Competition for candidates is at record levels — here’s what you need to know

employee value proposition (EVP)

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The current employment landscape looks markedly different from the pre-COVID climate. With more jobs available than ever before, we are firmly in the midst of Australia’s great job boom. Here’s why employers are struggling to attract candidates and why it’s never been more important to refine your employee value proposition (EVP). 

The state of the current job market

Looking at the latest stats from Australia’s leading employment marketplace, SEEK, it’s clear jobseekers have the upper hand at the moment. There’s currently over 235,000 jobs being advertised on SEEK— more than at any other time in its 25-year history. Demand for workers is everywhere, but particularly across trades and services; healthcare and medical; hospitality and tourism; and manufacturing, transport and logistics.

The onset of COVID, however, has transformed the employee mindset from ‘the grass is always greener’ to one that is reluctant to risk job security, according to Elyssia Clark, Head of Customer Insights and Strategy at SEEK.

“Job applications are down to their lowest levels since 2011, and there are a few factors contributing to this trend,” she says. “There’s no denying the impact that COVID has had on employees’ mindsets when it comes to work. In addition to their concern over job security, 48% feel that looking for a job is more overwhelming since COVID. We’re also seeing a lack of confidence driving reluctance to take a leap — more than half of working Australians are worried that if they change jobs, it might not be the right company or role for them. And just under half don’t think their skills and resumes will stack up against other applicants.”

Applying the right hiring strategy during a job boom

It’s a candidate’s market out there, which means employers are experiencing a competition for talent like never before. Clark says the best strategy a business can apply is to focus on their employee value proposition (EVP).

“An EVP is the reason why employees choose to join or stay at a business,” she says. “Think pay, perks, culture, career development, benefits and rewards. Your EVP should be unique to your business, your goals and your objectives. An impactful EVP is research-driven, well integrated into the business and constantly adapting to the current environment.”

For businesses looking to refine their EVP, SEEK has an interactive data tool called Laws of Attraction. Powered by a large-scale ongoing survey of more than 11,500 Australians, it helps businesses understand what jobseekers want from their work in 2022.

“Say you’re looking to hire in the Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation sector — with Laws of Attraction, you can understand what’s most important to candidates in that industry,” Clark says. “For example, I can tell you that for millennials in that sector, work-life balance is the most important driver when it comes to choosing a role, followed by compensation and career development. When we explore what people mean by work-life balance, 39% say that having time in lieu is a must.”

Analysing this data can help clarify what’s most important to candidates in your industry, and you can then use these insights to tailor your job ad to attract the best candidates, sculpt your EVP and inform key hiring decisions.

Uncover the drivers that attract candidates to roles in your industry with SEEK’s Laws of Attraction.

3 tips to shore up your EVP

If it’s been a while since you last reviewed your EVP, or if you don’t have one, Clark says there are three core areas you should focus on:

  • Research: “The biggest consideration when it comes to refining an EVP is to ensure it is research-based. That means looking both internally and externally. Feedback from your people is invaluable.”
  • Competition: “It’s important to understand the market and what your competitors are doing. By understanding what others are offering employees, you can find ways to differentiate your business.”
  • Data: “Leverage as much relevant data as possible. Laws of Attraction is the biggest study of its kind and has recent, unique, local data available at your fingertips.”

Answer the most important question: “Why should I work for you?”

While there are differences across every industry and demographic in terms of what Australian employees want, Clark says the data from Laws of Attraction shows there are three main drivers to attract and retain top talent.

Compensation, work-life balance and career development.,” she says. “Within each of these drivers, there are many ways that businesses can look to offer benefits to their staff — from time in lieu, to relocation allowances, to mentoring programs. Businesses should think creatively about how these could work for them.”

There’s a wealth of data available on what jobseekers want. How you use that information to inform your EVP may help you stand out from your competitors and get top talent to sign on the dotted line.


The way we work has changed and SEEK has all the latest local insights to help you adapt and thrive. Whether you’re a business looking to attract the best talent in the competitive market, a manager wanting to retain your people or a jobseeker hoping to take advantage of the great job boom, SEEK’s advice, tools and resources can help you get there.

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