COVID-19 Job Search Trends: 4 Things Employers Should Know

A man checking his phone from home

Businesses are faced with an unprecedented employment landscape. The continued spread of COVID-19 has drastically impacted the world of work as we know it, with both job seekers and employers changing their priorities and day-to-day initiatives. But, while hiring in today’s labour market may seem more challenging, there are some job search trends that can help businesses find the right talent for their needs.

As we see unprecedented changes in the economy, we’re also seeing job seekers adapting. So for organisations looking to attract the best candidates to their open roles, it’s more important now than ever to ensure they are also adapting to meet job seeker needs. To help you with your hiring needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve rounded up the top four job search trends we have seen amongst job seekers and what you can do to find the right candidate for your business.

1. Remote work is more desirable

The percentage of job postings on Indeed with terms like 'work from home' or remote' have increased sharply since March 2020

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia, Indeed found job seekers’ interest in remote work surge to unprecedented levels. In fact, job searches using terms such as ‘remote’ or ‘work from home’ are currently around 140% higher than previous months this year. Recently, searches containing these terms are counting for 1% of all job searches on Indeed.

As the new coronavirus continues to impact industries and businesses across the nation, and keep Australians inside their homes, there most likely will be more interest in remote work. So if any of your open roles are or can be remote, make sure to highlight that in the job description. It can also be a good idea to highlight your company’s remote working situation on your website, social media and Company Page to help give job seekers an idea of what working remotely at your organisation would be like.

2. More people are looking for supermarket roles

AU supermarket searches surge following job announcements in January 2020

With supermarkets across the country seeing increased demand during the COVID-19 outbreak, both Coles and Woolworths have announced plans to hire thousands of new employees. Following this announcement, Indeed found a surge in job seekers searching for supermarket roles on the site. In fact, in the last week of March, searches for our major supermarkets accounted for 7.4% of all searches on Indeed, which is four times higher than the first week of March.

As more jobs may be impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, and the unlikelihood that supermarkets will be shut down, interest in these jobs are likely to continue to rise. When hiring for supermarket roles, it’s important to take into consideration candidates’ transferable and soft skills, and use experiential interviews to determine if they would excel in the role.

3. Increased interest in shift work and full time roles

Jobseekers are searching for unique key words

143% increase in searches for ‘night shift’, 77% increase in searches for ‘afternoon shift’, 70% increase in searches for ‘temporary’, and 70% increase in searches for ‘full time’

With the current social distancing measures in place, job seekers are likely to have more time and flexibility when it comes to the hours they are willing to work. And according to Indeed data, most are showing their appetite for flexibility in their job search trends. For example, searches for “night shift” have increased by 143% and searches for “afternoon shift” have increased by 77%1. What’s more, job seekers seem to be willing to take on more temporary roles as well, with searches for “temporary” also seeing an increase of 70%1.

If you’re looking to fill full-time positions, there’s definitely a demand amongst job seekers for these roles too. Indeed found an increase in searches for “full time” by 70%1 compared to the average.

To help attract the right candidates to your open roles, make sure to offer as much relevant information as possible in the job description. For example, if the job requires night or early morning shifts, make sure to specify that. On the other hand, if the job is a full-time, part-time or a casual position, also include that prominently in your job description. Being upfront with job seekers about what hours they would need to work could help attract the right applicants to your roles and ensure you don’t spend time recruiting candidates who wouldn’t be able to work those hours in the first place.

4. Job seekers have a strong intent to apply

Job seekers across Australia are showing strong intent to apply for jobs. Our recent data found that on average, more than 800,0001 applications are started weekly on Indeed Australia (during the weeks of 10 February and 16 March 2020). So if you are receiving lower than average applicants for your jobs, it’s important to reevaluate your job ads to ensure they are more aligned with what job seekers are looking for in today’s environment.

72% of employers think they provide clear job descriptions and 36% of job seekers think the job descriptions are clear

While most employers think their job descriptions are clear, only 36% of job seekers agree. And with the current ambiguity and uncertainty around the future impacts of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to be as clear and informative as possible in your job descriptions to ensure you are attracting the best candidates for the role.

As the world of work continues to evolve during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s vital for organisations to adapt their hiring strategies. We’ve seen major changes in job seeker behaviour on the Indeed site, and it’s important for businesses to recognise these and modify their job ads to ensure they are meeting both job seekers’ needs and their own hiring goals.

1Indeed data, Australia

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