Recruiting in the current job market

The Australian job market is continuously evolving and although it is cyclical in nature it has undergone many significant changes over the past few years. Trends that have emerged have left both employers and candidates navigating through uncharted territory, presenting challenges and opportunities for all stakeholders involved. We believe it is important to understand the market conditions and have provided this snapshot of the current job market.

Job market snapshot

Throughout 2023, we observed a downward trend year-on-year in job opportunities in the Australian market. This is also reflected in the Seek February 2024 Employment Dashboard which points to a continuation of this market shift. National job ads are down 2.5% month-on-month and down 18.6% since February 2023. Some industries are feeling the impact more than others, with Hospitality & Tourism as well as Administration and Office Support showing continued slowing both month-on-month and year-on-year while Information & Communication technology, which has seen a significant reduction year-on-year, has seen a modest 0.6% increase month-on-month.

Meanwhile, applications per job ad have risen 2.9% month-on-month. Advertised salaries rose 4.5% in the year to January 2024, although salary growth continues to lag behind inflation. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the unemployment rate for January 2024 remained at 3.9% while underemployment increased to 6.6%. The participation rate remained consistent at 66.8% overall.

To learn more about the latest market insights within your industry, check our comprehensive Market Insights Reports.


Key market considerations

Challenging economic conditions, high interest rates and the cost of living are impacting the job market. Resource investment may not have delivered as expected for many organisations, and some companies are feeling the consequences of over-hiring or paying too much for employees over the last few years.

This transition from a candidate driven market to a cooling in job opportunities indicates that generally speaking there is not as much competition with employers to find talent and fill vacant roles outside of some specialised segments. While employers have been willing to offer remote and hybrid working arrangements while the market remained tight, there are indications that managers may use this as an opportunity to insist on workers returning to the office.


"Whilst organisations are continuing to offer flexibility, we are seeing a shift towards mandated ways of working, typically towards having set working days in the office. We predict this will continue into 2024, with organisations still striving to bring their employees together as much as they can to drive company culture.”
Sarah Hay, FMCG Sales Manager. 


Regardless of market conditions, Employers still need to be cognisant that attracting and retaining the best talent will play an important factor in their success as an organisation and that keeping their finger on the pulse with a compelling employee value proposition (EVP) should still be a focus. This not only includes flexibility but needs to also highlight purpose alignment, career opportunities as well as training & development.

"While the market has shifted, top talent is remaining incredibly selective in their career choices, with a strong focus on financial security, employee wellbeing, values alignment, flexibility and growth opportunities."
Daniel Edwards, Sales Consultant. 

Looking to hire? Read more about partnering with us to help you find talent.