

    Never stop learning

    According to Deloitte's 2015 global survey of CIOs, there were several major leadership capabilities required for success in the role. These included influence, talent management and communication skills, among others.

    However, nearly every CIO surveyed acknowledged that they lacked at least one of these critical skills. It is apparent that even at the top, one should always be aware of what you still need to learn.

    You won't win on technicality

    Leadership continues to be incredibly important for every industry, and no more so than for a CIO. Technical skills are a must for contractors and employees, but to reach the top it is a necessity to develop good leadership skills.

    In Gartner's 2015 CIO Agenda Report, 75 per cent of all current CIOs are planning to change their leadership style over the next three years. This is intended to better align with new technology and new strategies.

    But one must never forget the importance of organisation. Whether you are in human resources and require contractor management options, or a contractor on the look out for career mobility, it is always important to make sure you invest beyond the realms of pure technical skill.

    Variation, the chance and willingness to learn, and a lack of technical tunnel vision will serve you well at every level of the IT profession.

  • Is gender inequality holding back the IT industry?

    Dec 16, 2015

    According to a new global survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Australian companies are struggling to keep up with digitalisation. As new technologies become core to operations, recruiters need to help provide companies with adequate digital leaders to help the IT sector make a comeback. 

    With the lack of gender diversity in this sector, expanding the number of female leaders could help companies keep up with the global pace on digital processes. This involves focusing on candidates rather than administrative tasks, such as payroll services, in order to help your business grow.

    Australia underperforming in digital disruption

    A recent report from PwC outlines Australia's results from the global survey, entitled Lessons from Digital Leaders. It reveals that Australian companies are failing to keep up with international trends of digital disruption.

    PwC Partner and Digital Services Leader John Riccio attributes this to a lack of conviction in our digital abilities.

    "Australian businesses achieved an overall 'Digital IQ' score of 75 points, over 2 per cent below the global average of 77.2, and well below the score of 81 for the survey's forerunners, suggesting that we lack the confidence to embrace digital innovation," Mr Riccio said.

    PwC's Digital IQ results are measured around the responses of 2,000 business and technology executives across the globe on questions regarding 10 digital attributes that correlate to stronger financial performance. The survey measured responses from 2,000 businesses globally on digital characteristics that drive business performance. 

    Successfully implementing new technologies involves having the right staff and could hint a boost to the IT recruitment sector.

    "Businesses need to be integrating digital into all they do and continually disrupting themselves to create value and grow," added Mr Riccio.

    "We predict that as Australian businesses begin to adopt more of these Digital IQ attributes, they can expect to see stronger financial returns on their digital investments."

    It's important for Australian companies to ensure these qualities are embedded in their business strategies. This will require a diverse leadership with a strong background in the IT sector. 

    IT sector lacking women leaders

    Navigating a business landscape that is increasingly disruptive involves a skilled workforce. As digital processes become more essential, demand for IT recruitment will only increase. 

    According to research by McKinsey & Company, there have been reducing numbers of women in technology and engineering training over the last 30 years. This has resulted in women being underrepresented in management roles in the IT industry. Moreover, this has led to a disproportionate wage gap, globally and within Australia. 

    For recruiters, it is important to keep up with industry trends to provide the right candidates for a role. At Oncore, we understand that administrative tasks can get in the way growing your business and aim to help alleviate these obligations so you are able to focus on these trends.


  • How recruiters can attract the right talent

    Dec 08, 2015

    For many jobseekers, deciding on a role is more than simply finding a job. There are many factors that go into this decision and recruitment agencies need to understand what the key trends are for candidates.

    Rather than focusing on administrative tasks, recruiters need to be making the most of research that allows greater understanding of the job market. Utilising employment management tools allows for greater engagement with clients, fostering growth for recruiters

    Is Australia lacking jobseekers?

    According to the latest analysis by the Department of Employment, Australia contains more than enough job candidates with the relevant skills and qualifications for most vacancies. However, this does not necessarily equate to employers hiring them.

    The department's recent Skill Shortages: Statistical Summary indicated that, on average, only 2.2 applicants out of 15.6 were considered by employers to be suitable for the role.

    One of the reasons cited for companies failing to fill roles was an inability for employers to agree on the terms and conditions of the role with the preferred candidates. In light of this, what are prospective employees looking for when applying for roles?

    What are candidates looking for?

    Hudson's latest research, The Hiring Report: The State of Hiring in Australia 2015, explores what candidates are looking for in a position. According to its results, 70 per cent of senior executives prioritise cultural fit when seeking a new role, over other factors such as work/life balance and a higher salary.

    "The fact that cultural fit - that feeling of belonging - is so far up the value chain, and is actually the most important factor for senior executives, demonstrates that fitting in and feeling valued are also important priorities for Australian job seekers," said Hudson Executive General Manager Dean Davidson.

    According to the Hudson report, the significance of cultural fit is redefining the recruitment sector. Cultural fit has no singular meaning and conjures varying concepts for different people. However, Hudson maintains that, at its core, cultural fit means belonging.

    This signifies the importance of not only understanding the needs of a candidate but also defining what cultural fit means to their specific organisation. For recruiters, defining a company's brand can help pinpoint what it is that a business needs in its staff.

    For jobseekers, in general, a new trend has emerged that can play a pivotal role in the recruitment process.

    Flexible working arrangements sought after by staff

    According to the Hudson report, work-life balance has taken the top spot as the most sought-after aspect of a role for jobseekers overall. The survey revealed a majority (70 per cent) of Australian professionals looked for a "work-life balance, including flexible arrangements" when seeking a new role.

    "No longer just a buzz term or the domain of the working mum, work-life balance is now fundamental to all Australian professionals and will be firmly on the agenda as we move throughout 2015," added Mr Davidson.

    For recruitment agencies, sourcing the right talent is becoming challenging. As such, focusing on these trends is increasingly essential in such a competitive market. With many employers unable to verbalise what exactly they are seeking in a candidate, recruiters need to employ strategies built on research and hiring trends.

    In order to do so, recruiters need to be able to focus on their clients, rather than administrative tasks. If you are having difficulty prioritising the growth of your business, contact the team at Oncore Services. With our range of employment management tools and payroll services, we can help facilitate the development of your enterprise.


  • Are you considering mature workers as potential contractors?

    Dec 02, 2015

    Australia's ageing population is resulting in more older workers seeking employment in the IT industry. Organisations that take advantage of this trend and engage older workers could gain a competitive edge over other businesses.

    Furthermore, focusing on candidates and ensuring you understand the skills and experience they offer takes time. For recruiters, investing in solutions that foster operational efficiency can help manage administrative tasks so that candidates can remain the focus. 

    Age discrimination in the recruitment process

    As many are aware, Australia's ageing population is resulting in the nation moving increasingly towards an older workforce. For the IT industry, this can give organisations a competitive edge due to the variety of skills and experience that mature employees tend to hold.

    However, research indicates that businesses are failing to see the potential in older workers, with a high portion experiencing discrimination when applying for roles.

    The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released a report in April this year in order to highlight this growing problem. It revealed that over a quarter (27 per cent) of Australians aged 50 years and over had experienced age discrimination within the last two years.

    "I am particularly concerned that a third of people who had experienced age discrimination gave up looking for work as a result. Almost half began to think about retirement or accessing their superannuation fund," says Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan.

    The report, National prevalence survey of age discrimination in the workplace, was launched earlier this year at Insurance Australia Group (IAG). It indicated that many workers experienced discrimination during the recruitment process, with almost half (44 per cent) reporting negative perceptions of skills and ability.

    Furthermore, many of those experiencing discrimination do not take action. Out of those that chose not to, 25 per cent felt that no one would believe their side, they had little evidence or not much could be done about the situation.

    What are the benefits of hiring older workers?

    The Australian government notes the importance of understanding the investment of a mature employee to a company. It highlights certain characteristics that can foster business development and improve your organisation overall. This includes:

    • Fill any knowledge or skill gaps
    • Act as a mentor to less experienced staff
    • Share their skills through training 
    • Look at business processes from a different viewpoint

    For the IT industry, mature workers can offer experience and skills that other employees may not be able to offer. As such, ensuring you are considering them as serious candidates for jobs is advantageous to the employer as well.

    "It is in everyone's interest to have a workforce that is adaptive of our ageing population," notes IAG Chairman Brian Schwartz.

    Furthermore, mature workers are set to make up a considerable portion of the workforce. A 2014 report by AMP and NATSEM, We can work it out: Australia's changing workforce, estimates that the proportion of older people (65 years and above) will rise from 13.5 per cent in 2010 to 22.7 per cent by 2050.

    Taking mature workers seriously and understanding the value they could add to the IT industry is beneficial for all parties. By seriously considering mature workers, your company is more likely to be viewed as a viable agency for these candidates. 

    Keeping up with industry trends is important for recruiters as it facilitates growth and business development. At Oncore, we understand that administrative tasks can get in the way of more important aspects of your company.

    For advice on how your business can stay on top of daily tasks and ahead of recruitment trends, contact the team at Oncore.


  • Invoice payment times see dramatic improvement

    Nov 26, 2015

    Regardless of the size of your business, cash flow is a constant headache that needs to be addressed. Without a consistent stream of revenue, enterprises can't commit to any form of business expansion, making it harder to remain competitive.

    The bulk of cash flow comes from debtors, either individuals or other businesses purchasing your goods or services. As such, the faster that these parties pay what they owe, the more scope your business has to invest in future expansion.

    Dun & Bradstreet's latest Trade Payments Analysis found that invoice payment times have dramatically plummeted in recent months.

    Record payment times recorded

    According to the announcement, the average invoice was paid in 45.1 days during Q3 of 2015. This is more than four days faster than in Q2 and almost a week ahead of Q3 2014. Invoice payment times are often a good measure for the economy as a whole, so this result suggests Australia is moving out of its slump and towards positive expansion.

    However, Dun & Bradstreet revealed that not all businesses are enjoying these short payment times. A total of 66 per cent of invoices were paid within a month, while 26 per cent reported settled bills between 31 and 60 days.

    The real concern comes with the eight per cent of invoices completed after 61 days. In fact, many payments are made after the 121 day mark. Any business in this situation would be wise to consider contractor payroll services which can assist the entire payment process.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported last year that one in five local enterprises don't innovate as much as they would like to because of a lack of funds. This highlights the importance of chasing invoices and receiving prompt payments.

    Tasmania leads the way

    All states and territories saw improvements to their invoice payment times with Tasmania once again taking the top spot. With an average of 41.3 days, the Apple Isle state holds a narrow lead over the Northern Territory (41.6 days), Queensland (42.7 days) and Western Australia (43.3 days).

    According to Economics Advisor to Dun & Bradstreet Stephen Koukoulas all states should enjoy lower invoice payment times in the future.

    "The spectacular decline in average invoice payment times since the middle of 2014 suggests firms are experiencing favourable cash flows," he said.

    "A combination of savings from record low interest rates, reasonable income growth and on-going economic expansion mean that firms are well placed to pay their bills more quickly than at any time in many years."

    Strong cashflow = strong business spending

    One of the benefits of a positive cashflow is the opportunity for businesses to invest in their enterprise. Whether this comes in the form of technology, people or processes, it is the mark of a strong leader to see an opening and take it with two hands.

    In fact, according to statistics from the Commonwealth Bank, this is exactly what is occurring at present. Based on its latest Business Sales Indicator, spending on services such as computer equipment and software rose 5.3 per cent in September. This is an outstanding result and is the largest spike since the start of 2008.

    "The stellar rise in business spending shows that the Federal budget initiatives are proving to be sustainable over a longer period," Chief Economist Craig James outlined.

    "With growth across a number of retail-based sectors, businesses should be feeling optimistic leading into the holiday season."

    Investing with Oncore Services

    Oncore Services can revolutionise your IT contractor management with everything from payroll services to salary packaging - tailored to meet your growing business. For more information, contact our team today.



  • Australian contracting environment improving - report

    Nov 17, 2015

    With many media reports discussing IT skill shortages, it is easy to believe that the industry isn't growing as well as it could.

    However, according to recent statistics from the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA), Australia's IT employment market is both mature and stable. This suggests that the future could be significantly brighter for IT contractors and those seeking their services.

    Every quarter, ITCRA analyses employment trends from a number of different sources around the industry. Whether this is ITCRA's own members, job advertisements from SEEK or data from BurningGlass, this type of information paints an interesting picture of the industry landscape.

    Increase in contracting positions

    One of the main points to come out of the July to September 2015 quarter report was from SEEK. According to the recruitment provider, contract and permanent advertised roles grew 15.7 per cent over the past year. ITCRA believe this is a sign that Australia's IT industry is maturing and looking a lot healthier than in recent times.

    The only real concern from these statistics was the rise of permanent roles compared to contracting opportunities. Up five per cent since the start of 2015, permanent positions still pale in comparison with contracting roles, which are dominating the recruitment arena.

    Of course, it was only a couple of months ago that contracting was the employment type on the rise. As such, the IT industry is still finding a balance, which will be clearer in the months ahead.

    Time to place contractors

    Another important factor into the health of the Australian IT contracting industry is the time it takes to place someone in a role. ITCRA describes this as a "gauge of market activity" and varies across every state and territory.

    Once again, South Australia and Western Australia hold the award for lowest Average Days-To-Fill ICT contract roles (23 days). These states were followed by New South Wales (29 days), Queensland (32 days) and Victoria (36 days).

    The ACT remains the hardest place to place IT contractors, as it takes more than double the time (48 days) it takes firms in South Australia and Western Australia to fill positions.

    2016 technology trends

    For both contractors and businesses alike, guessing what technology will be relevant can be quite tricky. Fortunately, the Gartner 2016 CIO Survey has offered some much needed insight into this area. Taking the responses of close to 3,000 chief information officers (CIO) from around the globe, Gartner listed the top five trends for the New Year.

    To provide knowledge relevant to Australian and New Zealand professionals, the research firm separated the thoughts of 175 CIOs from the region to compare with the rest of the world. These respondents recognised business intelligence and analytics as the top trend of 2016

    However, while in the ANZ region, cloud, digitalisation/digital marketing and mobile were considered important for the future, infrastructure and data centres placed in the top five around the world.

    Vice president at Gartner Graham Waller explained the findings in more detail.

    "As has always been the case with business intelligence, the key to big data is to point it at opportunities to harvest real business value from insight. The opportunity is to monetise big data, underpinned by the cloud," he said.

    Additionally, Gartner reported that IT spending is expected to increase 2.8 per cent next year to reach around $80 billion. This suggests that businesses can look at more than one of these trends and ensure they are using the best technology possible.

    The Oncore touch

    Oncore Services delivers solutions that can change your IT contractor management for the better. From payroll services to salary packaging, we can tailor our services to meet your requirements.

    For more information about any of our services, feel free to contact our expert team today.




  • Breaking down the Australian gender wage gap

    Nov 10, 2015

    While Australia has made great strides on social concerns, gender inequality remains an issue across the country. In most sectors, including the technology industry, women are paid less than men and closing this gap will be key to ending the current skill shortage.

    According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), there is close to 18 per cent between the male and female average weekly earnings. Of course, it is important to note that some employers are very responsible around this issue, but many aren't and this can prevent women from pursuing careers in certain sectors.

    For the WGEA, the first step for businesses to reverse this trend is accountability. Acting Director Louise McSorley explained that enterprises need to analyse their own payroll data to identify any gender gaps.

    "We're also seeing more employers investigate and take responsibility for closing their organisation-wide pay gap as they look to dismantle the barriers that inhibit the ability for women to take on the bigger, higher paying roles," she said.

    "We urge all employers to use the tools available to analyse and address the pay gaps that may exist in their own workplaces."

    Potential of gender equality

    As well as paying women wanting what they deserve and easing skill shortages, there is another benefit of wage parity - global growth. 

    Based on a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, global GDP could grow by $12 trillion in 2025 if every country matched gender equality efforts by its most encouraging neighbour. The world economy is already fragile, so if half of the population isn't earning to full potential, there are predictions that another downturn will occur.

    For Australian businesses and recruiters, pay parity starts internally. By having the right contractor management software and payroll data services, these issues can be identified and enterprises can ensure every contractor is paid to industry standard, regardless of gender.

  • Innovation vital to Australia's future?

    Nov 03, 2015

    In past years, Australian businesses and recruitment agencies only competed against local firms. This meant it was relatively easy to see what someone down the road was doing and learn from their experience.

    However, the world is now a global marketplace and it is just as important to learn from overseas businesses as those within Australia. Unfortunately, according to the findings of a recent report, Australia is not readily adopting enough new technologies such as cloud computing, data analytics and information services.

    Published by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA), the Technology and Australia's Future report suggests Australia's competitive future is at stake if nothing changes. As such, ACOLA considered how technology is changing and what this will mean to people and society in the years ahead.

    "We need to be agile as a nation and we need to decide whether we want to equip ourselves with the skills and knowledge to forge our future or allow others to impose a future on us," Australia's Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb explained.

    "In reality, of course, there is no choice about whether - the only choice is about how."

    Australia is widely considered an innovation trend setter, but as ACOLA Council member and President of the Australian Academy of Science Professor Andrew Holmes said businesses in other countries are becoming smarter.

    "Australia's response to new technologies needs to be agile, adaptive and optimistic - new technologies can offer Australia great benefits; it is up to the nation to seize the opportunity," he stated.

    Bank outlines required improvements

    It seems that innovation is a hot topic across the corporate community, with NAB's Survey of Business Innovation in Australia finding low statistics on the issue. Just 27 per cent of companies would describe themselves as 'innovative' and 13 per cent said the country was ' highly innovative'.

    The difference between these two figures is particularly interesting. On first glance, it suggests that Australia isn't very innovative. However, NAB believes organisations don't know what others are doing so are assuming they aren't innovative.

    "This raises the possibility that business may be underestimating the true level of innovation in Australia," the report read.

    What is the answer to innovation?

    It is important to remember that innovation starts within a business. Organisations need to ask themselves whether their processes are streamlined enough or if there is a better way of doing something. 

    This is where Oncore Services can help.

    With a premium line of contractor management software, payroll solutions and risk mitigation services, our team can help your business reach the level of innovation needed to create further growth and development.



  • Outsourcing key to staying competitive

    Oct 30, 2015
    Recruitment is a fast-paced, competitive industry that requires a lot of focused attention and energy. In privately-owned businesses, such as many recruitment agencies, there is the common trend of trying to do everything yourself as an owner, which risks stunting the growth of the company. This happens when the key decision makers are stuck doing back-office tasks each day that they'd rather not spend their precious time on when they could be more productive elsewhere; driving initiatives and building growth of the business. 

    With outsourcing of back office tasks becoming more than just a trend in the corporate world, the benefits of doing so have become more and more evident. Many companies use outsourcing as a cost-cutting strategy while using the opportunity to capitalise on the skills of the outsourced professionals. Similarly, small business owners enjoy business growth and an increase in productivity as a result of outsourcing back office tasks to skilled professionals. This is one great way of ensuring you keep up with your competitors and don't get left behind while you're bogged down in dealing with those functions that are necessary but don't directly drive growth for your business.

    Due to the nature of the business they're in, outsourcing isn't a new concept to recruitment agencies. So if you're a recruiter who's looking to take the next step in growth for your business, why not practice what you preach and enjoy what outsourcing your back office tasks can do for you.

    The team at Oncore Services have been working with agencies and professionals in the recruitment industry for close to two decades, supporting agencies large and small to maximise and boost their growth through the outsourcing of back-office contractor payroll and management services. 

    These services include contractor setup, timesheet and payroll management, risk mitigation thanks to Oncore's comprehensive compliance processes, Superannuation and insurance handling, plus so much more.

    Contact the team today to speak to one of our dedicated team members about how Oncore Services can provide a valuable contractor management solution to your business.

    AU - 1300 654 484 - solutionsaus@oncoreservices.com
    UK - 0203 598 5352 - solutionsuk@oncoreservices.com


  • Contractors to fill UK skill shortage gaps

    Oct 13, 2015

    If the statistics released as part of the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) are to be believed, IT temps and contractors in the UK are set for a period of high demand.

    Each month, the REC interviews 600 employers up and down the UK to analyse the state of the IT recruitment world. With this industry one of the fastest growing globally, it is often the case that trends we see in the UK will soon be reflected in similar economies like Australia. As such, businesses, recruiters and contractors should keep abreast of these changes as they occur.

    In this latest update, REC revealed that 98 per cent of surveyed employers plan to take advantage of the services offered by temporary and contract workers.

    Why is this the case?

    The UK, much like the rest of the world, is facing a severe skill shortage in the IT environment. With fewer full-time professionals available to recruit, considering temporary workers or contractors is a smart solution.

    In fact, 79 per cent of employees mentioned getting key strategic skills quickly as one of the top reasons behind this recruitment shift.

    REC Chief Executive Kevin Green explained that many businesses are already working at peak capacity.

    "A continued lack of workers with the appropriate skills means that temporary staff are increasingly needed to fill areas of skills shortage," he said.

    "With capacity tight and employers already aware of candidate shortages, it's clear that competition for top talent will be stiff. The private sector is clearly paying more to retain talent so the outlook for public sector organisations whose staff have the skills that the private sector requires is going to be testing."

    The state of the Australian temporary talent market

    According to the Hays Quarterly Report (Information Technology), contract roles remained popular across Australia during the last three months. The recruitment experts noted that organisations in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania are all looking for contractors to fill certain skill set.

    Hays explained that the IT market in NSW was particularly robust.

    "The strength of the contract market has led to candidates holding out for above market rates," the report said.

    Oncore Services support

    Across the globe, IT contractors are becoming a force in the recruitment market. As such, businesses and recruitment agencies need to have the right technology and software to meet their needs. This is where Oncore Services can be of assistance.

    With industry leading contractor management software and employee care services, you can ensure your contractors are always looked after during their employment.

  • IT contracting - a major part of Australia's future

    Oct 07, 2015

    It is easy to say that technology has changed our lives for the better. We now have access to world-leading medical technology; mobile connectivity allows us to communicate from almost anywhere and students are learning code at high school.

    As the National Broadband Network continues to take shape, NBN and KPMG Demographics have offered insight in the future and analysed how fast internet could change the nature of the Australian workforce. As technology, and in particular the internet, grows it is inevitable that skills sets will change, making it important that businessesrecruiters and candidates themselves understand what is in-demand.

    Author of the Super connected jobs report, demographer Bernard Salt outlined the context of this changing environment.

    "Australians are on the dawn of a disruptive 'Uber-work' era. Super connectivity made available via the NBN network will deliver a greater balance between work and lifestyle pursuits as we redefine how, when and where we will work," he said.

    "We could also see the rise of new Silicon cities or beaches in regional hubs around the country as universal access to fast broadband drives a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation outside our capital cities."

    A need for more jobs

    According to the report, Australia will require three million more jobs by the year 2030 to keep up with population growth. Given the expected rise in automation, jobs in the IT industry are likely to be the most competitive. 

    In fact, there is a suggestion that jobs traditionally labelled as 'geeky' such as tech startups and computer programmers will become more mainstream and less niche. Of course, this will lift respect for the IT industry and give contractors more confidence to pursue their occupations.

    How will the internet help IT contractors?

    NBN and KPMG categorised workers into five groups based on the impact of the internet. IT contractors would fall into the "Technocrats" section. Described as highly skilled and trained, these professionals will likely use the high speed broadband to develop and collaborate internationally with clients and stakeholders.

    Of course, demand for IT contractors in Australia has already started. According to the Peoplebank Australia's quarterly Salary & Employment Index, hiring for Sydney-based contractors is up 10 per cent and all other major cities aren't far behind.

    "Businesses are seeing the returns on their data driven innovation, which is spurring more organisations to commit to investments in digital capabilities," CEO of Peoplebank Peter Acheson said.

    For businesses and recruiters, the best way to ensure IT contractors are supported is through Oncore Services. With many different services available, our team can help your firm through the ever-changing IT environment.

  • Digital solutions for a more productive future

    Sep 29, 2015

    We now live in an age where almost everything has a digital alternative. Tagging onto the bus without cash on the way to work is the norm and almost everyone conducts their banking on the internet.

    For businesses, the digital age represents an opportunity to adopt new technology and take advantage of the inherent productivity and financial benefits. This was confirmed in a recent report titled B2B Payments: 2015 Australia and New Zealand Research published by Deloitte Australia.

    Surveying 150 medium and large businesses in both Australia and New Zealand, Deloitte focussed on the role of digital payments and invoicing. According to the results, businesses that take advantage of digital account payments and cards can experience 70 per cent higher cost efficiency when compared to the traditional purchase order process.

    In fact, by taking the digital route, 73 per cent of businesses enjoy improved cash flow and 63 per cent have access to better data useful for analytics.

    Payments Director with Deloitte Richard Miller explained digital account-based payment systems are widely thought of as faster and cheaper among the organisations surveyed.

    "Businesses and government organisations are increasingly looking to such digital solutions to improve productivity and reduce the time between invoicing and receiving payment," he said.

    "As a result of digitisation opening up more opportunities, spending on card-based B2B payments has grown significantly since 2011."

    Visa sponsored the report and its Head of Product in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Rob Walls agreed with the findings.

    "B2B payments are rapidly changing as the shift to digital accelerates. There is still a substantial opportunity for businesses of all sizes to adopt more efficient ways to pay and be paid," he stated.

    Could digital options promote invoice payment times?

    Having the option to make payments through digital channels is a real time saver for businesses today. This then poses the question: Could invoice payment times improve with more businesses embracing digital technology?

    According to Dun & Bradstreet's Trade Payments Analysis from June 2015, many organisations would certainly hope so. Based on the figures in this report, just 56 per cent of all commercial invoices are paid on time in Australia. 

    Faster payment times would also improve cash flow and allow businesses to concentrate on other areas of their operations. 

    At Oncore Services, we are focussed on the future and this means digital solutions. Contact us today to find out how we can bring your payroll, time sheet and invoicing processes into the 21st century.



  • Incorporating technology to engage wider IT skills

    Sep 24, 2015

    Business and technology is a relationship that continues to go from strength to strength. Once very separate arenas, many more technological decisions are being made from the boardroom.

    While it isn't a case of the IT department becoming obsolete, it does represent a change in responsibility. Regular employees within a business now understand the basics of most forms of technology and are a good judge of what works within the HR department, for example. 

    This is where the concept of IT management comes into play. According to Gartner, every employee is now a digital employee.

    Research Vice President Matt Cain said digital dexterity levels have improved considerably in recent years.

    "They operate their own wireless networks at home, attach and manage various devices, and use apps and web services in almost every facet of their personal lives," he said.

    Bimodal IT?

    With a workforce that is able to operate within highly technical environments, businesses need to develop different ways to keep their skills tied to the organisation. One option is through bimodal IT.

    Gartner defines bimodal IT as the process that separates traditional IT from new digital systems. While looking after the demands of emerging technology, the traditional infrastructure remains settled and stable. This means businesses can experiment with various form of innovation without risking the entire network.

    Mr Cain explained that this is a critical balance to get right.

    "Organisations that formally embrace and extend the digital competencies of their employees will experience improved business outcomes and gain a competitive advantage," he stated.

    "The trick, however, will be to ensure that employees willingly embrace new technology, rather than feel threatened by it."

    Technology - key to innovation

    Regardless of the industry, businesses are looking for innovation and productivity to get them up and beyond the competition. Based on the findings of a Microsoft Lumia survey, technology could be the answer that businesses are looking for.

    A total of 39 per cent of the respondents believe that technology can improve collaboration and innovation within their framework. A percentage (32 per cent) also state having technology available will reduce unproductive time.

    Oncore Services are at the heart of technology that can revolutionise your IT contractor management. From payroll services to salary packaging, we can tailor our products to meet your growing business. For more information about any of our services, feel free to contact our expert team or visit our website.

  • Superannuation gender gap closes - survey

    Sep 21, 2015

    While superannuation is considered an important financial safety blanket for the future, it has been revealed that there is still a significant gap between males and females.

    According to Roy Morgan, men who hold a superannuation fund have an average balance of $158,100 in the year to June. However, women still trailed by close to 35 per cent, with the year average sitting at $101,900.

    It is important to note that the gap is closing. In 2005, the percentage gap was just under 45 per cent with this reducing by around 10 per cent in the last decade.

    Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research Norman Morris explained why average superannuation balances are closing between men and women.

    "Obviously, several factors are helping to close the gap, such as the gradual impact of the compulsory super scheme, higher levels of education for women, increased awareness of the issue, increased work-force participation and a trend towards self-managed super," he said.

    "However, the gap is narrowing very slowly, and more definitive action is probably needed."

    Are women happy in their current superannuation funds?

    As with both genders, the performance and associated fees of their superannuation fund are what keep people engaged and committed. 

    Based on Roy Morgan's findings, the majority of women (78.8 per cent) who are currently in Self-Managed Super Funds are satisfied with its financial performance. Other reported funds included Q Super (72.7 per cent) and Catholic Super (65.8 per cent).

    "Despite the fact that superannuation performance tables are produced from a number of sources and published periodically, fund members' behaviour will ultimately be determined by how they feel their fund is performing," Mr Morris continued.

    $1 million superannuation dream false

    Although setting up superannuation is vital for all working Australians, the thought of establishing a nest egg in excess of $1 million is just not realistic, according to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

    The AIST believe that recent media reports that at least $1 million was required for a set retirement was causing concern around the national workforce.

    In its Busting the $1 million retirement myth report, an IT contractor who is earning around $55,000 could retire on an income of around $34,000 on retirement. 

    "It's time to get real about super and ensure all Australians have a far better understanding of the sort of income they can expect in retirement," AIST CEO Tom Garcia stated.

    For those in the IT industry, superannuation is something to think about now. This is where Oncore Services can come in handy. Through our contractor management software and salary packaging options, we can help you ensure you are in the right superannuation fund for your future.



  • Hiring times put pressure on existing professionals

    Sep 17, 2015

    Regardless of the scope of your IT industry business, skill shortages could be playing havoc with your development and growth. With demand for IT services only increasing, having the right IT contractors on hand is vital.

    However, according to a report released earlier this year, recruitment is getting harder and harder. Management advisory company CEB polled 6,000 hiring managers and 900 recruiters to gauge their thoughts on recruitment and analyse the impact of skill shortages on the wider team.

    One of the main findings to come out of the report was the average fill time. In 2015, employers are waiting around 68 days to fill any position, compared to the 42 recorded in a similar report in 2010.

    Samantha Hickey, CEB talent practice director explained businesses that struggle to retain and hire staff are at risk of encountering productivity and engagement issues among their existing employees and contractors.

    "The knock-on effect of having an open position puts pressure and stress on colleagues who not only have to pick up the additional work, but also rely on this position to help them do their job effectively," she said.

    "This can lead to burnout and reduced job satisfaction as employees try to compensate for the missing team member."

    Increase in recruitment forecasted

    To ensure that these recruitment demands don't affect your business in the future, it will be important that your employer care and payroll services are up-to-date and fully functioning. This thought is compounded by recent statistics out of KPMG International. 

    According to the KPMG CEO Outlook Study, 66 per cent of leaders in the Asia Pacific region are confident about how their business is growing and their recruitment prospects for the coming three years.

    In fact, globally, 80 per cent of CEOs are planning on hiring more staff over the next few years.

    "The results demonstrate that Australian businesses are capitalising on a policy environment that has become more stimulatory this year. CEOs are seeing positive momentum in the years ahead," KPMG's Australian Chairman, Peter Nash explained.

    "The weaker Australian dollar and looser monetary and fiscal policy are home-grown forces supporting a lift in business initiatives and enthusiasm for the future."

    With recruitment and retaining staff important concepts moving forward, businesses would be wise to work with a provider that can take them to the next level. For more information on how Oncore Services can assist your team, contact us today.

Australia: 1300 654 484   UK: 0870 900 2901