As we contemplate the employment landscape and the seismic shifts that have occurred over the past months, it is somewhat sobering to review the headlines and consider what this means beyond the labour market turbulence of the past weeks, as the dust begins to settle.
With news of massive job losses, widespread stand downs and images in media reports of centrelink queues snaking around the block, the feeling in the jobs market was very much ‘doom and gloom’. This was backed up by Seek data for April 2020 where job advertising was down a whopping 65% on this time last year, with all sectors showing decline and with the biggest impact being felt in NSW & Victoria.
Job losses occurred almost entirely across the board, the hardest hit being accommodation, food service, art and recreation according to Jack Derwin at the Business Insider.
Early signs in May see a slowing in the decline of job advertising with a hint that the job market may be turning a corner. How long the road is to recovery is too early to predict of course, and which industry sectors will be the fastest to bounce back will be determined by what support the government puts in place, how the easing of restrictions plays out and the occurrence of additional outbreaks.
COVID has provided businesses with a unique opportunity to review their operation from top to tail; from headcount and physical office space to IT infrastructure and remote working. Most elements are under scrutiny and rightly so. What we needed back then (pre-COVID) is not what we need as we emerge from this ‘unprecedented’ time. We are forever changed and need to be resilient to weather the storm should, or maybe more accurately when, she blows again. How we do business in the post-pandemic world is likely to look completely different to only a few months ago. Bricks and mortar may well be a thing of the past for some, with remote working the new norm, never to return to those office-bound days of the past.
What we do know is that the candidate market has been flooded in a way not seen since the GFC and applicant numbers are up considerably as people recently let go scramble to secure gainful employment. Call centre and customer service roles have been in hot demand with SEEK candidate availability data showing that during April, applications for these roles increased by more than six times (based on the same time period in 2019).
Up until March 2020, we’d been operating in a candidate driven market and almost overnight, the tables have turned and we’re now confronting new challenges. How do we manage this significant uplift in applicants, make sure we’re recruiting the right person for the future of our business whilst ensuring the candidate experience is a positive one? For many businesses who find themselves in that enviable position of hiring in the current market, they are most likely able to attract better quality candidates but how do you manage the process efficiently & professionally when inundated with applicants and how do you ensure you’re recruiting the right people for your business in this post pandemic world?
It’s important to remember that there will come a time in the not too distant future, where candidates have the power once again. How we best navigate this in the current market will pay dividends down the track.
If you need recruitment support or would benefit from outsourcing part of the process, we offer Flexible Retainer Packages which allow you to pick and choose the help you need from Job specification, CV & Phone Screening, Candidate Management and Reference Checking. Managed by our team of highly skilled & efficient Recruitment Experts. Get in touch to see how we can help you today.