It’s not just you, it’s everyone: why you’re getting fewer applicants to your job ads

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If you’ve noticed you’re receiving fewer applications to your job ads compared to a couple of years ago, you’re not alone. The Australian job market has undergone a major transformation since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and it’s left plenty of businesses scrambling to find workers.
 
In fact, recent job market industry data shows that the number of applications received per job ad is around one-third lower than it was two years ago. It’s not just one industry or one type of role either—it’s happening across the board.
 
So, what’s driving the current situation and what can dealerships do to overcome it?
 
Here we shed some light on what has created the current landscape and provide some valuable tips on things you can do to fill any vacant roles in your dealership.

What’s driving the current situation?

As the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we found ourselves in an environment where international borders were closed and workers were losing their jobs left, right, and centre. However, a couple of years down the track and the flow-on effects of this has left us in a very different place to where we were pre-pandemic.
 
Here’s a snapshot of where we are now:
 
There’s lower unemployment
 
As our borders closed, migration numbers took an enormous hit. In fact, hundreds of thousands of workers that would normally have come to Australia didn’t. On top of that, we also saw tens of thousands of people leave Australia to return to their home countries.
 
With less overseas workers available while we wait for net migration and population growth levels yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, Aussie businesses have instead looked to fill any skills shortages domestically, and in turn are utilising a greater proportion of the local labour market.
fewerapplicants | Teamrecruit
There’s more competition
 
A flow-on effect of low unemployment is increased competition among employers.
 
While we initially saw a plethora of job losses, once the economy kicked back into gear and business started to pick up, employers everywhere have been trying to fill roles that might have laid vacant while they were weathering the storm. But with less workers available to fill those roles, job candidates are getting more job offers and have greater bargaining power to negotiate pay and conditions. The result is that employers are now having to compete more aggressively to secure the talent that is still out there.
Workers want greater job security
 
The mass job losses that were seen when the pandemic was in full swing shook everyone up a little. Even workers who had never given job security a second thought were taking a good look at their employment to weigh up their livelihood.
 
In fact, more than 65% of us feel that the pandemic made job security more important to us.
 
Workers have had a taste of what could happen, and are approaching the idea of a job move with a much higher degree of caution. Even if there are plenty of great job opportunities out there, workers are far less likely to make the move if it could risk their level of job security should we ever face a similar situation in the future.

But you still have roles to fill—so what can you do about it?

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still plenty of great workers out there; it’s just not as easy to convince them to join your dealership as it once was.
 

If you’re struggling to attract quality candidates to join your dealership, here are a few things you can try:

  • Reassure candidates that their job will be secure – How did your dealership weather lockdowns? Have you put any new measures in place to manage the workforce should something similar happen again in the future? Can you offer a permanent role instead of a casual or contract position? These are all things you can consider discussing with prospective candidates to provide them with reassurance that their job won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

  • Identify your ‘unique selling proposition’ – What is it that sets your dealership apart from the others? Try to identify what it is that makes working for your dealership so great, and once you know exactly what that is, really sell it to candidates. Even though it may be a little harder than usual to persuade workers to leave their current employer, it’s not impossible. It may just take some extra effort.

  • Streamline the hiring process – When job applicants are few and far between, make sure you don’t lose the good ones because you’re taking too long to make a decision. Streamline your hiring processes to be able to make an offer as quickly as possible before your competition has the chance to swoop in and steal them from under your nose.

  • Be a little more flexible about what you’re looking for – Have you considered providing extra training to give a candidate the opportunity to step up? Have you considered bringing an experienced semi-retired person back on board part-time? There are plenty of workers out there who might not necessarily fit the typical mould but can still do a great job if you’re willing to think outside the box.

  • Turn to the professionals – If the applicants won’t come to you, you need to go to the applicants—but to do that, you need a killer database of networks and contacts that you can proactively reach out to. At Teamrecruit, we’ve built a comprehensive contact database which allows us to conduct highly targeted outreach to a wide range of dealership-experienced candidates. In fact, most of our placements since the onset of the pandemic have come from our database, so why not get in touch with us today to find out how we can help?
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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