2021 job offer

The current job market, in QLD at least, is different to anything I’ve seen in my career. Granted I haven’t been in recruitment for as long as others, I’ve still seen a few ups and downs. Some that I’ve anticipated and plenty that I haven’t!

Currently we are in a really tight and fast-moving employment market and we are seeing candidates in short supply. There have been numerous counteroffers and plenty of candidates tossing up between multiple job offers at the same time.

What has continued to catch me by surprise is that although demand for quality candidates is tight and competition is fierce, salaries haven’t seemed to move accordingly. Now, I was never the strongest Economics student at university, however, simple demand and supply dictates that salaries should be on the rise given the current hiring circumstances. As we have seen across the years, like the mining booms – when quality candidates are scarce, salaries can skyrocket, and it can often be a race to the top in order to attract the right people.

This in itself can lead a raft of other issues in the medium to long-term, and most people realise that throwing money at a situation like this isn’t the best way to fix it.

So how do companies attract quality candidates in this market if it’s not with bigger pay packets?

A few things that we have seen are:


It’s one of the first things asked in interviews these days; “can I work from home”, “what is the company’s stance on workplace flexibility and balance”.

As a company, if you don’t have a firm stance on this and a proven track-record of what you do in these situations you will find it difficult to attract quality candidates in this market.

Leadership and Development

I had the situation last week where a candidate was considering 2 roles. The companies were very similar in size, reputation and industry. Salaries were identical and location was very similar. So how does a candidate choose?

I spoke to the candidate about where he saw his career going and what he thought about each individual manager. Who did he believe he could learn the most from, where was he going to develop the most professionally and which team did he feel was headed in the best direction? Sometimes this can be a flip of the coin, however, being clear in an interview as to how you can develop a candidate, if they choose you, can help land the person you want!

Stability and direction

2020 put a lot of fear and uncertainty into a lot of people. 2021 has been similar in a lot of ways. Although there is more optimism in the broader community, candidates can still be hesitant to make a move for fear of choosing incorrectly. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t!

Interviewers need to be clear about their direction as an organisation. What have they already put in place to grow the team, increase their service offerings or safeguard from any future lockdowns etc? Candidates need to be sure that if they make the jump, the organisation is in a strong position and that their role will be supported so that they can be successful.

These are all areas that we have seen change and move quickly over the course of the year so far, and I have found my job as a Consultant to be focused around assuring candidates of these things rather than just forwarding a Position Description and confirming a salary.

If you are wanting to know about the current market or feel like the time might be right to make a move, reach out to Optimum Consulting. We can help with bouncing ideas around and talking through the details of job offers, companies and career moves.

Isaac Dufficy
Executive Consultant, Group Solutions

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