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The remarkable story of the rise of the technology sector is the level of value created, not from the harvesting and manufacturing of physical resources but from the application of human skill and ingenuity. Startups are grown by smart and hardworking people that are able to take ideas and turn them into innovations which, in turn, provide valuable dividends to the community and economy at large.

The StartupAUS ‘Emerging Technology: Talent Snapshot’ was released in October 2019. The Snapshot has been designed to be a data- rich overview of the talent picture in the Australian startup sector, shedding light on the interaction between human capital and the startups that depend on it.

OVER HALF OF THE EMPLOYEES OF A TYPICAL STARTUP KNOW HOW TO CODE.

Analysing the entire employee records of some of Australia’s most successful startups paints a picture on who they hire, and it underscores why startups are often concerned about the availability of STEM skills. 38% fall broadly under the umbrella of software development. 13% of staff are working in a technical hybrid role in product and design, and a further 6% specialise in cutting edge startup roles, focusing on data and machine learning.

SOME CUTTING EDGE STARTUP ROLES HAVE BECOME MORE MAINSTREAM IN THE LAST YEAR.

In our Startup Talent Gap report, we found that while Australian scaleup founders were clear that product roles were top of mind, they were underrepresented in advertisements in the job market. We predicted that this was a lead indicator, and we should expect to see it enter the mainstream. This year, our data shows over 1,000 product positions advertised by startups on major job sites, indicating that the market has responded to the demand for product roles in the tech sector.

TALENT REMAINS A TOP PRIORITY FOR STARTUPS ACROSS THE GLOBE.

Access to talent is a global competition, and startups across the globe are struggling to get the right people for their business. Silicon Valley Bank’s US Startups Outlook showed that 91% of US startups consider it either extremely or somewhat challenging to find workers with the skills necessary to grow their business, and access to talent was the single most important public policy issue affecting the group.

DEMAND FOR TECHNOLOGY SKILLS IS INCREASING ACROSS MANY INDUSTRIES, CREATING ADDITIONAL COMPETITION FOR STARTUPS.

Startups are the vanguard for many sophisticated technological approaches to modern business. It is common to see a heavy focus on tools like data science, machine learning and blockchain. However these tools can also be adopted by established businesses, and increasingly this trend is adding to the competition for technology talent.

The World Economic Forum’s ‘Data Science in the New Economy’ looked at the difference in demand for data skills across sectors between 2013 and 2018. While ICT has the highest demand for data roles in absolute terms, the financial services, non-profit and professional services sectors saw a greater increase in their respective demand, with many other sectors close behind. Startups used to have to compete against other startups for niche technology talent, now they have to compete against well-resourced organisations across the economy as well.

To download Emerging Technology: Talent Snapshot, head to www.startupaus.org/document/talent-snapshot

WHO ARE AUSTRALIAN STARTUPS EMPLOYING?

FIGURE 9: TOTAL OF 1806 EMPLOYEE RECORDS ANALYSED ACROSS 14 HIGH-GROWTH STARTUPS.
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