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Recruiters regain hiring momentum

In recent years, recruiters have grappled with a shortage of candidates due to the high demand driven by rapid job growth.

This gave candidates significant bargaining power. However, as the pace of job growth has slowed down, the dynamics have shifted. This change presents a unique chance for talent acquisition and agency recruiters to play a more strategic and influential role within their organizations.

Throughout the ANZ region, encompassing Australia and New Zealand, talent acquisition and agency recruiters have observed a steady rise in the number of job applications received per job opening. In Australia, recruitment agencies experienced an increase from an average of 13.9 applications per job in Q2 2022 to 24.8 in Q1 2023, and 24.5 in Q2. Similarly, for talent acquisition, the numbers rose from 15.2 in Q2 2022 to 26.2 in Q1 2023, and 24.3 in Q2. In New Zealand, there was also a notable increase, with applications per job rising from 11.7 in Q2 2022 to 12.3 in Q1 2023 for agencies, and a jump from 13.2 in Q2 2022 to 27.8 in Q2 2023 for talent acquisition.

Conversely, a decline in the number of jobs created per account has been observed in both Australia and New Zealand within the recruiting agency landscape. In Australia, the figure dropped from 68.2 in Q2 2022 to 57.5 in Q2 2023. A similar trend emerged in New Zealand, where agencies went from 58.6 jobs per account in Q2 2022 to 54.3 in Q2 2023. This suggests a more consistent influx of new job opportunities in the New Zealand market compared to Australia.

For talent acquisition in Australia, the number of jobs created per account has decreased from an average of 46.0 in the previous year to 40.1 in the most recent quarter. Conversely, New Zealand has bucked this trend, showing improvement from a low of 31.3 in Q4 2022 to 36.5 jobs created per account in Q2 2023.

Over the past year, permanent roles within ANZ agencies have experienced a decline of 4.7% in Q2 2023. However, temporary roles have steadily increased over the same period, showing a 1.7% rise in the last quarter.

In 2022, a similar pattern was observed in talent acquisition roles—temporary roles increased while permanent positions decreased. However, this dynamic has shifted in Q2 2023, with permanent roles seeing a notable surge of 6.7%, while temporary roles decreased by 8.9%. This shift suggests that companies are becoming more selective in their permanent hires, focusing on essential roles. Temporary roles are being utilized to bridge organizational gaps in the short term, often filled by external recruiters.

CEO of JobAdder, Martin Herbst, noted that recent reports indicate a significant shift in the recruitment landscape. While job creation has slightly decreased from the high levels of 2022, there has been a surge in job applications. This shift implies a transition from a candidate-centric market to one where recruiters hold more influence. This change presents a promising opportunity for recruiters to play a strategic role in guiding business growth.

Recruitment Thought Leader and JobAdder Advisor, Greg Savage, emphasizes that while the drop in new jobs per recruiter and account is noticeable, it’s not a drastic decline. The message for agencies is to better qualify orders, manage processes confidently, and assertively focus on both filling jobs and taking on new ones. The key lesson is that agency owners need to be proactive and agile in managing recruitment success drivers, including recruiter activities, productivity, and client-candidate interactions. Waiting for the market to bounce back is the wrong approach; thriving in a changing market is crucial.

Talent Acquisition Advisor and Founder of Scalr, Matt Woodard, acknowledges the uncertainties in the current environment, including mass layoffs, global conflicts, and rising interest rates. However, he points out that these challenges have allowed talent acquisition to demonstrate its value and impact on businesses. The data suggests that more candidates are available due to global redundancies, leading to a decline in competitive salaries. While 2023 might pose difficulties, opportunities still exist. The second half of the year will be crucial for capitalizing on these opportunities through strategic support for businesses and finding ways to add value with limited resources.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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