One simple method to gauge the health of the economy is to watch the performance of talent service providers. Simply, when the economy is growing it means that companies in general are doing well. And growing companies in turn increases their headcount. This leads to an increase in demand for the services provided by the talent industry. And finally, leads to an upswing in the share price of listed players. The economic cycle goes hand in hand with the performance of the talent service industry.
Lately, the performance of listed talent service providers in Australia seems to reflect a struggling economy and a volatile share market. The share price of the industry stalwart, SEEK Ltd, currently stands at $5.02 , a far cry from its 54 weeks apex of $9.48. Still, SEEK is in a much better position than most of the other talent service providers listed on the ASX (see table below).
While share prices may not be too rosy for some of the players, the increasing number of home-grown listed companies highlights the vibrancy and increasing maturity of the Australian talent market (Perth based Interstaff is the surprise newcomer with a market cap of $9.22 million). As the country face acute skills shortage in most sectors, the importance of talent service provider will continue to grow. It is likely that more players will be listed on the stock market in the near future.
Current share price performance on 27/07/08 (Source: Google Finance)
|Company||Share Price||Market Cap|
|Seek Limited||$5.02||$1.43 B|
|Clarius Group Ltd||$1.18||$63.00M|
|Talent 2 International Ltd||$1.16||$142.23M|
|Peoplebank Australia Ltd –||$0.67||$27.62M|
|Interstaff Recruitment Ltd||$0.65||$9.22M|
|Ross Human Directions –||$0.42||$34.82M|
|Ambition Group Ltd||$0.35||$10.96M|
|Rubicor Group Ltd||$0.16||N/A|
|Hamilton James & Bruce Group Ltd||$0.05||$3.34M|
Baird produce a comprehensive monthly report where you can trace the performance of listed overseas talent service providers who have offices or operations in Australia. Most of the global talent service providers have a presence in Australia.