Have you given up on filling your vacancy due to a lack of suitable applicants? You are not alone!

vacancies construction australia

construction industry, construction jobs, consultanz, engineering jobs, recruitment,

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Many Employers in Australia’s construction industry have given up on filling their vacant positions as they do not receive applications from suitable candidates and believe the talent market is too competitive.

Jobs and Skills Australia’s latest Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS) spotlight sheds light on employers’ unrealised vacancies. Unrealised vacancies are jobs that employers were not actively trying to fill at the time of being surveyed.

Around one in 10 employers reported having unrealised vacancies. Many of these had given up or were discouraged from recruiting due to a variety of reasons.

Employers in the Manufacturing and Construction industries were most likely to have unrealised vacancies. Overall, more than 60% of employers with unrealised vacancies had positions for Skill Level 3 and 4 occupations, with Technicians and Trades Workers occupations specifically making up the largest proportion (34%).

The key finding from the latest survey of Employers was that 11% of survey respondents had vacancies they were not actively trying to fill, largely because they felt they would not receive enough applicants or suitable applicants, or because they simply perceived it would be too difficult to recruit.

Of employers with unrealised vacancies, the majority were for higher skill level occupations (59%).

Reasons for unrealised vacancies

Employers that had unrealised vacancies were asked why they were not actively trying to fill them. The top three responses were:

  1. lack of suitable applicants;
  2. lack of applicants (overall);
  3. and the more general perception that the vacancy was too difficult to fill (Figure 6).

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia, © Commonwealth of Australia, sourced on 11.09.2023


Are you failing because your approach to recruiting construction and engineering talent is all wrong?

Pre-COVID, advertising vacancies on Seek (or any other job board) was a useful strategy for finding engineering and construction candidates, but in the current tight labour market, this approach fails miserably. There are several reasons why relying solely on job board advertising does not yield results.

Firstly, job boards like Seek have a large number of job listings, and your job posting can get lost among many others. This can make it challenging for your posting to stand out, especially if the role is highly competitive or in a saturated job market.

Secondly, job boards primarily attract active job seekers who are actively looking for new opportunities. However, some of the best construction and engineering candidates might already be employed and not actively searching job boards. These passive candidates might be harder to reach through job board advertising alone.

Job board advertising often relies on keywords and job titles, which may not always capture the full scope of a candidate’s skills and experience. It can be challenging to find candidates whose qualifications align perfectly with your job description through keyword-based searches.

To make things more challenging for Employers, popular job boards can generate a high volume of applications, but many of these applications may not be well-suited for the position. Sorting through a large number of resumes can be time-consuming and does not guarantee finding the right fit.

Advertising on job boards can also be costly, especially for premium listings or extended exposure. If you don’t get the desired results, it can be an expensive investment with no guarantee of success.

Finally, your competitors may also be advertising similar positions on the same job boards, leading to increased competition for the same pool of candidates.

Are passive candidates the solution to your hiring struggles?

While you’re busy composing your job board ad, recruiters are snapping up the best candidates by navigating the labyrinth of LinkedIn using their expensive Recruiter licenses as well as their agency’s internal CRM database which often contains thousands of CVs.

No wonder they uncover candidates who aren’t even looking for a job but are open to a “life-changing opportunity.” The candidates you were hoping would apply to your job don’t even make it to the job board where you have posted your expensive ad.

The construction and engineering candidates you are dreaming of attracting to fill your vacancy are called passive candidates.

Passive candidates are currently employed and aren’t actively searching for a job, but would accept a good opportunity if it came along. According to LinkedIn, they account for more than 70% of the global workforce!

The truth is, if you are not actively targeting these candidates you are missing out on a massive talent pool. Read more about Passive vs. Active Candidates.

Recruiters can help you think outside the box when it comes to hiring

Many employers struggle to see the value of using a recruitment agency to fill vacancies due to high fees. But in the current fierce race for Australia’s top engineering and construction talent, it’s becoming obvious that forming partnerships with specialized recruitment agencies such as ConsultANZ, can give employers a huge hiring advantage.

Here are a few good reasons to stop wasting your money on job boards and partner with recruitment professionals:

  1. ConsultANZ has an extensive network and database of candidates, including both active and passive job seekers. This gives you access to a broader pool of potential candidates.
  2. We handle various aspects of the recruitment process, such as candidate sourcing, screening, and initial interviews. This saves you time and allows you to focus on other critical tasks such as running your business.
  3. ConsultANZ specializes in recruiting for the civil engineering, construction, and surveying industries across Australia and New Zealand. We have the expertise and understanding of the unique requirements of different roles and can identify candidates with the right skills and experience.
  4. While there are fees associated with using a recruitment agency, the overall cost may be lower when considering the time and resources saved in the hiring process. It can also reduce the risk of making costly hiring mistakes.
  5. In cases where confidentiality is crucial, such as executive searches or sensitive roles, ConsultANZ can conduct discreet searches without disclosing the employer’s identity until necessary.
  6. ConsultANZ can assist in negotiating offers and compensation packages with candidates, helping ensure that both parties are satisfied.
  7. ConsultANZ can help employers promote diversity and inclusion by presenting a diverse range of candidates for consideration.

Casting a wider net for talent abroad

Did you know that Australia is on track to welcome 300,000 migrants this year? Since the international borders have re-opened, there has been a surge in arrivals. Many professionals who are planning to move Down Under might have just the skills and experience you are looking for! By recruiting from overseas, your company can gain access to a diverse pool of skilled engineering, construction, and surveying candidates.

ConsultANZ specializes in addressing the unique challenges associated with recruiting international candidates. To streamline this process, we collaborate with immigration consultants who possess expertise in securing working visas for civil engineering and construction personnel intending to work in Australia and New Zealand. This partnership with visa experts ensures an efficient and smooth recruitment experience for our clients.

Read more about our International Recruitment service.


If you are struggling to attract suitable civil engineering or construction candidates for your Australian or New Zealand business, it’s time to reach out to ConsultANZ. Whether you are a small business, a consultancy or a multinational firm, we can find the right people for you. If you would like to find out more about our tailored solutions, get in touch with Peter Laver on LinkedIn.

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