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Talent shortages: what HOBAN has observed and is a turnaround in sight?

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Talent shortages: what HOBAN has observed and is a turnaround in sight?

The HR Leader spoke with the CEO of HOBAN Recruitment, Alison Watts, in early August. She discussed how companies can get through talent shortages and what effect international travel has had on the recruitment industry.

“It's pretty much all role types where there are challenges out there. One of the primary areas where people were experiencing real difficulty is logistics and warehousing personnel. We've seen that trend for a little while now. We saw it particularly with the onset of COVID-19 when naturally all of us were wanting to order goods online,” Ms Watts outlined.

Reuters says a factor in these shortages is immigration backlogs due to the pandemic. With two years’ worth of applicants struggling to get into the country, our workforce has been hit hard by a shortage of migrant staff.


“Internally within our business, we used to get a very steady influx of people looking for work who might have been new migrants to the country. And we just haven't seen those volumes,” said Ms Watts.

“That has absolutely contributed to the challenges that all employers are seeing out there. We are hoping that as things open up, that starts to change, but we do anticipate it may continue for quite some time.”

Ms Watts also notes that it’s not only a shortage of workers coming into the country that has affected industries, but a loss of employees who are leaving the country.

According to mybusiness, Australia has experienced its highest number of workers leaving the country.

Immigration relief

These issues might be about to change. On 2 September, available permanent migration visas were upped from 160,000 to 195,000 for 2022-23 by the government.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, said: “This is a turning point in our history as momentous as the post war ‘populate or perish’ program that was the foundation of our post-war reconstruction, nation building and national security.”

There are hopes that this plan will help to ease staff shortages. Supporting this, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles said: “This new investment in visa processing demonstrates this Government’s commitment to an immigration system that works for both businesses and individuals.”

He added: “The Albanese Government is committed to re-establishing immigration as a nation-building function of Government, in order to realise our full potential as a reconciled nation that harnesses its diversity.”

Applications on the rise

Seek’s August report might signal an ease to the stress employers are facing as job applications per ad rose by 3.5 per cent month on month, with some industries increasing by 13 per cent.

Managing director of Seek ANZ, Kendra Banks, said: “There has been a flattening of the curve for both job ads and applications per job ad over the past quarter. As job ads ease away from record-high levels, candidate applications are spread less thinly across the great variety in the market, leading to incremental increases in applications per job ad.”

If these trends continue, we could see a turnaround in job vacancies and the end of this peak in talent shortages.

To hear more from Alison Watts, listen to the full podcast below.

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full conversation with Alison Watts, recorded on 5 August, is below.






The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.