Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey
Information on this page is no longer updated and may be out of date. View the latest release on Jobs and Skills Australia.
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 - October 2022
|Recruitment activity||Recruitment difficulty rate||Expect to increase staff|
|Monthly change: 0%pts
Yearly change: +13%pts
|Monthly change: +3pts
Yearly change: +16%pts
|Monthly change: +3%pts
Yearly change: +3%pts
In October 2022, 58% of employers reported recruitment activity – the same as last month and 13 percentage points higher than in October last year. It’s the equal-third highest monthly result since the beginning of the series in June 2020.
- In Capital Cities the recruitment rate remained steady at 58% of employers, which is an equal- record high for this series. In Rest of State areas, the recruitment rate increased by 1 percentage point to 58% of employers.
Proportion of employers who were currently recruiting or who had recruited in the past month
The recruitment difficulty rate increased by 3 percentage points to 70% of recruiting employers (representing 41% of all employers) in October 2022. This is the third-highest monthly result on record (the peak of 75% was recorded in July 2022).
- The recruitment difficulty rate jumped by 7 percentage points to 75% in Rest of State areas, while in Capital Cities it edged up by 1 percentage point to 67%.
Proportion of recruiting employers who had recruitment difficulty
Staff changes over the past month
In October 2022, employers more often reported an increase in their staffing levels over the month than a decrease.
- 14% of employers increased staff numbers over the past month.
- 11% 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 +3 percentage points in October 2022.
Employers are asked how they expect their staffing levels to change over the next 3 months. In October 2022:
- 31% of employers expected to increase staffing levels over the next three months, 3 percentage points more than in September 2022.
- 2% of employers expected to decrease their staffing levels over the next three months.
Proportion of employers expecting to increase 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 September 2022 report features analysis on quarterly indicators by industry, State and remoteness.
The August 2022 report provides updates on key indicators, however there is no Spotlight this month.
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 future concerns for 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 your recruitment activity and if you are experiencing recruitment difficulty; how your staffing levels may have changed; and whether you have any future concerns regarding your business.
We will also ask you whether you have recently tried to recruit staff and your experiences during this process.
We understand that the last few years have been challenging for many people and businesses, and we value your direct input and appreciate your contribution.
How will the information be used?
With labour market conditions changing rapidly, accurate and timely data is essential. The information you provide will assist us to understand recruitment activity in the Australian economy and how recruitment difficulty can impact Australian businesses. The results from the survey are used in many ways, including in the development of effective, targeted, and well-designed policy responses.
Information from the survey is available on the National Skills Commission website: https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/topics/recruitment-experiences-and-outlook-survey.
Our commitment to you
Your information is combined with responses from other employers to produce aggregated statistics which means individual responses and businesses cannot be identified. You can view our privacy statement for more information.