Our Sales, Marketing & Comms – Practice Lead, Michelle Hodgson shares how employers can best prepare with their hiring approach to tackle the current competitive landscape.


In 2019, Melbourne was ranked as the world’s second most livable city. The Melbourne that received such recognition, however, looks markedly different today.

Over the past two years, the global COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up numerous, and at times, unprecedented challenges for everyone to endure. In a business context, employers have had the unenviable burden to navigate through ever-changing government regulations and a volatile commercial landscape. The recent easing of restrictions opening up Melbourne for business is, of course, a welcome development. The impacts of these last two years, however, cannot be overlooked, as businesses are now left to grapple with its next major challenge, navigating hiring talent in a severely candidate short market.

This document will provide your business with an understanding of what you need to know, and how our team can help navigate you through what many people are referring to as ‘The Great Resignation’

 Why is Victoria experiencing a candidate short market?

 Key factors:

  • Professional skilled migrants leaving Australia to return to their country of origin as a result of COVID-19
  • Victorians relocating permanently interstate to places like Queensland 
  • Lack of overseas talent coming in to replenish the people permanently leaving
  • Victorian’s having a career change and leaving the industry all together

Victoria’s candidate shortage has also been fueled by fundamental shifts in how people think about the role of work in their lives.  The ability for many to perform their jobs remotely means that there is now a greater demand for flexible working arrangements, of which, employers must facilitate. Aside from requesting from their employer to work from home, employees further recognise the importance of choosing a workplace best suited to their own health and wellbeing. The current market is very competitive and having a comprehensive policy around employee wellbeing can be great “selling points” to discuss with candidates at interview stage as well as provide a competitive advantage when hiring.

Low availability of skilled talent + increased demand as Victoria “opens up” = Significant salary inflation!

Salary has and always will be a driving factor to move organisations. This is particularly prominent with employees aged 25 – 40 years who wish to secure themselves financially. The issue the Victorian market is experiencing is that because there is an increased demand for talent which is not met with the same level of supply due to the factors mentioned above, salaries have rocketed up to reflect this shortage.

 Key metrics to reinforce this:

  • Highest number of job ads in October 2021 in SEEK’s 23+ year history
  • Applications per ad currently at its lowest level since 2012
  • More than twice as many people left Australia than arrived in 2020

 It has been widely forecast that by March 2022, we will start see the impact of the so called ‘great resignation’, In fact, some organisations are already experiencing an unusually high level of resignations for the pre-Christmas period.

 What do Employers need to be conscious of?

  •  Flexibility/remote working is not a ‘selling point’ to work for an organisation. IT NEEDS TO BE A GIVEN.
  • Sell the job to employees: The competition to ‘sell’ your brand in this fierce job market is something that cannot be underestimated… Don’t just ask the question: “Why do you want to work for us?”. Ask yourself: “What can we offer this person?”. Interview conversations need to be a two-way street.
  • The need for businesses to understand their employees’ mental health and wellbeing is paramount. Many organisations are now investing significant resources into this crucial area as they recognise how important it is to not only retain current staff but attracting new ones. Here as some examples of the great work businesses are doing in this space currently:
  1.  Additional leave (e.g. extra-long weekends per year / Five days of paid ‘life leave)
  2. Volunteering days
  3. Online Yoga / Mindfulness workshop
  4. Access to EAP counselling sessions 

At Mars Recruitment, we can assist your organisation in developing an innovative and market appropriate candidate attraction and retention strategy to ensure your hiring approach is fit for purpose in this current landscape.

 For more information, please contact our team below:

Michelle Hodgson

[email protected]

Practice Lead – Sales, Marketing & Communications

Lily Simmons

[email protected]

Candidate Manager – Sales, Marketing & Communications



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Mars Recruitment