Australia’s labour shortage and strong hiring activity has created ideal conditions for Australian workers to accelerate their career as businesses compete to fill vacant roles.
Job advertisement rates are at a thirteen year high whereas job vacancy rates have also increased by 74% when compared to February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic, meaning there are multiple job opportunities for skilled workers open to changing roles.
The Australian workforce are increasingly aware of their bargaining power in the market, with an online survey conducted by specialised talent solutions provider Robert Half via LinkedIn finding that 70% of Australian workers are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months.
Andrew Brushfield, Director of Robert Half Australia said, “As the economy rebounds, demand for skilled talent rises and this has quickly tipped the balance towards a candidate market.”
“With the easing of restrictions and the promise of greater workforce stability, we are seeing candidates overcome residual uncertainty and be more open to exploring the new options.”
As recovery takes hold and opportunities abounds for Australian workers, research by Robert Half identifies the top opportunities and pitfalls that jobseekers should be aware of.
New opportunities could be closer to home than some candidates might think.
With competition increasing for candidates who are skilled and highly knowledgeable in their field, many companies are targeting ex-employees, as their familiarity with the organisation guarantees they will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ and offer immediate value.
45% of Australian leaders are more likely to re-hire a former employee versus pre-pandemic.
CIOs are more likely (58%) than CFOs (38%) to rehire a former employee, emphasising the importance of onboarding the right tech skills to building a more agile and resilient future.
Competing job offers
In a skills short market, skilled candidates are receiving multiple job offers.
42% of leaders say they have experienced more candidates withdrawing their application or reneging on a job offer in favour of competing offers compared to before the pandemic.
This trend is more prevalent within the highly competitive tech sector, with over half (51%) of CIOs losing candidates to a competing offer compared to 30% of CFOs.
As competition for top talent rises and many job candidates find themselves presented with multiple job offers, ghosting recruiters can be an easy pitfall, but it could bring negative consequences in the long term when looking for future opportunities.
Over the past year, the Robert Half survey shows 39% of leaders are more likely to have experienced increased incidents of candidates ceasing contact during the hiring process.
Ghosting is happening more often among tech candidates compared to finance candidates, reflecting the growing skills shortages in the tech sector.
With so much choice available to candidates in a buoyant job market, it’s crucial to make sure their prospective employer and workplace culture lives up to their values and expectations.
Thoroughly reviewing job descriptions, researching companies, and asking relevant questions during the interview phase will be essential to landing the right role.
While 38% of leaders say they’ve seen more new employees quit their jobs during their probation period in the past year, the trend is significantly more common in the tech sector compared to finance with 45% of CIOs agreeing compared to only 25% of CFOs.
“Skilled professionals are in a strong bargaining position when dealing with employers.”
“We therefore encourage jobseekers to enter the job market with a clear idea of the professional goals that they want to achieve with a new employer, for example a higher salary, career growth opportunities, the ability to work remotely and work-life balance.”
“This sets a clear agenda when negotiating or evaluating competing offers,” said Brushfield.
“Clear communication is vital during the job search process. Being candid with potential employers when courting multiple offers can often be a powerful bargaining tool to assist employers to speed up their hiring process and match career goals during negotiations.”
“It can also ensure you are on the same page when accepting a role, reducing the risk of dissatisfaction during the probation. Gracious, professional communication is also important if turning down a role to avoid burning bridges for future opportunities.”
“For employers, in turn, being clear about the next steps and timelines in your recruitment process, maintaining regular communication to sustain the interest of candidates, refining the onboarding process, and emphasising professional development are all essential strategies for attracting and retaining the best candidates in a competitive candidate market.”