What are Job Seekers Searching for on Indeed?

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In the last couple of months, we have seen some major changes in job seeker behaviour on Indeed. From an increased interest in remote work, to a surge in job searches for major Australian supermarket chains, job seekers are learning to adapt their behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to find work. But now, with restrictions starting to ease and businesses opening across the nation, are job seekers still interested in remote work and supermarket roles, or have they once again adapted their search behaviour?

Fastest-rising job search terms on Indeed

Top 10 fastest-rising job search terms on Indeed

Cafe, Restaurant, Chef cook, Barista, Hospitality, Job seek Australia, Dental assistant, Retail assistant, Chef, Cook

With dining out being one of the first restrictions lifted earlier this month, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many job seekers began searching for hospitality roles. The search term ‘Café’ saw the biggest growth, with a 56% increase in searches compared to the previous two weeks. Other roles in the hospitality industry that job seekers are looking for include ‘Restaurant’, ‘Chef cook’ and ‘Barista’. And with many states planning on easing even more restrictions around dining out next month, we could see an even bigger increase in job seekers searching for these roles.

Given last month’s announcement that elective dental procedures are able to resume, aspiring dental assistants are now on the lookout for new opportunities. The term ‘dental assistant’ saw a 30% increase compared to the previous two-week period.

Retail roles also saw an increase during this period, with the term ‘Retail assistant’ increasing by 29% compared to the previous two weeks. Given that many retail shops opened in time for Mother’s Day shoppers, it makes sense that job seekers caught on and adjusted their behaviour to start including retail roles in their job search.

How to find the right candidate when hiring for these in-demand roles

If you’re currently hiring for any of these in-demand roles, it’s important that your job ad is optimised to attract the right applicants. While an increase in searches for a role you’re looking to fill quickly can be a positive sign, it could also mean receiving a large number of applicants that could overwhelm you and your hiring team—and potentially negatively impact your employer brand if you can’t respond to all of them.

To prevent this from happening, make sure your job description clearly states the requirements and skills candidates will need to have to excel in this role. Give them as much information about the role and the company as possible so that interested applicants can decide whether the job would be right fit for them.

Fastest-declining job search terms on Indeed

Last month, when restaurants and cafes were closed, and most had to rely on takeaway or delivery, we saw a strong demand in driver roles amongst job seekers. But now, as restrictions start to ease and more businesses are reopening, these highly sought-after roles are seeing some of the fastest declines in job seeker interest. ‘Driver’ and ‘Delivery driver’ terms have seen declines of 23% and 17% respectively.

Top 10 fastest-declining job search terms on Indeed

Farm ,Driver, Carpenter, Forklift operator, Traffic control, Painter, Boilermaker, Pharmacy assistant, Packer, Delivery driver

Searches for ‘Farm’, ‘Forklift operator’ and ‘Packer’ have also significantly declined over the last two-week period. Given that these roles were unaffected by last month’s restrictions, they were attractive to job seekers who may have lost their jobs or been stood down temporarily. However, as Australia’s economic environment is changing and a wider variety of job opportunities are now available, these roles don’t seem to be top of mind for job seekers anymore.

How to attract candidates when hiring for these lower in-demand roles

If you’re looking to hire for one of these roles, make sure your job title is clear and makes sense so that it stands out to candidates. Avoid using words like “Ninja Packer” or “Delivery Guru” so as not to confuse any interested applicants and deter them from applying. You can also use Sponsored Jobs to ensure your job ad is showing up more often in front of job seekers who are searching for relevant terms.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Australian labour market is constantly evolving, but it seems that job seeker behaviour is also adapting with it. As a result, no matter what your hiring needs are—whether you are starting to ramp up your hiring, or on a hiring freeze—it’s important to stay in touch with job seekers.

Keep them in the loop via your social media accounts, your careers page and your Indeed Company Page to ensure you are attracting candidates to your open roles and staying top of mind with job seekers. As is evident from their search behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic, job seekers are active and hungry for information, so make sure you are sharing your company’s story and keeping on top of your employer branding efforts.


For this analysis, we looked at the top search terms on Indeed AU as a share of all searches from 9 May to 22 May. We examined both the change in searches versus the previous two weeks and the change versus the same period one year ago to account for possible seasonality of search patterns. We accounted for daily volatility in search behaviour by calculating the 7-day moving average of each term’s search share.

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