Recruitment difficulty lower in 2024, with most employers lamenting a lack of suitable applicants

Jobs and Skills Australia has released the July 2024 Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS) Spotlight. With declining levels of job creation alongside an overall rise in unemployment over the last 24 months, recruitment difficulty has eased significantly since its peak in 2022.

Recruitment difficulty rates have decreased in 2024 across skill levels, selected industries, and major occupation groups. There continues to be a widening gap in recruitment difficulty rates between employers recruiting for higher versus lower skilled occupations. Recruitment difficulty for lower skilled occupations decreased farther in 2024 to date than higher skilled occupations.

Technicians and Trades Workers remains the occupation group with the greatest proportion of employers having recruitment difficulty, while Clerical and Administrative Workers and Labourers experienced large falls in recruitment difficulty into 2024 to date.

There are many reasons why employers find it difficult to recruit staff, but a lack of suitable applicants is currently chief among them. Other reasons for difficulty this year include undesirable working conditions, including salary and hours, followed by a lack of experienced applicants, and a lack of applicants with technical skills. From its peak of 40% in 2021, recruitment difficulty from a lack of applicants in general has fallen to the least attributed reason, at 14% in 2024.