Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey
The National Skills Commission surveys approximately 1,200 employers each month to find out about their experience when recruiting staff as well as whether they are expecting to increase staffing levels. This feedback provides insights about labour market conditions and to develop resources designed to help job seekers understand what employers are looking for.
Key indicators - August 2022
|Recruitment activity||Recruitment difficulty rate||Expect to increase staff|
|Down by 3% pts since July 2022
Up by 18% pts since August 2021
|Down by 1% pt since July 2022
Up by 22% pts since August 2021
|Up by 6% pts since July 2022
Up by 13% pts since August 2021
In August 2022:
- Some 56% of employers reported recruitment activity, which is 3 percentage point lower than last month.
- In Capital Cities, the recruitment rate decreased by 3 percentage points to 54%, while in Rest of State areas, the recruitment rate decreased by 4 percentage points to 58%.
Proportion of employers that were currently recruiting or who had recruited in the past month
In August 2022, the recruitment difficulty rate eased by 1 percentage point over the month from July to 74% of recruiting employers (representing 41% of all employers). This is the second-highest recruitment difficulty rate recorded for this series..
Recruitment difficulty rate
Staff changes over the past month
In August 2022, employers more often reported an increase in their staffing levels over the month than a decrease.
- 13% of employers increased staff numbers over the past month.
- 8% of employers decreased staff numbers over the past month.
- The ‘net staffing change’ (proportion of employers who increased staff minus the proportion that decreased staff) was +5 percentage points in August 2022.
Employers are asked how they expect their staffing levels to change over the next 3 months.
In August 2022, employers’ expectations to increase staffing levels over the next 3 months rose by 6 percentage points to 31%. Some 3% of employers were expecting to decrease staffing in the next three months, the same proportion as last month.
Employers expecting to increase their staffing levels over the next 3 months
Recruitment Insights Report – monthly
The Recruitment Insights Report highlights key findings and trends in recruitment activity, recruitment difficulty and future staffing expectations. Each report is accompanied by an excel datafile containing time series data for each key indicator
The July 2022 report includes a spotlight on retention difficulty in 2021 and 2022.
The June 2022 report includes a spotlight on the recruitment methods used by employers.
The May 2022 report includes a spotlight on how recruitment experiences differ based on the length of time taken to fill vacancies.
The April 2022 report includes a spotlight on recruitment difficulty for truck drivers.
The March 2022 report includes a spotlight on the job status of employers' recent hires.
The February 2022 report includes a spotlight on measuring recruitment difficulty.
The January 2022 report includes a spotlight on the reasons for recruitment by industry and occupation.
The December 2021 report includes a spotlight on retention difficulty.
The November 2021 report includes a spotlight on the impacts of recruitment difficulty.
The October 2021 report includes a spotlight on recruitment difficulty for hospitality workers.
The September 2021 report includes a spotlight on employers’ single greatest future concern.
The August 2021 report includes a spotlight on employers with staff stood down, on reduced hours, or working from home.
The July 2021 report includes a spotlight on employers with retention difficulty.
The June 2021 report includes a spotlight on recruitment experiences and expectations within the Accommodation and Food Services industry.
The May 2021 report includes a spotlight on recruitment experiences and expectations within the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
The April 2021 report includes a spotlight on recruitment methods used by employers.
The March 2021 report includes a spotlight on risks to businesses staying open.
The February 2021 report includes a spotlight on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and changes to staffing levels throughout 2020.
Information collected from employers throughout 2020 is presented in the report: Employers' Insights on the Australian Labour Market - 2020 Data Report.
As the year progressed and the number of lockdowns reduced, businesses were less impacted by COVID-19.
As businesses became more confident the recruitment rate began to pick up around Australia.
The use of internet and social media as recruitment methods has increased in recent times. This trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Skills Commission (NSC) conducts the Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS) to monitor recruitment activity and conditions across Australia.
The REOS surveys employers across Australia, and up to 14,000 businesses respond to the survey throughout the year.
The survey collects information on employer recruitment activity, recruitment difficulty and staffing outlook – all important indicators to help policy makers and analysts to monitor and understand current and emerging labour market conditions. Data are released as close to collection as possible, providing an almost real-time view of recruitment activity across Australia.
The REOS questionnaire continually evolves to stay current with changes in the Australian labour market that directly impact on businesses and their recruitment.
For more information on the survey methodology, key concepts used in the survey and to view the questionnaire, see the paper:
The National Skills Commission conducts an ongoing survey of employers to understand recruitment activity in the labour market and the impacts of COVID-19 on Australian jobs and businesses.
You may have been directed to this page by one of our interviewers.
The quality of this research relies heavily on the participation of employers like you. We know that your time is valuable and completing this survey will take less than 5 minutes.
What will you be asked?
We will ask you about the extent of the impact that COVID-19 has had on your business and how you have had to operate your business differently; how your staffing levels may have changed; and whether you have new staffing arrangements in place.
We will also ask you whether you have recently tried to recruit staff and your experiences during this process.
We understand that some of these questions may be difficult to answer, but we value your direct input and appreciate your contribution, at a time that is challenging for many people.
How will the information be used?
With things changing rapidly, accurate and timely data is essential. The information you provide will assist us to understand recruitment activity in the Australian economy, as well as the real-time impacts of COVID-19 on Australian jobs and businesses. This data will assist in the development of effective, targeted, and well-designed policy responses.
Information from the survey will be available on this website and on .
Our commitment to you
The information you provide is kept secure and confidential. Your information is combined with responses from other employers to produce aggregated statistics on recruitment activity, future staffing expectations, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Australian businesses. This means individual businesses are not identified. Please view our privacy statement for more information.