Missing puzzle pieces
While these trends may contribute to the divergence to varying extents, ANZ Research doesn’t think they fully explain it. Although not fully explored, other factors could also be playing a role including:
- Changes in market share in online recruitment
Both ANZ Research’s job ads and the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) use SEEK and Australian JobSearch to measure online ads and the IVI also uses CareerOne.
According to a 2018 report from IBISWorld, SEEK accounts for more than 85 per cent of online recruitment industry revenue in Australia. However, Indeed, the largest job search engine globally, which aggregates ads from various online and offline sources, has expanded its presence in Australia and a future launch of Google for Jobs in Australia could also impact the market.
- Other recruitment methods
According to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, employers using word of mouth and/or directly approaching applicants jumped, as a share of vacancies, by 6 percentage points to 32 per cent in 2017-18. However, the Department advises not to rely on year-to-year changes.
Time will tell whether this turns into a trend. It is possible that changes in the degree of internal recruitment and upskilling might be affecting the data, but this is difficult to ascertain.
When employers find it hard to recruit domestically, they turn to skilled migration. However, at a high level, employer demand for skilled migrant workers appears to have weakened recently.
There were fewer first-stage applications (as an indicator of employer demand) received in the employer sponsored category for skilled visas in 2017-18 compared with 2016-17. It is possible this could mask differences by industry/occupation/region or challenges caused by changes in listed occupations, visa conditions and application processing times, rather than reflecting a change in employer demand for skilled migrant workers.