How difficult is it to find talent in the Digital industry?

Worth $19 billion and employing 289,000 people, the digital industry – which comprise of software, website, animation, video, computer games – contributes 3% of the nation’s GDP. In NSW alone there are 36,192 creative digital businesses operating. Without doubt, given our love affair with anything digital, the industry is growing fast.

A new research by Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) claims that skills shortage is acute in the digital industry and it is fuelling a $2 billion trade deficit. A survey of employers carried out early in the year found a disconnect between graduates and the skills required by employers.

Over 80% of employers indicated that aspiring graduates only accounted for between 0% and 20% of all workers. imageA majority 22% of employers said they have difficulty in ‘finding aspiring creatives with the ‘right’ skills and attributes (refer chart), and  56% of employers surveyed had recruited new workers, with around half of the new workers sourced from interstate and overseas.

But just how much is the demand, the report didn’t say. The sample size used for the survey is also small with only 50 employers participating.

Job vacancies are hard to monitor to get a snapshot of demand. SEEK, for instance, does not have a separate broad category for digital jobs. Instead creative jobs are spread across different industry categories including IT, marketing and Advertising, Arts and Media. Still it is hard to doubt the assertion that skills shortage is acute, given that so much of our daily lives and business processes are going digital. Besides in the last ABS count the industry grew by 7.7% compared to the national average of 5.5%. My hunch is demand for anything digital will continue to grow and so would demand for skilled staff.

What’s your experience recruiting in the digital space?


Understanding the forces influencing supply and demand is imperative if you are recruiting talent in the digital space. Here are a few studies exploring the digital workforce.

  1. 60Sox’s report – From education to work in Australia’s Creative Digital Industries: Employers vs aspiring creatives – explores the demand & supply landscape.
  2. NSW accounted for 37% of the Australian digital creative workforce. The NSW government fact sheet on the industry can be found here.
  3. A comprehensive study of the broader creative industry in NSW.
  4. Creative Economy report card
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