The Job At Hand


Hiring Activity

Hiring activity in businesses across Australia has varied greatly since April 2020. Obviously it comes as no surprise that with increased restrictions comes decreased hiring. Take Victoria for example, the increased restrictions has seen a drammatic decrease in hiring activity.

Since the beginning of April, the proportion of business recruiting – across the country – has gone up from 7.7% in April to 16.8% in the week ending 17th July 2020.

That spike has been short lived in areas with recruitment intent weakening in some areas.

In Victoria for example the number of employers hiring started off at 21.5% in July, but by mid July hit only 15.3%, with further drops following. The primary driver for this being increased Stage 3 and Stage 4 restrictions.

Change in Demand Rankings

Over time as the COVID outbreak settled in and industry got used to the restrictions, the top jobs in demand changed around as well. At the start of April, basically the start of the pandemic in Australia, two of the four top occupations were in health care. Registered Nurses, Aged Carers, Disabled Carers, even Pharmacy Sales Assistants were in high demand.

Moving forward into June the order of the demand of those roles changed around. Whilst still in demand, with the new ‘normal’ being accepted suddenly the peak of demand went elsewhere.

The focus of employers by June was more on the types of roles needed to help re-open businesses after the restrictions were relaxed. Roles like Retail Sales Assistants, Child Carers, Receptionists, Managers and Sales Reps were all in the top 10 in June.

April 2020May 2020June 2020
1Truck DriversRetail Sales AssistantsRetail Sales Assistants
2Registered NursesChild CarersChild Carers
3Metal Fabricators and WeldersTruck DriversTruck Drivers
4Aged and Disabled CarersReceptionistsReceptionists
5Retail Sales AssistantsRegistered NursesManagers
6Enroled & Motherhood NursesDelivery DriversSales Representatives
7PackersManagersMetal Fabricators and Welders
8Pharmacy Sales AssistantsPackersDelivery Drivers
9Checkout Operators and Office CashiersMotor Mechanics
10Sales RepresentativesMetal Fitters and Machinists
11Registered Nurses
12Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers

32% of Employers have Difficulty Recruiting

Down from 38% in April, 32% of employers found it difficult to recruit the right staff in mid August.

The top 6 reasons for difficulty in recruiting cited by employers were in order; Applicants lack of experience, Lack of applicants, Leack of suitable applicants, Applicants lack technical skills, COID-19, Location

As it happened, the actual occupations themselves didn’t change very much. In August, the top 7 most difficult to hire roles were in order of difficulty:

2Child Carers
3Retail Sales Assistants
5Delivery Drivers
6Metal Fabricators and Welders
7Motor Mechanics

Recruitment Levels by State

As would be expected, the level of recruitment activity in each state across Australia has varied greatly due to varied restrictions in each state. Clearly Victoria has experienced the most difficulty and whilst this stands out, it’s not down as much as you might expect.

State or Territory% of Employers Recruiting

Occupations in Demand August 2020

As was seen earlier in the year, movements about the top occupations in demand did change. However, the majority have begun to stablise as the ‘new normal’ has been found.

The top 12 occupations in demand around Australia as of 14 August 2020 are:

1Retail Sales Assistants
4Truck Drivers
5Box and Container Packers
6Delivery Drivers
7Metal Fabricators and Welders
8Child Carers
9Registered Nurses
10General Clerks
11Dental Assistants
12Metal Fitters and Machinists

Skills in Demand August 2020

It’s often the case that skills in demand don’t change all that much. From June through to August the employability skill requirements didn’t change a lot but the technical requirements certainly did, in general reflecting the change in occupation needs.

The top 12 Skills in demand around Australia as of 14 August 2020 are:

1Assisting and Caring for Others1Work ethic/motivation
2Operating Vehicles, Mechanised Devices or Equipment2Reliability
3Customer and Personal Service3Social / People Skills
4Controlling Machines and Processes4Teamwork
5Performing Administrative Activities5Communication
6Performing General Physical Activities6Customer Service