Survey Results: 3 Reasons for High Vacancies & Low Job Applications

Published on October 18, 2021
Written by Lawson Delaney

It’s a strange old time out there.

If you had been told in March 2020 that 18 months later you would still be working from home, perhaps in a State of Emergency and with a curfew, you would have cried or said it was nonsense!

The impact on recruitment has been interesting. Unemployment is at record lows, new jobs (and new types of jobs) are being created, and many are going unfilled – vacancy rates across the country are very high. We asked our community why they think this is using three obvious reasons and would welcome other suggestions.

  • Lack of international movement – 48%
  • Pandemic related uncertainty – 41%
  • Fears of remote inductions – 10%

Pandemic related uncertainty (41%) has an effect on all industries. There is a basic human condition where we try to limit change in times of uncertainty. If there is heightened unpredictability in the world we live in, humans will try to mitigate change and keep control of the consistent things we have, such as our job.

A lack of international movement (48%) is particularly affecting the agriculture, building and construction, hospitality, retail and information technology industries, with many describing suffering severe labor shortages. Lack of immigration, both skilled and unskilled, would be an obvious reason for this as well as the departed contingent of travelers who staff bars, restaurants, hotels and resorts. As a CEO of a major global technology consulting firm told us in July 2021, “we can not afford to win too many more contracts as our vacancy rates (unfilled jobs) have doubled since January 2021 and we can’t see this changing until the new year”.

The 10% who pointed to a fear of remote induction are those who have probably observed that getting to know and settle into a role, a team and a business is much harder from your kitchen than from the office.

With the knowledge that finding new staff will be hard, firms are doing all they can to keep their existing staff. This means that staff have even less incentive to apply for jobs externally, thus completing the vicious circle.

What does this mean?

As a candidate you are in a very strong position but keep two things in mind. It is a great time to look for a new role and you may never have a better opportunity for a pay rise, but is the opportunity you are looking at any better than your current one or is it just paying more? The data tells us that the happiness effect of a pay rise lasts less than 3 pay cycles whereas the impact of being in a great role with a team you like will benefit you every day.

Lockdown doesn’t mean that your job search should go on hold! Contact us today on 03 9946 7300 or

Published on October 18, 2021
Written by Lawson Delaney

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