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The future of the Australian job market

The pandemic has brought both change and clarity around work practices, with businesses better understanding how offsite work fits with future plans.

And for jobseekers, it’s shown that working remotely can not only be possible but productive – widening the range of targets they can consider when searching for a job.

It’s an epiphany that is leading to changes in recruitment, according to LinkedIn, which predicts both remote recruitment and remote work to continue post-pandemic.

In a new report on the seismic shifts triggered by 2020, the professional network predicts a rise in the importance of smart recruitment practices, as talent becomes more mobile and the search becomes more competitive.

In turn, it says, employers need to develop their skills in identifying and assessing candidates they might never meet, and helping new remote employees understand and be inducted into the company culture.

“Our data shows that getting a new job is increasingly less dependent on where a candidate is located,” says Adam Gregory, senior director, APAC, for LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

For companies, it means they will have access to new talent pools with different skills and talents.

“The LinkedIn Future of Recruiting Report highlights that 78 per cent of talent professionals agree that virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID and 72 per cent consider it will become the new standard,” adds Gregory.

He says the message for jobseekers is also very positive: “Opportunity will become more easily accessible to workers who previously may have not had the desire or means to move to a higher-cost-of-living location.”

Remote recruiting enables companies to consider a broader pool of talent, the report finds, from workers in regional areas, to people who might need to balance work with caring responsibilities, to expert staff from different states or countries.

Listing a remote job results in 20 per cent more geographical diversity among applicants, according to the report. For jobseekers, this can mean under-represented groups face fewer barriers.

Jennifer Grove, a Perth-based partner with international recruiters Gerard Daniels, says that for the resources industry, long-distance recruitment has long been important. The closure of the WA border, however, accelerated remote hiring practices.

“If you are recruiting for high-level operational managers in mining, they are often all over the world so remote recruiting was something we have always done. But once people couldn’t get in or out, we became much better at the remote recruitment systems,” says Grove.

She has seen a growing trend for senior appointments to allow new hires to work remotely from the business, but this may be a transition stage rather than a permanent shift.

“We have seen this for Perth clients where candidates might be living in Melbourne or Sydney. We wouldn’t say they can’t take up the role – we might just negotiate how often they come into WA,” she says.

“The other thing that has happened is internal management of talent – we have worked with clients looking to bolster their existing talent and retain people. They are looking at talent succession by opening up internal opportunities.”

The rise of internal recruitment is a trend also identified by LinkedIn, Gregory says, with internal mobility estimated to have grown by more than 20 per cent in Australia the past year.

“Internal hiring has clear business benefits with increased retention, engagement and agility, reduced cost and time to hire, and development of high potential employees with an eye to leadership succession planning,” he explains.

With all the changes that have taken place in recruitment in the past year, Gregory says smart employers are moving away from retrofitting traditional recruitment practices to the new way of working.

Instead, they are relying more on data-driven insights and approaches.

“We have seen many companies leverage the data available to create processes far more effective and efficient in a virtual space,” he says.

“We anticipate this trend will continue and companies will become much more adept at recruiting, onboarding and building culture in the hybrid world.”