COVID-19 updates for recruiters

Labour hire · Internal mobility

See below for Shortlist's ongoing coverage of coronavirus (COVID-19) news, analysis and strategy for recruitment businesses and operations.

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Planning the return to BAU; 5% unemployment "years away"

The Federal Government has released a planning toolkit to support employers to return to 'business as usual' by July. Also in this article: managing employees' concerns; and COVID-19's long-term impact on jobs.

Redeployed recruiters face upheaval ahead of major TA changes

Recruiters who have been redeployed into short-term roles face a potentially brutal fallout over the next few months, an in-house specialist warns.

Remote work exacerbating compliance 'blind spots'

The massive shift to remote working is adding some risky compliance blind spots in recruitment processes, an industry auditor says.

HR jobs among the worst hit on Indeed; Services demand hits new low

Human resources job ads are among those most negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, according to new data from Indeed. Meanwhile demand for services jobs hit a new low between March and April, falling at a faster rate.

Employers struggle with "huge pivot" to internal mobility

Internal talent mobility is now a priority item for many employers, but success is being held back by inadequate planning and a lack of skills visibility.

Leaders take the big hits in Talent's five-phase crisis plan

Talent's plan to weather the downturn sees executives "taking the hit" while retaining, motivating and incentivising consultants is front and centre, says CEO Mark Nielsen.

Job orders start to lift; APS redeploying thousands; and more

In the wake of COVID-19's significant impact on the recruitment industry, there are already some encouraging signs in job numbers, according to new data from JobAdder. Meanwhile, more than 1,700 Australian Public Service staff have been redeployed under the auspices of the APS Workforce Management Taskforce, set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Break-even is a "happy place" in current market

Beaumont People is using lessons from the GFC to weather this downturn, and CEO Nikki Beaumont says just to break even while keeping staff employed will be a "happy" outcome.

Employers rush to bring contingent staffing in-house ahead of upturn

Employers are more urgently examining their contingent staffing and looking to bring sourcing in-house in light of the pandemic, says LiveHire cofounder Mike Haywood.

'Brands will fade' if recruiters stop marketing now

It's a mistake to slow down candidate marketing right now while content engagement levels are at a high, warns specialist Chris South.

Employers hungry for "connection" amid upheaval

In a market where many companies are toughing it out and others are overwhelmed with demand, the quality of supplier relationships is forefront in employers' minds, says ManpowerGroup MD Richard Fischer.

Weighing up whether to last the distance

Even where cash flow projections indicate a business might weather this downturn, there are some factors in favour of bowing out early rather than limping to the finish line, says industry veteran Bob Olivier.

How COVID-19 is transforming candidate behaviour

Amid big increases in application rates and completed assessments, recruiters can glean valuable insights to help improve the candidate experience, a specialist says.

Expert360 adds talent communities

Contractor marketplace Expert360 has updated its platform to allow employers to "bench" talent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Risky strategies in place as recruitment leaders slash staffing costs

From opt-out pay cuts through to eliminating salaries, the methods used by recruitment leaders to slash headcount costs carry varying levels of risks, an employment lawyer warns.

How executive search is adapting to COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has spurred organisations to think differently about the leadership profiles they're hiring for, and how adaptable leaders are to virtual environments, says Russell Reynolds Associates executive director Melissa Cameron.

Webcast: Employer branding in a crisis

Whether hiring is now going gangbusters, completely frozen, or somewhere in between, strong employer branding remains crucial and must be handled with sensitivity. This webcast outlines critical branding and messaging considerations during a downturn.

Job index hits new low; and more

Internet job vacancies have reached a new low point. Meanwhile, Shortlist has launched a podcast featuring recruitment leaders discussing their COVID-19 strategies.

Crisis can forge a new 'normal' in recruitment

The current crisis presents several opportunities to improve practices, boost productivity and create a new 'normal', industry leaders say.

As 'paralysis' subsides, employers weigh up next steps

Business conditions remain uncharted territory but employers are now emerging from a period of immobility and contemplating how to move their talent strategy through a COVID-19 environment.

Expect significant "second round impacts" of COVID-19; and more

Two-thirds of employers are reporting reduced turnover or cash flow as a result of COVID-19, and distancing measures could see 14–26% of employees out of work in coming weeks, according to a new paper that also predicts "significant" second round impacts; and more.

Unpaid invoices adding to recruiters' cash flow woes

Invoices for recruitment services are being left unpaid as companies struggle with the downturn, highlighting the importance of robust accounts receivable processes, a recruiter turned business coach says.

Contingent work and commissions in the cross-hairs of industry reform

With a long journey towards economic recovery ahead, now is an auspicious time for the recruitment sector to reform and eradicate some long-standing practices, says RCSA CEO Charles Cameron.

Executive demand a "horror show"; New portal for critical jobs; and more

Demand for executives fell by a record 22% between February and March. Also in this article: a new portal for critical jobs; displaced recruiters volunteering with jobseekers; and more.

EY recruiters shift to HR support

With a headcount freeze in place due to COVID-19, EY is redeploying its talent acquisition staff into HR roles and intensifying its focus on skills mapping, says APAC people advisory services partner Matt Lovegrove.

Will perm recruitment ever be the same?

Current hiring freezes have the potential to permanently change both agency and in-house recruitment, and call into question which models will succeed in the future, an advisor says.

Upskilling measures a shot in the arm for talent-short critical sector

Healthcare recruiters have welcomed a new plan to deliver online, shortened courses to help with reskilling and upskilling displaced workers into critical roles.

Job ads keep falling; Unemployment edges up; and more

The number of new job ads on Seek fell even further last week, down 68.6% from the same time last year, and ABS Labour Force figures show a small rise in unemployment ahead of the full impact from COVID-19.

Real-time data critical to Hudson RPO's COVID-19 strategy

Hudson RPO has ramped up its reporting, meetings and oversight to respond quickly to each new development in the COVID-19 crisis, but it's difficult to plan more than a month ahead, says Asia Pacific CEO Kimberley Hubble.

Webcast: Managing employees through deteriorating business conditions

Constructive among early agency casualties; Unemployment on track to hit 10%

Infrastructure and resources recruiter Constructive is one of the first casualities of the COVID-19 downturn, going into voluntary administration this month. Meanwhile, the Treasurer predicts the unemployment rate will double in the current quarter.

"Brutal" decisions should have happened earlier: Chandler

The "brutal" truth facing many recruitment leaders right now is that while they want to retain and support their staff, they don't have the right people in place for now or when the market turns, an industry veteran says.

Recruitment leaders critical of JobKeeper eligibility criteria

The extent to which recruitment businesses can take full advantage of the JobKeeper subsidy remains somewhat unclear, industry leaders say.

Fair Work Act amended to include 'JobKeeper-enabling directions'

Fair Work Act amendments to allow the Federal Government's $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper scheme to proceed have been passed by parliament.

Candidate care now will set the stage for future hiring

The job market has shifted quickly in favour of employers in some areas but now is absolutely not the time to relax efforts to provide a good candidate experience, says PageUp's head of market research and insights.

Inside Chandler Macleod Group's COVID-19 strategy

Chandler Macleod Group CEO Peter Acheson has shared details of his company's three-stage plan for surviving the economic downturn, and maintaining the wellbeing of staff.

Job ads plummet, but only half the story told

Job ads experienced their largest fall since the GFC in March, according to ANZ's data.

Contracting stays strong as employers relax on remote working

Employers are stepping up to engage talent above their means and from outside usual candidate pools to fill business-critical roles and carry them through the downturn.

Data mining and "muscle-building": TA during the downturn

Talent acquisition leaders facing a slowdown in hiring are using the time to mine their recruitment data and build out their teams' capability.

Crisis puts recruiters' mental resilience to the test

Most recruitment leaders have been "disarmed" by the current health and economic crisis, but they can bolster their mental resilience and sense of control by maintaining connections with their networks.

Crisis necessitates employer branding review

Certain elements of employer branding will need to change very quickly or organisations risk appearing slow to respond to their new environment, says Peak Corporate Solutions director Malcolm Peak. Also in this article: the federal government's new COVID-19 jobs portal; Seek's "relief measures" for recruiters; and more.

Medical recruitment on the frontlines of COVID-19

Medical recruiters are now facing challenges from a sharp uptick in talent relocations and locum assignments ending as health organisations fight to combat COVID-19.

COVID-19 crisis will 'fundamentally change' recruitment relationships

Massive challenges still lie ahead for recruiters but responses to the crisis so far, from both agencies and employers, reveal a surprising "maturity" and heralds a fundamental shift in staffing partnerships, says RCSA CEO Charles Cameron.

Webcast: Competencies of high-performing recruiters (part 2)

The four competencies research identifies as critical for success in recruitment have become even more important in light of the current downturn, says organisational psychologist Kevin Chandler.

BAU goes out the window as recruiters make quick pivots

Hiring activity might not yet have "fallen off a cliff", but recruiters are having to expand their focus and prioritise different activities to stay relevant and useful, says Harrier Talent Solutions executive GM Zain Wadee.

Half of employers freeze hiring; LiveHire redeploying public servants

Gartner research shows which workforce cost-cutting measures employers are prioritising in the wake of COVID-19's business impact. Meanwhile LiveHire has won a contract to redeploy pubic sector staff into critical areas to respond to the crisis.

Rapid redeployments underway with Adecco

Adecco Group Australia is redeploying workers displaced by staff cuts in timeframes as short as two days, as hiring demand sharply increases for logistics, supermarkets, call centres, IT, and government, says CEO Rafael Moyano.

JobKeeper support a boon for recruiters; Jobs bucking the downturn; and more

Employers have welcomed the Federal Government's $130 billion JobKeeper package to help businesses keep their workers employed. Meanwhile LinkedIn data shows which jobs are bucking the downturn trend.

Rescinded job offers wreaking havoc

With job offers being withdrawn because of coronavirus and leaving candidates and recruiters in the lurch, a lawyer says it's time to look closely at contracts.

Coles hires 7,000, needs 5,000 more; Mining hiring intentions stable

Coles has recruited more than 7,000 people in just two weeks, fast-tracking the new recruits into roles at its supermarkets and liquor stores across Australia. Meanwhile in the mining sector, more than half of employers still plan to maintain or increase their workforce over the next three months.

Employers making quick shift to 100% virtual recruitment

Some employers are now managing unprecedented numbers of job applicants in the wake of COVID-19, while quickly implementing new virtual hiring processes to comply with social distancing rules.

Consultant remuneration models unsustainable: advisors

Some drastic action is needed on recruitment costs, and particularly consultants' remuneration, for many businesses to survive this downturn, say industry advisors Rod Hore and Nigel Harse.

Where shifts have plummeted; Online onboarding embraced; and more

Bars are among the worst hit businesses from the COVID-19 crisis, with shifts plummeting. Meanwhile, recruiters are embracing virtual processes.

Downturn forcing quick decisions; Savage shares action plan for business

All recruitment leaders have been caught off guard by the extent and speed of the current downturn, but they must make business decisions very quickly while it continues to evolve, and industry advisor Greg Savage has shared an "action plan" for doing so.

Don't hit the panic button yet: Programmed

The real storm might still be "looming", but now is not the time for structural changes that will make it more difficult to help the employment market rebound, says Programmed Skilled Workforce CEO Nic Fairbank.

Sponsored workers in limbo; application processing continues

Employers that urgently need to sponsor talent from overseas are now facing uncertain delays, while current visa holders are in limbo, migration specialists say.

Job fall 'more like 9/11 than GFC'; Industry providers step up; and more

Early analysis of jobs data shows the extent of the sudden drop in demand, with ads falling between a quarter and a third in one week, while industry providers are taking steps to help smoothe recruiters' cash flow issues.

Standing down, laying off, and reducing recruiters' pay

With some recruitment leaders taking steps to reduce their payroll costs without standing people down or sacking them, a lawyer provides a timely reminder on what employers legally can and can't do.

This article also contains a webcast Q&A on employment issues arising from the coronavirus situation.

Why this labour market hit is "different"; and more

The rapid speed, scale, and high degree of variability of COVID-19's impact makes the current labour market situation "very different" from a 'standard' downturn or recession, a leading University of Melbourne economist says.

Employers now awake to workforce contingency planning

Demand for frontline staff has spiked in the wake of coronavirus, and the business disruption has acutely highlighted gaps in workforce planning.

BHP hiring 1,500 workers; Healthcare demand almost triples

BHP is hiring 1,500 additional contractors to support its workforce through the coronavirus pandemic, and demand for healthcare workers has jumped by 197%.

Government support to help recruiters, but access could be "challenging"

The various government stimulus packages will provide some vital relief and support to struggling recruitment leaders and their staff, but access to some measures could prove "challenging".

Programmed offers casuals COVID-19 leave; Telstra hiring 1,000 temps

Programmed is offering its 20,000-strong casual workforce paid 'isolation support' leave, and Telstra plans to add 1,000 temporary call centre workers and delay its planned job cuts.

Recruiters have their own curve to flatten

Just as authorities are urging the public to help 'flatten the curve' of COVID-19 infections, recruitment leaders can take steps to keep market conditions above a baseline, says RCSA CEO Charles Cameron.

February Seek ads drop ahead of "significant" March impact; and more

Early Seek figures for March show a "significant drop" in job ads across many industries. Meanwhile Seek has flagged it will provide support for struggling recruiters.

Difficult times call for measured steps and long-term view

Recruiters who avoid "rash" decisions and maintain good relationships with hiring managers, suppliers and candidates will be best placed to weather the current storm, an advisor says.

Recruitment events move online amid COVID-19 fears, Coles announces hiring drive, and more

Major recruitment industry events planned for 2020 are going virtual in response to health advice for managing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)...

Few clear answers for recruiters' coronavirus questions

How to manage workers in light of the coronavirus outbreak is now the most pressing concern for many on-hire and host employers, but there are very few straightforward answers, says APSCo Australia MD Lesley Horsburgh.

Coronavirus support for affected recruiters; Phone interviews booming; and more

This wrap of coronavirus-related news covers: state-by state stimulus packages to assist businesses; phone-interview technology booming; safe working from home practices; and the business extent of the impact.

Coronavirus: an ethical dilemma for on-hire employers

On-hire employers face an "incredibly interesting" ethical and reputational dilemma in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, with no legal obligation to pay casuals if they have been directed to stay home, says Gartner vice-president of HR Aaron McEwan...

It's time to consider some scary business questions: Savage

Without wanting to sound "alarmist" about the business impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, industry advisor Greg Savage says it's time for recruitment leaders to consider some scary questions...

Hiring demand resilient despite coronavirus outbreak

Staffing demand is so far proving resilient to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, as shrewd recruitment leaders cement business interruption plans and employers shift their hiring practices to maintain business as usual...

Coronavirus impact planning must start now: Slade

Recruiters shouldn't underestimate the potential impact on the staffing industry of a coronavirus pandemic, and the time to start planning is now, 50-year industry veteran Geoff Slade warns...

Coronavirus: Minimising business disruption

Identifying which roles are necessary for an organisation to function is a core element of any business response to a potential pandemic, according to talent specialists at Gartner...