Recruitment is both easier and more difficult in times of strong candidate flow.

At time of writing, the employment market is responding to an increase in confidence across a number of industries and geographies. Many businesses are looking to grow their workforce again and may be assuming that a simple advertisement will throw up a short list of obviously qualified candidates.

This job market is unique, though, as we have not seen structural change this rapidly in recent times. While some furloughed workers are just hoping for their old job back, a very large number have already moved on to another sector or are actively looking for opportunities to do so as the market improves. Even among those who have held their job through the year, there are many who are now looking for change and a new challenge.

The pool of candidates for many jobs has changed dramatically for better and worse. There may be no backpackers, international students or graduates from overseas for some time. Many expats from Europe, Asia and the Americas have headed home to be with family and are not able to return for some time yet. On the other hand those Australians who have returned from overseas could provide valuable fresh skills and perspectives.

Different occupations attract different challenges, but we now see many roles attracting a very large group of potential candidates. For employers advertising today, not only is the number of candidates increasing but there may be candidates applying to your role who would not have been attracted to your ad in the past.

An increased candidate response creates many challenges:

1. How do you handle the large number of candidate applications to ensure that candidates are responded to professionally and quickly?

2. How do you manage a higher number of qualified candidates who meet the selection criteria (and who may or may not be suitable based on their career motivations and preferences)?

3. How do you assess the merits of candidates with a background that is different from your “normal suspects”? (see also our recent blog: Hiring someone with too much experience? Know the risks)

4. How do you uncover the main reasons for the candidate leaving their most recent employers or looking to leave their current employer?

5. How does your current job and remuneration match against other companies and also the rapidly changing candidate market?


Recruitment and HR teams are usually equipped to handle recruitment in a business as usual mode and address these challenges. However, this market is fundamentally different in many ways.

External recruitment specialists can help bring your team back up to speed, deal with the above nuances, and share our experience across industries as the employment market moves back to something approaching a new normal.

To explore our recruitment services in more detail please contact Brett Douglas, CEO on