The top hiring trends jobseekers should look out for

Australia’s labour shortage, coupled with strong hiring activity, has created ideal conditions for Australian workers looking to accelerate their career as businesses compete to fill vacant or newly created roles.

  • 70% of surveyed Australian workers are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months.
  • 45% of Australian business leaders are more likely to re-hire a former employee compared to pre-pandemic.
  • 42% of business leaders say they have experienced more candidates withdrawing from a job offer in favour of competing offers since before the pandemic.
  • 39% of business leaders say ghosting is happening more often now than pre-pandemic.
  • 38% of business leaders have had more new employees quit their jobs during their probation period than pre-pandemic.

Sydney, 7 February 2022 – Australia’s labour shortage, coupled with strong hiring activity, has created ideal conditions for Australian workers looking to accelerate their career as businesses compete to fill vacant or newly created roles. Job advertisement rates are at a 13-year high[1] while job vacancy rates have increased by 74% compared February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic[2], 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.

“As the economy rebounds, the demand for skilled talent rises and this has quickly tipped the balance towards a candidate market. With the easing of lockdown restrictions and the promise of greater workforce stability, we are also seeing candidates overcome residual uncertainty and become more open to exploring the new opportunities,” said Andrew Brushfield, Director Robert Half Australia in announcing Robert Half’s latest survey results.

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 when re-evaluating their career path this summer. 

Boomerang demand

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.

Nearly half (45%) of all Australian leaders say they are more likely to re-hire a former employee compared to pre-pandemic. CIOs are much 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 digital future.       

Competing job offers

It should be of no surprise that 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.  

Ghosting

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.

Probation bounce

With so much choice available to candidates in a buoyant job market, it’s crucial for candidates 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, so we encourage jobseekers to enter the market with a clear idea of the professional goals they want to achieve with a new employer – be it a higher salary, career growth opportunities, the ability to work remotely or work-life balance. This sets a clear agenda when entering negotiations 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 – it can assist employers to speed up their hiring process or to match your career goals during the negotiation phase. 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,” concluded Brushfield.      

Compared to pre-pandemic, have you encountered the following trends more or less in the previous 12 months?

Trend

Increase

Remain the same

Decrease

Boomerang employee: Re-hiring a former employee who previously left the organisation

45%

32%

22%

Multiple job offers: A candidate reneging on a job offer or withdrawing from consideration for a role in favour of competing job offers

42%

38%

20%

Ghosting: A candidate ceasing contact during the hiring process without explanation

39%

34%

27%

Probation bounce: New employees quitting their role during the probation period

38%

41%

21%

 

[1] Labour Market Information Portal, Vacancy Report, December 2021

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Job Vacancies, December 2021

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Katherine Mills
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