Market Update FY2018/19 Edition 1

Posted On 23 Oct 2018

Market Update FY2018/19 Edition 1

23 Oct 2018
Market Update FY2018/19 Edition 1

At EST10, we live and breathe the administration support space and are only too aware of the impact of the current market on Australian businesses. As such, and in the hope of managing expectations on the true war for talent currently facing our nation, we have prepared this market overview to provide an accurate synopsis of the administration candidate market. We hope you find the information below useful.



As we begin the 2018/19 financial year, we continue to see a shortage of administration talent. The latest SEEK data has revealed a 15% decrease in the number of job ad views in the Administration & Office Support category for New South Wales since the start of Quarter 4 2017/18. This is down 5% from the same time last year, a concerning number given ABS Labour Force statistics reporting a collective 207,000 job openings predicted for Receptionists, Executive/Personal Assistants and Office Managers throughout Australia in the next five years. At EST10, we are acutely aware of this decrease as we have played witness to the gradual and sometimes marked decline in active online job seekers for the past 2.5 years. It is no longer possible to rely solely on advertising as your portal in sourcing talent.

In essence, the graph below depicts this situation i.e. increased job openings with a decrease in people seeking jobs.

This brings us to the following conclusion:

Low unemployment rates = jobseekers/candidates in a stronger position

The effect of unemployment levels on a candidate mindset must be taken seriously. When there are relatively high unemployment levels, this means more job seekers and competition for roles, resulting in candidates working harder to sell their talent and rise above qualified peers. Candidates are also more likely to accept a role and stay in one that perhaps doesn’t tick all the boxes. By contrast, in times with relatively low unemployment rates, competition for jobs is lower and candidates are much more selective and less inclined to ‘settle’. Given the unemployment rate sitting at a six-month low of 5.4% in June 2018, this gives cause for concern. We are in a situation where the candidate has the power i.e. low unemployment rates and more job openings result in more choice and opportunities for candidates.

Additionally, our analysis from the last two quarters reveals that, on average, 1 in 4 shortlisted candidates will withdraw from recruitment processes before an offer is made. This is due to the acceptance of another job in the interim. Further, recruitment processes with more than two interviews per candidate are twice as likely to lose candidates from their shortlist. We see employees less likely to stay when problems arise, even if these are relatively short-lived, thus resilience and loyalty being harder to come by. Because candidates feel they can find a new job quickly, this has resulted in higher staff turnover, often with less notice provided. We have also found an increase in salaries and benefits as employers compete, as well as increased spend on training.

The implications of these findings cannot be understated. With top talent considering multiple roles at any given time, it is imperative that employers start to understand the market, adjust accordingly and compete effectively.



  • Streamline recruitment processes to be in the best position to make a timely and attractive employment offer.
  • All interviews should be completed within a maximum five days of shortlist presentation, with an offer made on the same day as the last interview or the very next day. This is critical given the speed of the market and the fact that candidates will have other opportunities offered to them. Engagement levels start to sharply decline two days post-interview (see Appendix 1).
  • Offer pending references.
  • Consider attitude and potential or what we like to call our “wild card”.
  • Weigh up the cost of an empty seat vs. compromising on skill set and training where you can.

Appendix 1



The information within this report is derived from EST10’s bi-annual analysis of internal recruitment metrics including job fill data and candidate behaviour patterns. In addition, we have consulted the following sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018). Job Vacancies, Australia, cat. no. 6354.0
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018). Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0
  • Department of Jobs and Small Business (2017). Employment projections for the five years to May 2022.
  • Seek (2018). Employment Report June 2018.



For further information or assistance with your recruitment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.