Recruitment insights for March 2024

The Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS) Recruitment Insights Report for March 2024 was released today.

Headline figures from the March data point to an easing labour market, with the number of employers recruiting (49%) remaining unchanged over the month. 

In smoothed terms, the recruitment rate edged down slightly over the month, after being generally steady over the previous six months. Employers are also finding it easier to hire staff with the recruitment difficulty rate easing 4 percentage points over the month to 50%. This decline marks the lowest difficulty rate since March 2021.

The outlook for staffing was more subdued in March 2024 with the proportion of employers expecting to increase staff over the next three months dropping 4 percentage points over the month to 22%. Setting aside normal month-to-month survey volatility, hiring intentions have been fairly flat for the last year. 

Capital cities saw a decrease in recruitment activity over the month, dropping 1 percentage point to 46%. On the other hand, the recruitment rate in rest-of-state areas (which generally covers regional Australia) increased by 1 percentage point to 53%, well above the rate recorded in the capital cities. Recruitment difficulty within capital cities continues to ease, dropping 6 percentage -points over the month to 46%, its lowest level since May 2021. In contrast, rest-of-state areas saw recruitment difficulty increase slightly, by 1 percentage point to 58%.

The proportion of employers recruiting only to fill new positions declined by 3 percentage points to 27% in March 2024 and has now been declining for three consecutive months. In contrast, employers recruiting only to replace staff recorded a substantial increase of 6 percentage points to 62%.

The proportion of employers that were not able to fill their vacancies within a month also fell, down by 5 percentage points to 49% in March 2024.