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Post-pandemic workforce demand

2021 has seen businesses find their feet and hit the ground running after a turbulent year navigating the global pandemic.

Job vacancies are now surging, and the growing demand for talent highlights as a nation we’ve catapulted out of survival and into a high growth phase. The recent federal budget indicates that Australia is on track to drive unemployment below 5 per cent by the end of 2022.  With more people in work than ever before and a lack of opportunity to supplement the Australian workforce with skilled immigrants, we’re facing a critical shortage of talent.

As this war for talent intensifies, organisations are having to re-write their employee value propositions and reconstruct their employee benefits to ensure they’re aligned with the post-pandemic expectations of the workforce.  Whilst the number of Seek ads were at a 23-year record high in April, the number of job applications was at a 9-year low. Until organisations catch up, we will continue to witness a significant disconnect between what employers are seeking and the expectations of potential candidates.

We discussed the situation with Nikki Grech, the NSW Paxus State Manager, who provided insight into the current job market.

“We’re experiencing very high job demand. However, the challenge is finding candidates to fill these vacancies.” Nikki explains.

“Candidates are currently dictating and influencing their salary and conditions. We’re also seeing an emphasis on the importance of brand and culture that previously never existed, with candidates now having the luxury to pick and choose their employer. Even with all boxes ticked, candidates are becoming more reluctant to sign a contract, and we’re regularly experiencing counteroffers. We’re not selling the candidate to the organisation; we’re selling the organisation to the candidate.”

It’s certainly an interesting time for recruitment. Employers will need to revisit whether they’re offering enough security, training, and compensation to attract and retain the right workers. It’s also vital for businesses to assess employee wellbeing and take additional measures to retain their top talent in what is a strong candidate market.

Interested in more industry news?

Read our blog on the uptick of cybersecurity jobs in a post-COVID world.

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