Unemployment and recruitment trends for 2023
Looking at a candidate driven market
Earlier this year, the Australian unemployment rate plummeted to its lowest level of 3.4% in 48 years, reflecting an increasingly tight labour market, including high job vacancies, and ongoing labour shortages.
This is leaving many employers struggling to recruit new workers in order to meet supply demands.
The market continues to be candidate led, with candidates being offered higher salaries by competing businesses. Almost three years on from the pandemic, we’ve seen a shift in the employment market, talent acquisition, and candidate values.
Consequently, organisations now need to work harder to stand out and attract candidates. As we head into 2023, companies need to move beyond the pre-pandemic status quo.
We’ve put together a list of recruitment trends and strategies to enable businesses to gain a competitive edge, as well as ways to enhance the candidate experience.
The employment outlook for construction
Based on data from the Department of Jobs and Small Business over the five years to May 2023, the projected employment growth for construction is set to increase by 118,800 (10%). It’s the second largest contributor to employment growth in Australia. The figure reflects the strong government infrastructure investment, non-residential building activity, along with continuing high levels of residential construction.
A detailed analysis has found:
- non-residential and residential building activity has sustained projected employment growth in construction sectors such as the Building Installation Services (25,400 or 9.9%)
- large investment at the state and federal level has driven growth in the Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (13,200 or 12%) sector
Projected employment growth by occupation studies show over 75% of construction managers (up by 13,400 or 13.3%) are employed in the construction industry.
When will the talent shortage end?
While the labour shortages have increased wage growth - benefitting low-wage workers - this has in turn increased inflation. Inflation in Australia is the highest it’s ever been since the early 1990s. Unfortunately, it’s expected to increase further over the months ahead.
Inflation is expected to peak later this year. The Bank's central forecast is for CPI inflation to be around 7.75% over 2022, 4% over 2023, and around 3% over 2024. Accordingly, unemployment is expected to rise by only 4% by the end of 2024, which means businesses will continue to experience a tight labour market until then.
Furthermore, job vacancies and job ads are both at very high levels, which suggests a further decline in the unemployment rate over the months ahead. Beyond that, we will expect some increase in the unemployment rate as economic growth slows.
Top emerging recruitment trends for 2023
As we move into 2023, how do you ensure you succeed with your hiring strategies? As the world continues to evolve rapidly, recruitment and the selection process also needs to adapt.
Here are our top emerging trends that will significantly impact recruitment in 2023:
- Recruit proactively:
Proactive recruitment involves identifying and preparing potential candidates ahead of recruitment requirements. By having a long-term recruitment plan of 5-10 years, you’ll establish a healthy pipeline of strong candidates.
So how do you achieve this? Make training employees, who are entering the field, a priority. If you invest in a training and development program, you’ll have a team that is fully trained and prepared for your future needs.
2. Highlight all the benefits, not just pay:
These days, candidates are looking for the whole package. Employees in the construction industry enjoy the benefit of generous salaries.
However, while money is a key motivator, it’s important to highlight other aspects of job satisfaction such as:
- opportunities for career development
- working for a modern and technologically advanced company
- working for a company that values employees
3. Providing a positive candidate experience:
First impressions matter in the professional world. Therefore, organisations must focus on attracting the candidate during all the stages of the recruitment process, not just during the interview. Be mindful of all forms of communications, including emails and phone calls.
To attract the best talent, ensure:
4. Look for soft skills:
- you’re transparent and clear about the hiring process
- interviewers are prepared before interviewing candidates
- interviewers know your company's values, mission, and benefits
- you communicate with candidates often
Soft skills are more challenging to recruit as the harder skills can be taught. A potential candidate may have all the right hard skills, but will they fit into the company culture? A person with soft skills is productive, cooperates well with others, and communicates effectively. If you balance these skills, you’ll contribute positively to a strong workplace culture.
As we approach the new year, businesses have enormous opportunities to embrace agile and proactive strategies in order to build robust talent pipelines.
As employers search for top tier candidates amid a talent shortage crisis, implementing strategies when recruiting will be essential to attract and retain candidates, as well as providing them with a significant edge over competitors.
About CGC Recruitment
Are you ready to take control of your recruitment strategy? CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SMEs and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.
If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.