Jun 23, 2020

“Is now the right time to be hiring?"

It’s a question we are getting asked a lot by our clients… “Should I recruit now or wait a little longer?”

Our answer is simple. The market is hot right now, so if you need to recruit, it’s as good a time as any. Australian job boards have reported record traffic during May, with both company enquiries and candidate traffic increasing.

The recruitment process can be a 6-week journey, from advertising to reviewing and shortlisting, so commencing the process now may put you ahead of competitors who wait until August.

In many job categories, there has been an influx of talent hitting the market. Three months ago, you could struggle to build a shortlist of 3 qualified, suitable applicants for some roles. Now, vacancies receive over 100 applications and, of those, there are easily 10 or more candidates who are ideal.

When the market is uncertain, people tend to be more open to negotiating and I have seen this flowing into the recruitment space. In January, a Content Writer may have been commanding $70 per hour, whereas now they are far more willing to negotiate to secure any work. This has seen a balancing out of salaries and companies no longer need to pay a premium to fill roles like they did earlier in the year.

On the flip side, not all industries are going to be flooded with great talent. If you are in a skill shortage category, you can’t expect to suddenly be overwhelmed with fabulous talent. You’ll still have to work for it. If your competitors are doing well, their staff will not be looking to move so you will need to work extra hard to entice them away. A thoughtful and well-targeted advertising campaign is important, as is factoring in the time that this will take. If you wait until August to advertise, you won’t have someone on board until October at the earliest.

One never knows what the future will hold, but New Zealand seems to be bouncing back. My advice is that if you have the need, start the recruitment process sooner rather than later. There are always options such as part-time or casual hours, or a fixed-term contract to give you some protection should the market confidence not continue on an upward trajectory.