Hiring During Covid-19? Be Prepared

20 Aug 14:00 by THE MONDAY GROUP

Crowded Job Market Blog

The harsh reality is that more than 1 million Australians are currently out of work as unemployment edges up to 7.5%, the highest it’s been in two decades. Federal Treasurer - Josh Frydenberg, revealed that without the government’s JobKeeper scheme, the true rate of unemployment is closer to 13.3%. Ouch!

The Events and Hospitality industries were some of the hardest hit, results from THE MONDAY GROUP survey of over 200 hospitality and events industry executives revealed 9 in 10 businesses reduced headcount and/or salaries due to the coronavirus. Thousands of qualified, experienced and successful event and hospitality professionals - at all levels, are out there looking for jobs, with more to join them when JobKeeper eases back next month and again in January 2021. Unfortunately, the number of job openings (including contract roles) in the events, hospitality and hotel space, are as scarce as taxis at Christmas time - demand far outweighing supply.

You’d think a crowded job market would provide some much-needed positive news for Events and Hospitality business owners and managers. A silver lining, that when they’re ready and able to start rebuilding their businesses, they will have a glut of talent to choose from. In fact, a flooded and desperate job market brings its own set of problems and it’s best to be prepared before recruiting your new role.

Now more than ever you’ll need to be strategic in your recruitment process, otherwise, it will be a highly stressful, expensive, and time-consuming exercise. Here are some key issues you need to be aware of:

Volume of Applications

You can guarantee that you will be inundated with applicants. We're talking about hundreds, in some cases thousands, of emails and resumes to sort through. Where do you even start tackling a task like that? Do you have the staff, the time, the technology and the systems in place to go through every application and screen them into an effective shortlist? In amongst such a large volume, it is easy to accidentally skim or pass by that perfect candidate for your team when everything becomes a blur.

Correct Skill Set

Traditionally a detailed job description along with minimum education/experience requirements or generic job board filters would ensure you attract the right type of candidate for your job. However, with job openings so scarce, people are looking outside their industries and applying for any and every role they hear about. We're not talking about people who have genuine transferrable skills, that will thrive in other industries, We're talking about applicants who know they don’t have the right experience or credentials but cross their fingers and apply anyway. You’ll use valuable time and resources sorting out these unsuitable candidates.

Desperate Candidates

Unfortunately, these are desperate times. People have financial responsibilities, families that they need to support, are genuinely struggling with the enforced down-time, and all are desperate to get back to work. You’ll be spending more time with unsuccessful applicants explaining the reasons why they didn’t get the role and standing firm in your decision. We recommend treating every applicant with genuine care and kindness - because we’re all human but also because this will reflect on your company’s brand and reputation.

Resume Fudging

While “stretching the truth” in CVs is nothing new, Covid-19 will cause many candidates to blur the details of their employment history and skills to appear more experienced or suitable. These white lies include extending their dates of employment, using only their most senior work title at an organisation instead of showing their role progression, or claiming skills that other teammates demonstrated. None of this is illegal, but it doesn’t give the employer an accurate view of the applicant. It takes time, experience, and a trained eye to be able to spot these inconsistencies quickly.

Career Alignment

One thing to be careful of when recruiting in a flooded job market is to make sure that the candidate’s long-term career aspirations align with the advertised role and your company’s mission. With jobs few and far between, candidates will settle for job security and a steady wage, but you want to make sure that when things start to pick up you won’t lose your new employee to greener pastures. The time and money you invest in a new hire are significant and you certainly don’t want to end up back at square one in 6-12 months.

Best Path Forward 

While many business owners and managers believe it’s more cost-effective to recruit for staff in-house and that it will be an easy process in the current crowded job market, you need to be aware of the extensive time and resources necessary to do the job properly and also understand the cost of not getting it right the first time around. Covid-19 has thrown up more issues you’ll need to contend with and taking shortcuts can have dire circumstances for your business.


THE MONDAY GROUP is a boutique recruitment agency specialising in the Events, Experiential, Hospitality, and Hotel sectors. We offer temporary contract, permanent placement and executive search recruitment services.

Need an extra set of hands managing just a part or your entire recruitment process? Consider THE MONDAY GROUP’s flexible Recruitment Process Outsourcing services, tailored to your company’s individual needs or call 1300 358 072 to make an enquiry.