Asia Insights with Sean Garvey and Olivia Vas in Australia

26 Oct 2021

Asia Insights with Sean Garvey and Olivia Vas in Australia

Time has an odd way of compressing itself.

"Was that 2020 or 2021?", I said to a colleague recently. Neither of us could remember. The monotone nature of our physical surroundings has compressed memories not with a time, but just a singular place, in my case, the kitchen bench! As we roll into November, that is all about to change. 

"How will the market in the Australian Tech world change", I hear you say?

The overarching theme is busy. I have not spoken to a tech leader that says they are not. And that’s even when you filter some of the responses for the “bravado & ego” factor. Customers are spending, technology investment is high on the agenda, and headcount is a crucial lever everyone is pulling. The net effect we are seeing is a significant impact on the price point it takes to attract individual contributor talent. Up to 40% premium on this time last year was quoted to me this week. The sad fact of the matter is some of the individuals poached in the eyes of some leaders are just not worth it.

Diversity from a gender perspective is a hotter topic than I have seen for a long time in the executive leadership ranks. Although there are many more senior female leaders than five years ago, the numbers have not radically changed. What has, is the demand and expectation of local and regional leaders to address this in-balance. It seems the preferred strategy is to try and hire more female leaders to “your” company; a simple lesson on supply-side economics will tell you just saying it does not make it so. Only a few are thinking strategically about this problem.

While there are these hot pockets of activity at a country leader level, it is “goldilocks”. Neither too hot nor too cold. Most MD’s I speak with are telling me they are performing well and engaged in their roles; the hard yards of keeping their teams engaged during lockdown has paved the way to reap some reward. Without the backfill pressure of “exits” through non-performance and promotion offshore (USA & Asia), there now exists an equilibrium. Not for long, I suspect. Once “normal programming” returns and changing jobs means not just changing where you sit in the house, I think we will start to see a significant amount of movement. Coupled with the pipeline of new market entrants wanting to come to Australia seeking leaders, we are in for a busy 2022.

Christmas… didn’t we just put the decorations away?