How can employers attract top candidates this Christmas period?

New research has shown that the pattern around seasonal job searches has shifted this year – and one expert says employers should be examining their recruitment strategy to take full advantage.

How can employers attract top candidates this Christmas period?
statistics have revealed that employers should be prepared for a potential mass of job applicants this Christmas season.
According to Indeed, Aussie jobseekers began looking for casual Christmas work in August – a month earlier than the historical pattern of beginning the search in late September and peaking in November.
This year’s pattern is significantly ahead of company recruiting schedules for 2015, Indeed has warned, with many companies yet to even list their Christmas casual roles.
Over the summer period, Australia typically sees a 170% increase in casual roles, 87% of which is experienced by the retail industry.
Indeed is also expecting an increase in vacancies in the hospitality and tourism industries.
As statistics currently stand, casual Christmas job searches outweigh open roles by 140 to 1, meaning that employers will likely have an abundance of choice when it comes to candidates for the summer season.
There are also more individual jobseekers this year, with searches up 257% compared to this time last year.
According to Indeed, jobseekers looking for casual work for summer are taking a “hyper-local” approach, with a significant proportion of people seeking work including specific areas in their searches.
Previous research by Indeed has shown that around half of Australian businesses would consider taking on casual workers to cover the busy Christmas period. Fifteen per cent also said they felt that hiring on a casual basis was the most cost-efficient method.
HC spoke to Chris McDonald, managing director of Indeed’s ANZ operations, about what employers should take from the statistics.

McDonald told HC that the research’s findings can be used to employers’ advantage. 

“Earlier this year, we ran some round tables with major Australian retail chains,” he said.

“Casual, seasonal work was a key topic that we looked into in depth. What we’ve found interesting when comparing this year to previous years is that the job search is happening a month or two earlier than usual.”

He added that organisations need to mobilise themselves to take advantage of the increased supply of workers.

“Larger firms are starting to meet that demand,” McDonald said. “They’re getting more competitive, but there are still other things companies can start doing.”

His first suggestion was to think about how these jobseekers are looking for roles.

“Looking at the demographic of those seeking work, over half are under the age of 30,” McDonald told HC.

“Most of them are using search engines so being as descriptive as possible will help steer candidates towards your company.”

He added that HR should think about how compatible their job application process is with mobile devices.

“Mobile devices are increasingly becoming the device of choice for jobseekers,” McDonald said.

“They expect not just to find a job opening, but also to have the option to apply for it on their device – so it is now vital to ensure that your content is mobile optimised.”

Another way to ensure that a high-quality calibre of candidates find your company is to work with your entire team.

“HR managers and directors need to encourage their talent teams to ensure that job titles are clear, and the descriptions of the job content are engaging.”

Finally, he told HC that employers need to offer flexibility.

“Around Christmas, there is a high demand for casual employment,” he said.

“We are continually seeing desires for flexibility grow. This is nothing new, but certainly an important reminder as flexibility is the second most important thing we see jobseekers ask for when looking for new role.”

He added that in April, Indeed conducted research that involved 4000 Australian workers. Researchers found that after salary and rewards, flexibility was considered the most influential factor when considering a job offer.

“The demand and jobseekers are already there, so it’s important that organisations capitalise on that – and don’t leave it too late!”

Most searched suburbs:

1.       Chadstone
2.       Greensborough
3.       Doncaster
4.       Robina
5.       Carindale
Most searched terms:

1.       Part time
2.       Sales assistant
3.       Customer service
4.       Retail assistant
5.       No experience required

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