The National Skills Commission have today released two reports with findings from the Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS), titled Impacts of COVID-19 on Businesses and Employers Perspectives on Recruitment Difficulty. A summary of key findings from each report are outlined below:
Impacts of COVID-19 on businesses
- There has been an increase in the proportion of businesses affected ‘a great deal’ by COVID-19 in July 2021 compared with June 2021, although it remains well below the proportion recorded in the early stages of the pandemic in April 2020.
- Businesses in Capital Cities, and in Accommodation and Food Services have been more likely to be severely impacted by COVID-19.
- Many businesses have had to change their business practices to cope with the impact of COVID-19. Lower demand for products and services was also regularly cited by businesses as a way that they had been impacted by COVID-19.
- Businesses impacted a great deal by COVID-19 were less likely to recruit. Interestingly, those businesses that were impacted a great deal by COVID-19 that did recruit experienced greater than average recruitment difficulty.
Employers perspectives on recruitment difficulty
- Recruitment difficulty has risen over 2021. Employers in Rest of State areas have been much more likely to experience recruitment difficulty than employers in Capital Cities.
- Higher skilled occupations have generally been more difficult to recruit for across Australia, compared with lower skilled occupations. However, Hospitality Workers, a lower skilled occupation that has historically not experienced considerable recruitment difficulty, has been among the most difficult occupation groups to recruit for.
- In comparing their recruitment to pre-March 2020, some employers had changed their expectations or qualification requirements (often lowering the requirements), while some had also changed the way they had recruited, with many utilising more informal methods than previously.
- A lack of suitable applicants and applicants in general have been the most common reasons for recruitment difficulty in 2021.
These reports are available on the Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP). Additionally, for regular reporting of REOS information, monthly REOS reports are available (with spotlights on various topics) and are published in the second week of each month.