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16 – Recruiting in the COVID environment

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16 – Recruiting in the COVID environment

Recruiting in the COVID environment and other useful things to know and do for all the employers, contractors and job seekers in the Spinifex community

A quick poll we conducted showed that over 70% of employers are finding it difficult to recruit during the current environment. Too many applicants. Not enough applicants.  Businesses hiring are experiencing both scenarios, and they each have their own challenges, but the bottom line is it’s about finding the right candidate.

This week we share what our clients are telling us about the challenges of recruiting and getting the best return on investment during any time.

But first, let’s start with where the jobs are

Over the past week, we’ve listed a number of job opportunities in the following categories and locations in NSW. Around 26% are Government & Administration roles.




Mt Tomah


Northern Rivers



Byron Bay







Tweed Heads


Wagga Wagga


Working from home

Lightning Ridge

For more information, take a look at our current job opportunities

Also check out the Australian Government Jobs Hub

Return on investment in recruitment is not about the numbers, particularly in the current environment.

There’s a constant barrage of numbers at the moment. The number of COVID cases. The number of businesses affected. The number of Australians unemployed. The number of job vacancies.

It’s sobering and we’re all feeling it, whilst learning to accept uncertainty and change as business-as-usual rather than a periodic event.

But it’s encouraging to see so many businesses forging ahead, adapting, rising to the challenge – there’s nothing like a crisis to focus the mind. We’re seeing employers:

  • thinking more strategically about the key skills they need to meet new market demands and leverage new opportunities

  • discovering the pros and cons of new ways of hiring, such as virtual processes

  • collaborating more within industries, and between private and public sectors

It’s true to say that in this environment, it’s more important than ever to make your recruitment efforts count, but here’s three realities which have NOT changed:

  1. Recruiting can be a challenging and sometimes drawn-out process because of the human factor – we humans don’t always behave as predicted or even logically.

  2. Recruiting is not about the number of applications, it’s about identifying the skills your business needs and finding the right candidate with those skills. While there might be many job applicants, there can still be a skill shortage. This can vary wildly depending on the industry you’re in and the type of role you are hiring for.

  3. Recruiting is about the outcome. Think about your top performing employees, what they do and how they do it. Now imagine what you could achieve if you had more of them. That’s where the true return on investing in recruiting lies.

Employers are not seeking our help because they are getting too many or too few candidates.

We’re finding employers are seeking our help because they want to reduce and/or eliminate the obstacles and hidden costs to finding the right candidate, such as:

  • Not knowing how to describe the job in a way that engages the right candidates

  • Not understanding:

    • the industry trends impacting recruitment, such as salary and benefits benchmarks

    • the local area job market

    • what jobs candidates value

  • Wasting time looking in the wrong places for suitable candidates

  • Underestimating the time and effort it takes to promote the job, source candidates directly and screen applicants, including:

    • reviewing resumes

    • recognising expertise and red flags

    • interviewing

    • verifying references

  • Deciding between shortlisted applicants

  • Negotiating with the chosen candidate

  • Supporting the new employee to fit in to their new workplace culture

  • Risks to intellectual property or market position

  • Unintentional bias in recruitment decisions that leads to ‘bad’ hired and having to start the process over again

  • Lost productivity whilst position remains unfilled

Whether there are too many candidates or not enough, the key is to understand how to be a magnet for the right candidate.

We could all do with a dose of this at the moment

Source: https://hbr.org/2020/07/a-guide-to-building-a-more-resilient-business

We all need resilience at this time, not just on a personal level but also on an organisational level. But how to nurture it, manage it, measure it? This HBR articleexplains why resilience matters, and how companies can build it in a long-lasting way with six key principles:

  1.  Seek advantage in adversity

  2.  Look forward

  3.  Take a collaborative, systems view

  4.  Measure beyond performance

  5.  Prize cognitive diversity

  6.  Change as default

Until next week, stay safe.​


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