24 Sep OHS Job Market Update – Spring 2020
As we write this, Australian cities except Melbourne are out of lockdown and all eyes are focussed on Melbourne to see whether it will open up in the coming weeks. For some HSE professionals, it’s been the busiest year of their careers, whilst for others, there’s been uncertainty. Everyone has been trying to juggle life, home and work.
It’s no surprise that since March 2020, the OHS job market has experienced ebbs and flows. However, the July quarter is demonstrating steady positive growth across all states.
Who’s Hiring OHS Professionals?
Much like our observations reported in June, roles within essential services have continued to dominate the market. Manufacturing / FMCG has been the leading industry – followed closely by construction, health / aged care, not-for-profits and local government. Over the past three months, we have also seen a steady rise in retail.
There’s been a spike in local and state government roles in NSW and similar in QLD. WA, SA, NT and TAS have remained relatively stable across all industries.
In Victoria, there was a slight decrease in OHS job opportunities due to the restrictions imposed by the stage four lockdown. However, active roles slowed down and many candidates experienced drawn out recruitment processes. Interestingly, analysis in Victoria depicts the same roles being advertised more than once -perhaps due to a low appetite from candidates to move jobs (more on that later).
Salaries have largely remained static. However, some employers are finding they need to offer more attractive salaries and employee experiences to attract the top candidates.
Across Australia, permanent or limited tenure roles appear to be outweighing contract roles, except in the usual construction-based major projects.
A junior-mid level market
OHS professionals at advisor and mid-level management level have experienced fewer job losses and more opportunities than senior OHS professionals. Vacancies have been across a variety of industries, and more generalist than specialist, with the exception of wellbeing and injury management/RTW. Ultimately, employers seek motivated, talented and tenacious job candidates.
Senior-level HSE roles
We have recruited several General Manager / “Head of” roles since the pandemic hit but the market is slower than normal. The conversations we have with our senior candidates helps us predict there could be a lot of movement in 2021. Many who are currently employed have highlighted they’ll want to put 2020 behind them and start somewhere fresh……and that is when the domino effect will begin.
Approach to new opportunities
Not surprisingly, many candidates currently employed are hesitant about seeking new opportunities – this has been particularly apparent in Victoria.
The feedback we’ve received:
I feel stable where I am right now – the thought of starting somewhere new in such uncertain times makes me nervous
The challenges of working from home and juggling family and work means I have no time to commit to a recruitment process
I’m too fatigued – I’d rather wait until next year when hopefully I’ll feel more refreshed
The thought of making a decision based on video interviews and no site tours is daunting
However, why wait if it is a good opportunity if your concerns are addressed.
Things to consider when changing jobs during COVID
We encourage you to reach out to learn more about the job opportunities we have in the pipeline because most of our roles are not advertised.
These articles also provide useful tips: