It became abundantly clear throughout the pandemic lockdowns that Australia’s casual workforce is a significant contributor to the national economy, providing temporary staffing solutions to various front-line industries. In the COVID-normal world of 2023, it’s easy for many Australians to feel that their lives have returned to business as usual. However, for those of us in recruitment – particularly in this temporary labour hire space – we’re left in the trenches of a war for talent. In the following blog article, we will discuss some of the key challenges facing the labour hire industry in Australia today and some tips on overcoming them.
1. Regulatory challenges
One of the biggest challenges facing the labour hire market in Australia is the increasing regulatory burden. In recent years, several states have introduced legislation to regulate the sector, including requirements for labour hire companies to obtain licenses and adhere to stricter standards. These regulations have made it more difficult for Australian staffing agencies to operate and in some cases have increased the cost of doing business. The compliance burden has also led to increased scrutiny from government agencies, which has put pressure on the sector to improve its practices and reputation. The good news is that are compliance-centric recruitment software solutions available to you. With regulation at an all-time high, there is no room for human error or lost/missing data.
Take a few moments to consider the compliance hoops your business must jump through to stay in operation (and to keep its good reputation). Now consider whether the software you use is helping to stay on top of these things or whether they’re making your life harder. Top tip: the more operations and departments can be managed through a single system, the better.
2. Competing with influencer culture
The rise of online platforms, such as Airtasker and Shopify, has disrupted the traditional casual labour market. With more opportunities available for Australia’s employment-aged residents to run online businesses or simply work on their own terms, labour hire agencies need to think outside the box to entice the candidates of tomorrow. With people of all ages spending more time on social media, many are being lured out of traditional employment by the promise of wealth and flexibility from self-appointed life-hackers and lifestyle influencers. It’s more important than ever to make our front-line careers enticing and fulfilling. In the world of casual on-hire staffing, your business is in a unique position to create a sense of worker empowerment.
With tools that allow nurses, casual relief teachers, waiters and tradies to work where and when they choose to, you can play a crucial role in shaping your people’s quality of life and longevity in the workforce. Top tip: consider mobile friendly workforce management app that allow candidates and workers to engage with you from anywhere and any time.
3. The candidate shortage
Another key challenge facing the labour hire market in Australia is the shortage of skilled workers. At first glance, this shrunken workforce can look like a mystery. If the candidate shortage is impacting most countries, where has everyone gone? The above point might explain some of the “disappearances”. So what can your business do about it? For starters, targeting new demographics might be a game-changer. Australia has traditionally relied heavily on transient or migrant workers to fill these casual roles. Consider other local options that would be just as well-suited to casual work: students, single parents, retirees, individuals living with disabilities. These groups could be opposed to the prospect of full-time work and could see the option of casual work as a perfect fit.
Top tip: consider the framework of your job ads. Is the language used casting a wide enough net?
The temporary staffing industry in Australia is facing numerous challenges, including regulatory burdens, competition from online platforms, and a clear candidate shortage. Despite these challenges, the sector remains a critical contributor to the economy, providing workers to many of Australia’s most essential industries. To remain competitive in this evolving market, labour hire agencies will need to adapt to these challenges by improving their workforce management system and thinking outside the box to recruit and retain the best workers for their clients.
There are of course many other challenges we could talk about. If you’re looking for tips on any other elements, let us know in the comments.
If you’re looking for a temporary staffing agency software solution that can help you cut through the noise and thrive in today’s labour hire market, reach out for a free demo of Entire OnHire today.