If the upheaval of COVID-19 has made you reassess your career, we’ve got some good news. Job ads are up, and some role types are attracting fewer applications, so now is a great time to let your skills shine through.
So just where are the opportunities at the moment? The below table shows role types that have seen a drop in the number of people applying, plus higher demand for workers and significantly more job ads than before the pandemic. This means there’s considerably less competition for these role types, creating more opportunities for people looking to shift into a new job or industry.
While SEEK job ads continue to rise, applications are at low levels compared to where they’ve typically been over time.
These job market conditions have led to an increase in opportunities across a range of industries that are hiring right now. Relevant skills are highly prized in a market where job seekers are in short supply, so even if you don’t have industry-specific experience, you may still be considered a strong candidate for the job.
Demand for staff in Trades & Services is growing, but applications are down for a number of key role types.
Ads for jobs that don’t require formal qualifications, such as Painters & Signwriters, are up by 157% year-on-year, but applications per ad are down by 66%. Job ads for Gardening & Landscaping also increased by 87%, but employers have received 59% fewer applications per ad.
Austin Blackburne, Regional Director at Hays, says while certain trades like plumbers and electricians are legally required to hold certifications, the current skills shortage is leading some employers to support mature age workers in gaining their qualifications.
“Given the ongoing trades skills shortage, there is a potential to create more opportunities for mature-age apprentices who can bring with them previous experience from a variety of other industries,” he says.
“The skills and perspectives these candidates can bring with them can be highly valued. However, in such cases, candidates must have a good level of experience, strong problem-solving skills and a strong work ethic to be considered.”
There are now more opportunities to move into the retail industry – and fewer applicants to compete with.
Job ads for Merchandising, for instance, are up by 103% year-on-year, but applications per ad are now down by 65%.
Melissa Moseley, General Manager Frontline Recruitment, says the skills needed for Merchandising include creative thinking, adaptability, an ability to work autonomously, time management and the desire to “work really hard”.
Along with Merchandising, Moseley says there is a new wealth of opportunities right across the retail industry and employers are welcoming transferable skills.
“Soft skills are crucial in this market,” she says. “Having the ability to work in a team, a positive attitude and critical thinking mixed with supervisory and/or management experience is easily transferable from one industry to the other.
“We are finding there is a little more flexibility on people's backgrounds. When it comes to job applications, our clients are looking at longevity in roles and positions that require customer service or are service driven.”
If you’re looking at shifting jobs or industries and don’t believe you meet all the selection criteria, it’s worth knowing you might be more equipped for the job than you first think. With more employers valuing skills, if you can highlight yours, you may just be their number one choice.