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JobAdder reveals reality of 'the great resignation'

By Catherine Knowles
Fri 29 Jul 2022

JobAdder, a global recruitment software solution that helps agency and in-house recruiters find and manage talent more effectively, has released the findings of its Q1-Q2 2022 ANZ Talent Acquisition Report and its Global Industry Report - Recruitment and Staffing.

The reports together highlight the impact of 'the great resignation' and worsening candidate shortages - with relatively stable numbers of new jobs, yet a significant decline in applications per job - reflecting a tight talent market with less application interest from candidates.

Overall applications per job for Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) in-house users fell to 14.90 in Q1-Q2 2022, down 25% from 19.90 in 2021.

The latest figures reveal a 68% plunge in applications per job for in-house users compared to pre-pandemic figures (applications per job were 46.50 in 2019).

For agency users across the A/NZ market, applications per job in Q1-Q2 2022 fell to 13.00, down 18% from 15.80 in 2021.

For Australian in-house users specifically, applications per job declined over the past 12 months, despite a slight uptick in Q1 of this year.

Year-on-year figures show a significant drop from 22.17 average applications in Q2 2021 to 14.34 applications in Q2 2022. Across the year, this fell to 18.93 in Q3 and 14.82 in Q4, followed by a slight uptick to 16.31 in Q1 2022.

Similarly, the average ratio for applications per job for Australian agency users saw a steady decline over the last year (despite a slight rise in Q1 2022), dipping from 17.22 in Q2 2021 to 12.68 in Q2 2022.

New Zealand in-house users also saw a significant drop in average applications per job across the last year, with the average falling from 16.37 in Q2 2021 to 13.82 in Q3 and 10.39 in Q4.

As with Australia, 2022 saw a temporary uptick with a slight increase to 12.35 in Q1 before dropping again to 10.32 in Q2. Agency accounts in New Zealand also saw lower rates of applications per job, with the average moving from 11.91 in Q2 2021 to 10.01 in Q2 2022.

CEO of JobAdder, Martin Herbst, says, “Our global platform data shows that, despite some macro-economic warning bells, the overall recruitment market remains historically very tight. Job demand from companies is still high while the supply of candidates measured by applications per job is at all-time lows.

"This means recruiters must continue to be resourceful in finding and cultivating candidates as evidenced by a general shift toward more proactive sourcing in the last two years.”

In Australia, in-house users saw only slight fluctuations in the number of new jobs created per JobAdder in-house account across the last 12 months. It started at 48.48 average jobs in Q2 2021 before moving slightly above 50 in Q3 and Q4 but then falling to a low of 47.79 in Q2. These figures remained steady in Australian agency accounts.

Agency users created 65.56 in Q2 2021, which dipped below 65 in Q3 and Q4 before climbing back to 65.86 in Q2 2022.

In New Zealand, the average rate of new jobs for in-house users was lower across the year, which is understandable given that it is a smaller market than Australia.

In-house users saw an average of 37.39 jobs in Q2 2021, falling below 35 in Q4 and Q1 before rising slightly to 36.22 in the last quarter. For New Zealand agency users, 2021 started off with a high of 60.88 jobs per account in Q2, before falling to 58.91 in Q3 and 50.93 in Q4. The average then rose slightly across the first half of 2022 with it hitting 54.66 in Q1 and 56.47 in Q2.

Recruitment thought leader and JobAdder advisor, Greg Savage, says, “The situation in New Zealand has been similar to that seen in Australia, although we must remember that New Zealand had COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns for a period after these were lifted in Australia. This may account for small fluctuations in new jobs created, but right now hiring demand in the country is very strong indeed, and talent shortages are severe in many sectors.”

According to the researchers, New Zealand has tighter border controls than Australia and without straying into political commentary, which is not our remit, it's also true to say that the two governments have had different approaches to encouraging and facilitating post-COVID-19 migration.

This is making for an exceptionally tight labour market in New Zealand, exacerbated by an outflow of Kiwis looking to enjoy overseas work experiences, which were curtailed by COVID-19 restrictions.

Savage continues, “Traditional tactics to attract candidates are simply no longer sufficient. Organisations, both agency and in-house, that rely on job boards and LinkedIn only to attract candidates are being left far behind.

"The science and art of candidate attraction, engagement and management is a complex cocktail of branding, outreach and consistent communication, and will be the differentiator going forward. Even though it's true that an economic slowdown might free up candidate supply, the shift is a fundamental one, and superficial and knee-jerk responses to hiring needs will lead to failure."

Looking at days to place figures for in-house users, the numbers for temp and contract roles were slightly higher in New Zealand, sitting at 25.40 days. Australia saw an average of 24.50 days. For agency users, Australia took an average of 6.20 days to place temp and contract roles, followed by New Zealand at 7.10 days.

Meanwhile, for in-house users filling permanent roles, the average number of days to place for New Zealand was 25.80 days. Australia fared worse, with in-house users seeing an average of 31.80 days. This was reversed as it relates to permanent placements across agency users in Q2 2022, with Australia filling roles in an average of 30.30 days and New Zealand, 35.80 days.

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