Record spends on recruitment post COVID
The Sector > Workforce > Australian businesses are spending record amounts on recruitment post COVID-19

Australian businesses are spending record amounts on recruitment post COVID-19

by Freya Lucas

July 12, 2023

A number of sectors and industries, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) are finding themselves turning to recruitment firms as competition for workers continues in a post COVID-19 environment. 


Data from payments platform Airwallex captured spending from January-May across 2022 and 2023, showing there had been a 76 per cent increase in Australian business spending on domestic recruitment agencies, up $15 million from the previous year. 


On average, businesses are spending an extra $10,000, or 16 per cent, on employment agencies compared to this time last year. International spend on employment agencies has also ballooned by $414 million as organisations look overseas to fill roles.


Airwallex Director of Sales Lachlan Millist said the data shows the economy-wide skills shortage which is forcing businesses’ in-house recruiters to look for external support.


“Recruiters are emerging as the winners of the talent crisis,” Mr Millist said.  


“Increased spend on employment agencies suggests small to medium enterprises are struggling to find talent in the ongoing skills crisis, forcing them to turn to third parties to resource their teams.”


This, he said, brings a new cost into consideration for businesses at a time where money is already tight. 


“Businesses need to find cost savings elsewhere so they have access to the talent they need to grow,” he continued.


While businesses of all sizes are feeling the impact of a tightening labour market, Airwallex is bucking the trends of many tech companies and actively recruiting for 500 roles worldwide.


“Just a few years ago businesses were spoilt for choice when it came to recruitment but now they’re having to be smarter about costs in other parts of their operations to source the talent they need to grow.


“This is a really tough macro environment for a lot of companies, so being able to track and account for every dollar being spent is important.”

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