Ballarat Recruitment – Employment Market Update

Ange Connor

September 2019

It’s challenging times for employers across the Ballarat region who are looking to recruit. In this week’s blog we provide some insight to what’s happening in the market at present and the feedback we are receiving from businesses.

It’s a candidate short market

Unemployment in the Ballarat region is currently sitting at 3.9% and this along with industry skills shortages is making it challenging for businesses to recruit the right people with the right skill sets. Not only are we experiencing low unemployment and skills shortages, the other challenge is finding candidates with the right employability skills. Employability skills or soft skills are the skills and attributes required to do the job: communication skills, problem solving skills, initiative, relationship building skills etc. Many employers are telling me they are finding it hard to recruit. When advertising a role, they either receive a handful of applications that don’t quite meet the job brief, or are inundated with applications from the wrong caliber of candidate (they are lacking the industry or employability skills).

Supply and Demand – The impact on remuneration

The candidate short market and low unemployment is driving up remuneration and for those industries impacted by skills shortages we are seeing candidates having the power in being able to demand higher remuneration packages. This is putting increased pressure on businesses, particularly those businesses paying rates aligned with awards. Due to the candidate short market, the gap between award rates and market pay rates is continuing to grow.

Tapping into the part time employee market

Whenever we are recruiting for a part time position, for the majority of industries, where we can offer part time hours instead of full time hours we are seeing a massive increase in the pool of candidates we have to recruit from. Part time jobs are in demand and highly sought after by many candidates. Where employers can structure roles to accommodate part times hours or job share or offer some flexibility to work from home, you’ll expose yourself to a whole new pool of talent. Some employers are leading the way with their thinking in how they structure their workforce to tap into these part time employees while other employers still have their head in the sand and are not willing to consider how they could utilize part time employees.

Candidates aren’t actively applying for jobs

In all my years in recruitment I have never experienced a tighter job market in the sense of sourcing candidates. I’m seeing and hearing of the limited success of online job boards. Print media isn’t worth the investment and social media advertising is on the rise. Businesses solely relying on candidates applying to their job adverts are only tapping into a small portion of the candidate market. Headhunting is growing and it’s successful if the employer has something attractive to offer the candidate. This doesn’t have to be solely money. The work environment, culture, team and career progression are all key priorities for candidates considering other job opportunities. For recruitment success, businesses more than ever need to have clarity on the candidate they are trying to recruit (Candidate Profile) so they can target them in the market instead of relying on that candidate jumping on to an online job board and stumbling across your job advert. If you know your candidate profile it makes it easier to target the candidate/s you want and then knowing what you have to offer them is key. It’s also important to make sure when developing your candidate profile, you’re not looking for a unicorn otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure.

Recruitment processes

Candidates typically don’t have good things to say about applying for jobs. No response to applications, attending interviews then hearing nothing, no feedback are the common complaints. With the current market conditions, businesses have to lift their game to secure the best talent. Great candidates are coming and going quickly in the market; they are receiving multiple job offers, or they are getting cold feet when the business stuffs them around and keeps them hanging. Now more than ever the recruitment process needs to be about the candidate (your customer) experience and not about you, the business. Businesses who aren’t putting the candidate first are damaging their brand – employer brand and reputation and will only continue to make it hard for themselves to recruit into the future.

Is this your experience? I’d love to hear what you are experiencing in the current market. Feel free to share your thoughts with me here or at

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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