Australian Job and Candidate Forecast for 2021
At Woods & Co we provide time poor businesses with personalised recruitment solutions. Whatever job you are offering, Woods & Co will find the best candidates for you.
The Woods & Co recruitment approach is personalised and backed up by performance and strategy. Over the past 12 months, we’ve matched over 500 job seekers with employers, no small feat given the events of 2020-21.
Right now, many employers are asking us where the job candidate market stands. Is it a good time to hire? What changes can we expect over the next six to twelve months?
We want to share our observations of the candidate market – both as it is now, and where we see it going in the months ahead.
Are we in a candidate poor market?
In the last twelve months, over nine million Australians have been in no hurry to find work. Global uncertainty fuels caution, but candidates have also been cushioned by JobSeeker payments.
During lockdown in particular, there was no urgency or requirement to apply for work, so the candidature pool shrunk dramatically. By July 2020, the Australian National University reported that “the number of Aussies not actively looking for work is on the rise”. From our point of view, businesses put expansion plans on hold to weather the storm, which saw promising candidates put their resumes away. But the twist in the story came when lockdown restrictions were lifted. When businesses returned to their full operations, many engaged in expansion plans, which meant they needed new staff to fill in the gaps. On top of this, many businesses were also dealing with an influx of orders, thanks to a buoyed economy and the government stimulus checks on offer. Businesses needed staff and they needed staff fast. This was to be expected. What they didn’t expect was that job seekers would still be on snooze. Unfortunately, this led to a poor candidate pool. Candidates were less willing to take a risk, yet the economy began to move. Employers felt compelled to hire candidates who were not suitably qualified or experienced to fill urgent vacancies.
When will the job market open up again?
While Woods & Co ensured that all of our candidates were appropriately qualified and experienced throughout the lockdown period, it goes without saying that it is still preferable to have a wide variety of candidates available per job position. Thankfully, the job market has started to open up, in part because JobSeeker payments have reached their end, and savings can only take a person so far. Additionally, job seekers are being drawn back into the hiring pool with the promise of new opportunities. Stimulus monies are also still being fed into the economy, which is creating and sustaining new jobs at a healthy pace. In the present moment, we are nearing the midpoint between a restricted and surplus candidate market. Candidates still have the upper hand, in that there are more jobs on offer than job seekers. However, job stability is key and at the top of job seekers’ wish list. With JobKeeper having now ended, we can expect to see an increase in redundancies as some businesses can no longer support large staff cohorts. In fact, as many as 150,000 Aussies have been told to prepare for redundancies. In due course, employers will have more candidates to pick from than jobs to offer.
Is now the time to hire?
Implicit in this analysis is the fact that high quality candidates always get hired quickly, especially when the candidate market is narrow. Yet, despite what you may think, it’s not a good idea to wait until the candidate market is flush, either. Good candidates will already be gone by the time the candidate market is restored to its normal state. Now is the perfect time to hire new staff, while experienced and suitable candidates are still available, minus the hassle of sorting through large numbers of under-qualified applicants driven by redundancies.
Reach out to Woods & Co
Woods & Co simplify and streamline the hiring process on behalf of your business. By getting to know both you and job candidates, we match job seekers with job positions with a high degree of certainty and satisfaction.