Australia's Workforce Woes:

The Challenge of Finding Suitable Staff

The Australian business landscape is grappling with a critical predicament – the difficulty in finding suitable staff. The latest release of Business Conditions and Sentiments by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) paints a revealing picture of the challenges faced by the employment sector. The comprehensive data illuminates the struggles that businesses across various industries are enduring in securing the right talent:

Staffing Challenges: A Prevalent Hurdle

Almost a third (31%) of employing businesses are encountering difficulties in finding suitable staff to fill roles. This marks a substantial increase from the previous year (27%), signifying a persistent challenge in recruitment efforts.

Impact on Business Operations

Large and medium-sized businesses, in particular, face heightened hurdles, with 66% and 62%, respectively, reporting challenges in securing suitable staff. Notably, this shortage has significantly impacted the operational effectiveness of small and medium businesses, highlighting the urgency of the staffing crisis.

Industry Insights

Industries such as Accommodation and Food Services, Education and Training, Retail Trade, and Administrative and Support Services top the list in grappling with staffing shortages. These sectors have witnessed a marked surge in difficulties, as reflected in the increased percentages compared to the previous year.

Industry

Jun-22

Jun-21

Accommodation and Food Services

51%

38%

Education and Training

47%

25%

Administrative and Support Services

43%

24%

Retail Trade

39%

18%

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services

34%

19%

Construction

31%

32%

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

29%

37%

Other Services (b)

28%

36%

Information Media and Telecommunications

27%

22%

Health Care and Social Assistance

26%

26%

Arts and Recreation Services

26%

22%

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

26%

30%

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

26%

22%

Mining

22%

22%

Manufacturing

21%

35%

Financial and Insurance Services

19%

18%

Wholesale Trade

12%

22%

Types of Roles in Demand

Businesses struggling to fill positions highlighted a spectrum of jobs they found challenging to fill. The most common roles reported include those in industries such as Accommodation and Food Services, Education and Training, Administrative and Support Services, Retail Trade, among others.

From largest to smallest, these jobs include:

  1. Building Trades
  2. Clerical Workers
  3. Labourers
  4. Salespersons
  5. Hospitality workers
  6. Automotive & Engineering trades
  7. ICT Professionals
  8. Managers,
  9. Health Professionals
  10. Business Professionals,
  11. Education Professional
  12. Engineering & Science Professionals,
  13. Personal & Other Service Workers
  14. Chefs & Cooks
  15. Drivers
  16. Machinery & Plant Operators
  17. Care workers

Charting the Employment Landscape

The ABS data, represented through insightful graphs and tables, vividly portrays the prevalence of staffing challenges across business sizes and industries, offering a comprehensive view of the employment scenario.

Problems faced

Small businesses

Medium businesses

Large businesses

All businesses

Increase wages or salaries

29.00%

49.00%

49.00%

30.00%

Increase staff numbers

25.00%

52.00%

57.00%

27.00%

Re-train existing staff

21.00%

45.00%

48.00%

26.00%

Rearrange job roles and responsibilities

20.00%

36.00%

39.00%

21.00%

Increase staff hours

19.00%

20.00%

18.00%

19.00%

Introduce new flexible working arrangements

14.00%

20.00%

25.00%

14.00%

Outsource work to a third party

10.00%

18.00%

22.00%

10.00%

Introduce new benefits

8.00%

15.00%

20.00%

8.00%

Reduce staff hours

5.00%

6.00%

1.00%

5.00%

Reduce staff numbers

2.00%

2.00%

3.00%

2.00%

The Path Ahead

The compelling data from ABS underscores the critical need for innovative solutions to bridge the gap between available talent and businesses in search of skilled professionals. This acute shortage necessitates strategic intervention, collaborative efforts, and innovative recruitment approaches to address the challenges faced by businesses.

The ABS report presents an in-depth analysis, revealing the pressing issue of finding suitable staff across varied industries and business sizes. The word cloud, representing the types of jobs that businesses struggle to fill, further emphasizes the critical need for concerted action to tackle the staffing crisis.

As businesses navigate these challenges, agencies like Rothwell Recruitment stand ready to offer tailored solutions and support to address the staffing needs of businesses across Australia.

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