More than money needed to lure regional workers

by Human Capital24 Jul 2014
Finding the right candidate for a role can be enough of a challenge, without the added difficulty of having to lure jobseekers to a different location.

The Commission of Audit recently advised the government to “force” long-term unemployed people who are single and between the ages of 22 and 30 to move to areas of higher employment if they have been on the dole for 12 months.

But if you can target the right workers with the right incentives, it will make life easier.

Research from Monash and Deakin universities looked at the willingness of people from NSW and South Australia, states with areas of relatively high unemployment, to move to Karratha in Western Australia and Emerald in Queensland for work – two areas that had a high demand for labour in 2012.

The research found that the typical person most likely to move for work was under 30, male, single, not born in Australia, looking for a new job, knew people other than family at the location where the job was offered and didn’t own a house.

Associate Professor Chandra Shah from Monash University’s Centre for the Economics of Education and Training said that “fly-in/fly-out” contracts were more attractive to potential employees than permanent relocation.

Prospective employees were willing to forgo or trade off a wage premium of $10,500 to have a fly-in fly-out rather than a permanent relocation contract.

However, money could be the way to attract other demographics.

The wage premium is required to attract women was $29,000 above average wages, married people required $19,200 and people who own their house wanted $25 600 to accept jobs in the two regional locations. Those over 40 generally required a higher wage premium to move.

Dr Aaron Nicholas from Deakin University said policies promoting geographical labour mobility were more likely to succeed if job offers included opportunities to gain or improve skills, and provided more than short-term contracts.

“Addressing the demand-side factors, such as matching job seekers’ skills and experience to employer requirements, has the potential to improve geographic labour mobility,” he said.


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