A quarter of businesses struggling to find suitable staff

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Searching for staff: More than a quarter of Australian businesses are struggling to find appropriate employees. Photo by Megan Fisher

A lack of appropriate candidates with satisfactory skills has been cited as the primary reason more than a quarter (27 per cent) of Australian businesses are experiencing challenges when searching for suitable staff.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has published the results of its Business Conditions and Sentiments Survey, conducted from June 9 to 16, which found that the most frequently reported challenges when finding staff were a lack of applicants (74 per cent), candidates not having suitable skills (66 per cent), international border closures (32 per cent) and job location (29 per cent).

The sectors that have been reported as the most impacted by these recruitment challenges are hospitality, sales, engineering, science, transport (specifically drivers) and trade workers.

A hospitality worker in Echuca said although they were initially experiencing these challenges, the struggle to find suitable staff had eased.

“I think a big factor as to why there were recruitment challenges at the start was because the government increased the amount of income support through programs like JobSeeker and JobKeeper,” they said.

“That resulted in people opting not to work because they didn’t feel like they had to.”

The survey also reported that 19 per cent of Australian businesses, based on current operations, did not have a sufficient cohort of staff, due to the inability to find staff and the cost of employing additional staff.

The hospitality worker said businesses within the hospitality industry were always looking for staff.

“People come and go all the time, whether that’s because they have university commitments or because they want to head off and travel,” they said.

“We even have a few people working for us now who have travelled here from South Australia and will be staying on with us for a few months before they move on to their next destination.”

To view the survey, visit