While Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have weathered the coronavirus crisis well, closed borders and strict quarantine measures have caused a talent shortage across the two countries.
In March, SEEK saw the highest number of job ads in a month in its 23-year history, so jobs are way up! But… applications per ad were at the lowest level since 2012.
It’s a complex combo of heaps of new jobs (yay!) and not enough skilled people to fill them (no!), with people staying in jobs due to uncertainty caused by the crisis and no avenues to recruit from overseas thanks to closed borders.
So, what data do we have on this, and how has it impacted recruiters in ANZ companies?
What does our data show about the ANZ talent shortage?
The Australian market saw a 29% increase in new jobs in Q1 2021, compared to Q4 2020 where there was only a 3% boost in new jobs, while the New Zealand market saw a huge 47% increase in new jobs in Q1, compared to Q4 where they only had a 1.8% jump.
Thankfully, the time to hire for ANZ roles has remained relatively stable in 2021, despite the challenges presented by the talent shortage.
For those filling permanent positions in Australia, time to fill has hovered around 42 days, though those recruiting via the JobAdder database hover around 27 days (not to brag or anything).
In New Zealand, recruiters are taking a bit longer to fill their permanent roles, hovering around 48 days for externally sourced candidates and 30 days via the JobAdder database.
For Australian temporary and contract jobs, it takes 5.8 days to fill via JobAdder or 26.4 days externally, while in New Zealand it’s 5.7 days versus 20.8 days.
Breaking down the talent shortage in the ANZ market
However, while these numbers are encouraging, some sectors and regions are being hit harder than others.
Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays Australia and New Zealand, states that the technology sector is seeing a serious shortage.
“Technology is a huge one because the demand for technology is exponential [such as] cloud-based specialists, UX/UI, cybersecurity. In those areas, there is a real shortage of talent and skills.”
These insights were drawn from a survey of nearly 3,500 organisations and the subsequent Hays Salary Guide FY21/22, which found that only 26% of tech employers think they have enough talent to achieve their organisation’s strategic objectives.
Additionally, 68% of tech employers believe the skills shortage will impact the effectiveness of their organisation or department in the next year.
Other sectors that are seeing significant ripple effects from the talent shortage are mining, banking, marketing and human resources.
Hays found that only 27% of mining and banking employers and 32% of marketing and digital employers think they have enough talent to achieve their objectives.
In addition, 76% of mining employers, 73% of banking employers and 72% of human resources employers think that the skills shortage will impact the effectiveness of their organisation.
When asked whether they would consider employing or sponsoring qualified overseas candidates once restrictions ease, 50% of employers stated that they would. Interestingly, this rises to 75% when looking at New Zealand employers.
In New Zealand, 74% of employers in the North Island say that skills shortages will impact the operation of their organisation, while 58% of employers in the South Island say the same.
In Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory are the most impacted with 74% of employers stating that the shortages will impact the operation of their organisation.
While different regions and sectors will be impacted to varying degrees by the talent shortage, there’s still plenty organisations can do to simplify their recruitment process, differentiate themselves in the market and invest in their people.
How can ANZ companies address the talent shortage?
Companies across Australia and New Zealand are rethinking how to recruit and retain talent in the wake of this talent shortage.
There are a number of areas where companies can alleviate the burden placed on their recruiters, improve their talent acquisition and effectively address the shortage.
Reskilling or upskilling
ANZ companies need to prioritise the talent they already have, investing in the learning and development of their current employees and reskilling or upskilling them where necessary.
This ensures that employees can cover skill areas that may be in short supply in the market, while building their own skills and knowledge.
This could also have positive ripple effects for employee morale, as an investment in their learning and development will be appreciated.
In the Hays salary guide, 52% of employees indicated that career progression was important to them when they next looked for a job, 50% indicated that training was important and 44% stated that learning and development was important.
Interestingly, the most important benefit was flexible working practices with 79% choosing this, highlighting the fact that those employers who offer flexibility will have a clear advantage.
When everybody began working from home in March 2020, it was more of an adjustment for some employees and employers than others.
Some had been living that remote/WFH life for years, while others didn’t have any tech ready to facilitate the quick shift.
Nowadays, most ANZ companies implement a mix of in-office and remote work, allowing employees to work when and where is most convenient.
To compete in a tight talent market, companies need to offer this flexibility and think outside the box when it comes to talent acquisition. Maybe your recruiters could look for prospects in other states? If teams don’t collaborate a lot, maybe they could be located outside ANZ in different time zones?
By being flexible with your recruitment and remote work policies, there will be more prospects for you to explore and less worry for your recruiters about how they’ll deal with a big talent shortage!
In a tight talent market, speed is key, but you don’t want to burn out.
So, if you’re a recruiter working in an ANZ company then you’re probably working crazy hours trying to fill all the roles you need filled, and that’s simply not sustainable.
By automating and streamlining the workflows that waste a bunch of your time and energy, you can focus on injecting that much-needed human element into the recruitment process and efficiently sourcing and hiring the right talent.
Explore how you can automate key recruitment processes in your company and focus on what you do best, nurturing connections and relationships with skilled talent.