Why you are finding it difficult to find staff right now.

Has the “great resignation” arrived in Australia?

There’s much talk hitting social media and the news about the Great Resignation!  Is it fact or fiction and how is it affecting our businesses as we kick off a new year?

So what is the Great Resignation we keep hearing about?

The Great Resignation or the Big Quit is an economic trend where employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021, primarily in the USA, but seemingly reaching our Aussie shores during last year.

There are a number of factors contributing to the significant job shortages across our economic sector, which include:

•    Safety concerns about Covid-19
•    People fed-up with a job that brings no personal or economic satisfaction
•    Parents leaving their jobs to care for their children
•    The psychological effects of Pandemic
•    Australian border policy stripping the labour market  of skilled migrants and working holidaymakers.

Gripped with a major skills shortage, for the first time in a long time, local talent now has the upper hand – and they are demanding change.

Keep in mind however that skills shortages can also be the disconnect between employee wage expectation and businesses reluctant to pay market rates.

Before we start panicking, it is important to understand that staff shortages will hit certain industries more so than others.

LinkedIn figures suggest employees, especially in white-collar jobs, are taking advantage of the tight labour market to secure better working conditions, pay rises or more interesting work.

ABS figures show one in five businesses reported job vacancies in August 2021, compared with one in eight in August 2020. Three out of four of the vacancies were to replace someone who had resigned.

However, the sector with the most vacancies is not surprisingly, health care, with employees quitting due to difficult work conditions.

The next biggest sectors for high vacancies were administration and retail.
The final high-vacancy sector was professional services, such as accountancy, law and consulting, which had only marginal growth in jobs. The sector also had high vacancies before the pandemic, suggesting high turnover.

In the Hunter we are seeing significant shortages across manufacturing and construction sector for skilled trades and technical staff.

A survey of 1000 people by HR platform Employment Hero in September 2021 found 48 per cent of Australian workers planned to look for a new job in the next six months and 15 per cent were already looking for a new job. Nearly half said a pay rise would entice them to stay.

So what can we do?

To future proof our workforce and teams, you need to pull out all stops to retain your existing employees and attract new ones. The most important considerations for employees are :

Flexibility:  to work around family and other commitments can allow your staff to have a career while balancing other requirements.

Work-life balance:  recognising commute times, mental health and well-being

Earning capacity: job applicants are in a good position to negotiate salaries. They are demanding more money and if the budget permits, some employers may have little choice but to agree to above-market salaries to secure the best talent during a skills shortage.




Work-Life Balance


Earning Capacity

Here are our tips for securing staff at this time:

Trust your gut – hire fast.  

In many cases – candidates are interviewing for multiple positions, so if the candidate feels right in the first interview – engage them fast – either on a trial or under an employment contract sooner than later to avoiding losing your preferred candidates.

Tip:  did you know you can also hire a potential candidate under a temp / labour hire arrangement in the first instance before committing to a permanent employee to make sure your new employee is the right fit.

Review your ad and fix it.

If you’re having difficulty filling a job, take a closer look at what you’re asking for. Is it too junior, specialised, or are you asking for one person to do a three-person job? Re-evaluate and readvertise with a fresh approach.

Tip:  If you are advertising for a job, it may take a few attempts to get the right key words to attract the right candidate.  Change it up.

Keep an Open Mind

Skills can be transferable.  When a job applicant possesses the core skills you’re after – but may have experience in a different industry, sector, software tool or machinery, keep in mind skills are transferable and they can still successfully fulfill the job criteria. Naturally, they may require some training, but chances are they’ll pick it up quickly.

Tip:  When engaging a candidate with transferrable skills, you may have an employee who can add value to other areas of your business.

Retain your Current staff

Do you do performance reviews, 360 reviews or check-ins with your staff to make sure they are tracking well?  Do they feel rewarded in their roles?  Are their solutions that you can implement to make them feel valued?

Tip:  Think about how you can provide ways for your staff to upskill – through training, seminars or workshops.

Hand over the task to the Professionals.

As professional recruiters, we are fully aware that a SEEK ad doesn’t necessarily find you the best candidates.  In fact, you may be finding you are getting little return for your investment right now with online job boards.
We have an extensive local database of candidates that we keep updated and current across a diverse range of skills, experience, and qualifications.

Chances are we can find you the right candidate across our database source, networking, marketing and advertising.

Our rates for labour hire or temporary staff reflect the employees’ hourly rate and as well as incorporating casual loading, superannuation contributions, worker’s compensation, payroll tax, public indemnity insurance and all administration costs.

A copy of the employee’s timesheet will accompany our weekly invoice.  We request payment within 14 days of invoice.
For permanent staff, we offer a one-time rate per employee placed.  There are no upfront costs. Once we have placed a successful candidate with you, you will be invoiced for the pre-approved rate.

Whether the great resignation is real or imagined is hard to tell yet in Australia but what we are seeing is a highly mobile workforce and a strong labour market with plenty of jobs available to entice great talent.

Candidates are actively seeking more flexibility, higher remuneration and the mystical work/life balance