Employment Market Update – July 2023

Ange Connor

As we kick off the new financial year with a significant minimum wage increase of 5.75%, an increase in superannuation to 11% and a pause in interest rate rises for July, the economy and the outlook for the 2023/24 financial year is a hot topic of conversation. The most common questions I am being asked by employers presently are:

  • What’s happening in the market, are there more people looking for work?
  • Are businesses starting to cut back and let people go?
  • What’s happening with people’s salary expectations, is it still a candidate market?
  • What are the top skills in demand?

What the numbers tell us are:

Ballarat Unemployment Rate: 3.2% as at 25 May 2023




What we are seeing first hand in the market:

  • It is still a candidate short market; candidates with the right mix of technical skills, qualifications, experience and soft skills/attributes are hard to find.
  • Businesses are reporting limited success from advertising vacancies on traditional job boards (online and print) with the main feedback being low numbers of applications and the calibre/suitability of those applications not meeting expectations.
  • Headhunting is where we are finding the most success. People are interested in moving and are open to considering opportunities but they are not actively applying. For the headhunt to be successful there needs to be a strong competitive WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)
  • Advertising on the right social media channels is getting traction. Who is your ideal candidate, what’s their profile and then targeting the advertising of the vacancy to that channel with a focus on what that candidate is likely to be motivated by is getting good traction and generating interest.
  • Money talks; job adverts, job alerts, headhunt approaches are much more successful when the pay rate / salary is clearly articulated = passive candidates want to know if they can jump to something better. Grey is out, crystal clear clarity is in.
  • No, money is not the only motivator, however, in a candidate short market, money is the hook that’s getting people in, then the focus needs to be on what else is on offer = Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), why a candidate would want to work for you. What you stand for, your mission, vision and values, the perks, the professional development and career progression, etc.
  • Good candidates are being snapped up quickly so don’t dillydally or you’ll potentially miss out. Sometimes it’s not possible to have another candidate to compare or sitting tight to see if a better candidate might come along will more than likely leave you in a worse off position. If you are going to recruit, get all your ducks in a line so you can execute your recruitment campaign and act swiftly when a good candidate does come along or is identified.
  • We are not yet seeing job cuts/redundancies as a result of businesses having to cut costs. Some businesses are definitely reporting a more conservative approach in relation to expenses and are starting to reign in some of their budgets for HR and employee engagement initiatives. Businesses appear to be confident in replacing/backfilling roles due to turnover. A little more caution is being exercised in recruiting for newly created positions.
  • Some small to medium size businesses are reporting the wage increase will really put pressure on the business financially.
  • Hybrid working – work from home flexibility is still one of the most common questions we get asked by candidates when they enquire about a job vacancy or when they are headhunted for a job.


Data sourced from:




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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