13th September 2021

Tackling the talent shortage resulting from closed borders and strict quarantine measures


More complex than border restrictions and quarantine

In the wake of the Covid pandemic, there is little doubt that talent shortages are hampering the economic recovery of Australia and many other developed economies right around the world. However, border restrictions and quarantine measures to control Covid are not the sole cause of worker shortages across the country.

As with so many pre-pandemic trends, Covid has amplified and accelerated matters. And, as would be expected, it is difficult to generalise because the situation is complex and has numerous contributory factors.

One simple fact is that many of the jobs that are going unfilled were suffering from shortages before the pandemic. The World Economic Forum identifies that in many cases, the jobs on offer simply do not appeal to potential applicants.

This invites fundamental questions about fairness, and the ways economies are constructed. It also begs the question of whether it is helpful to the working of the economy that people can net more money collecting benefits payments than working a full time job, especially at a time like this?

Given that many jobs on offer only pay minimum wage, another factor is that pay has stagnated while the cost of living continues to increase. One way to make jobs more attractive is to increase the rate of pay. But is that truly a silver bullet? And what side effects might it produce?

The issue of immigration is deeply decisive. There is no shortage of refugees and economic migrants. However, do they provide the skills and experience that may be needed?

Border controls for workers from overseas that hold Temporary Skills Shortages (subclass 482) and Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visas also exert an influence. Those that are stood down are able to remain. However, for those that are laid off and find themselves unemployed, there is the requirement to find another job within 60 days or leave the country. Government policy does accept that where circumstances prevent a worker returning to their home nation, they may be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa.

Australia is not alone in dealing with these issues. Such powerhouse economies as the US, Canada, France and the UK are all struggling with addressing the root causes of worker shortages. However, Australia may be unique in that one analysis suggests that the 30 year ‘economic miracle’ of continual growth may be something of a constructed myth.

Back to basics and the fundamentals of a good HR strategy

These macroeconomic issues remain beyond the control of recruiters and employers. Trade associations, employment and recruitment industry bodies, and captains of industry as influencers are best placed to co-ordinate with and bring pressure on the government to help solve the talent shortage.

For recruiters and employers, the immediate focus should be on the fundamental practices that support a good HR strategy.

Wherever you hire your workers be more efficient with ETZ

Wherever your agency’s workers are recruited from, ETZ’s leading recruitment timesheet, invoicing and payment platform maximises efficiency. Using automation and accuracy, the software accelerates the core functions of the back office. To find out more about how we simplify the complexity of RecTech for agencies like yours, call us on +61 (0) 405 458 821 or book a demo.

Download your free guide

7 smart ideas to grow your recruitment agency.

Download Now
Download your free guide

Latest Posts


Recruiters leading the policy conversation on assurance for AI RecTechRecruiters leading the policy conversation on assurance for AI RecTech

25th March 2023

AI racing ahead as developments just keep on coming! The development wave of the latest generation of AI technologies continues...

Read more

Improving agency efficiency: Integrating expense management with timesheetsImproving agency efficiency: Integrating expense management with timesheets

20th March 2023

Tracing development of admin efficiency in recruitment Before the development of the personal computer (PC), clerical admin for recruitment businesses...

Read more

Recruiting overseas workers for Australia’s health and aged-care sectorRecruiting overseas workers for Australia’s health and aged-care sector

10th March 2023

The challenge of closing the health and care sector talent gap  Australia’s health services are experiencing staffing problems at scale....

Read more

See what ETZ could do for your agency with an online demo

Save hassle, time and money with our powerful software.

Book a Demo

Sign Up To Our Newsletter