The Australian hospitality industries is experiencing a huge recruitment crisis as there are currently an excess of 100,000 vacant roles. As a result of this a large number of lucky Australians working in the industries are getting paid double their award hourly rate.
The challenges that employers are facing to entice people to work with them means that hospitality businesses across Australia are having to offer sign on bonuses and huge jumps in the hourly rate to attract staff.
According to data released by Seek, the number of vacant positions increasingly significantly from 84,376 to 93,395 in the space of a ten-day period towards the end of October 2021. It is predicted that this figure will skyrocket to 100,000 in the next fortnight as borders open and restrictions continue to ease.
Wes Lambert who is the chief executive for Restaurants and Catering Australia has said that there’s an excess of 50,000 positions open for semi-skilled roles such as waitstaff, baristas and bartenders, which would normally be filled by working holiday visa holders, international students and the partners of skilled migrants.
Mr. Lambert also said that there are also around 40,000 roles for entire kitchen team and managers, including cafe and restaurant managers and sous chefs.
“It’s a recruitment crisis and many businesses are telling us they paying above the award, as well as giving sign on and retention bonuses into the thousands of dollars, and some operators are reporting offering between $40 and $50 an hour for some of most critical front of house positions,” said Wes Lambert chief executive for Restaurants and Catering Australia.
The award rate for baristas or waitstaff is around $25 per hour this means that in some cases staff are being offered doubled the rate to lure them in.
Mr. Lambert has said that hospitality has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic and the shortage of staff is causing huge amounts of pain for businesses.
“Hundreds of business are reporting they used to be open for six or seven days a week for two or three meal periods and now they are only open four or five days a week for one or two meal periods and that will affect profitability in an already low margin industry,” says Wes Lambert.
It is predicted that the situation will only get worse as restrictions ease and states consequently open up to each and the demand for dining out becomes even bigger. Mr. Lambert stresses that in order for the hospitality industry to keep up with the demand the international borders must be opened immediately.
“There is no excuse that could be given that double vaccinated or in some cases triple vaccinated workers cannot return to Australia,” said Wes Lambert.
It seems many hospitality businesses could see the looming crisis with a pub group going to extreme lengths to fill 500 jobs before Christmas back in September.
The Australian Venue Co (AVC), which has 170 venues around Australia, was offering to pay for flights back to Australia as well as hotel quarantine for stranded Aussies.
Successful applicants were also provided with two weeks of rental accommodation paid for by the group and a $1000 drinking and dining voucher too.
Lewis Land Group, a hospitality and property group has also been running an initiative to target staff at two of their biggest venues in NSW – The Camden Valley Inn and The Fiddler.
Lewis Land Group are also offering young hospitality hires free training and the chance to win a car. For each shift they work, staff will get an additional entry into a draw to win a Hyundai i30 Active 202.
Half of Australian Business Say Its Challenging to Recruit Skilled Professionals
A recent survey has discovered that half of Australian businesses find it more challenging to hire skilled professionals at the present time in compared to before the covid-19 pandemic. This mainly due to a huge competition for talent brought about by the restrictions on migration and huge demand for digital skills.
The recent surveyed which complied answers from 300 hiring managers, revealed that 47 percent believe the pandemic has increased the skills shortage in Australia.
As businesses across Australia continue to prioritise digital transformation and recovery from covid-19, attracting and retaining niche skillsets will be a top priority. At the same time, the reduced flow of foreign talent is placing mounting pressure on the limited domestic skills supply. Increased competition for talent is the reason it’s so difficult to find the right skills, according to 63 percent of business leaders surveyed, while 54 percent said it was due to rising demand for specialist skills and 23 percent an inability to recruit talent from overseas. In an attempt to solve the current problem, 41 percent of businesses are turning to reskilling their existing employees.
Although there might be no shortage of job opportunities in the Australian professional sectors at the present time, there is definitely a shortage of talent. In the meantime, until the flow of foreign talent is reintroduced back into the Australian labour market, employers will continue to be challenged by demand for specialised workers exceeding the supply.
With the huge levels of competition likely to carry on for a while, it is highly advisable for Australian employers to hire new staff based on attitude and potential in comparison to hiring simply off of their experience.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Job Vacancies Survey, released in August 2021, the level of job vacancies was 46.5 per cent higher than in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.
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