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 2020 May 2020 June 2020
1 Truck Drivers Retail Sales Assistants Retail Sales Assistants
2 Registered Nurses Child Carers Child Carers
3 Metal Fabricators and Welders Truck Drivers Truck Drivers
4 Aged and Disabled Carers Receptionists Receptionists
5 Retail Sales Assistants Registered Nurses Managers
6 Enroled & Motherhood Nurses Delivery Drivers Sales Representatives
7 Packers Managers Metal Fabricators and Welders
8 Pharmacy Sales Assistants Packers Delivery Drivers
9 Checkout Operators and Office Cashiers Motor Mechanics
10 Sales Representatives Metal Fitters and Machinists
11 Registered Nurses
12 Nursing 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:

1 Managers
2 Child Carers
3 Retail Sales Assistants
4 Receptionists
5 Delivery Drivers
6 Metal Fabricators and Welders
7 Motor 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
TAS 31%
QLD 30%
NT 30%
WA 29%
SA 23%
NSW 19%
ACT 16%
VIC 13%

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:

Rank Occupation
1 Retail Sales Assistants
2 Managers
3 Receptionists
4 Truck Drivers
5 Box and Container Packers
6 Delivery Drivers
7 Metal Fabricators and Welders
8 Child Carers
9 Registered Nurses
10 General Clerks
11 Dental Assistants
12 Metal 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:

Technical Employability
1 Assisting and Caring for Others 1 Work ethic/motivation
2 Operating Vehicles, Mechanised Devices or Equipment 2 Reliability
3 Customer and Personal Service 3 Social / People Skills
4 Controlling Machines and Processes 4 Teamwork
5 Performing Administrative Activities 5 Communication
6 Performing General Physical Activities 6 Customer Service