Job Hunting Tips

Is It Hard to Find a Job in Sydney?

Lisa Johnson Posted by Lisa
min read
Luis Villasmil 4 V8u M Zx8 Fya Unsplash

Well, it is always going to depend on your skills and experience, but on paper, the answer is No.  The unemployment rate in NSW is 3.9%  - in January 2019 alone, there were over 47,000 new jobs created in NSW.  Which is pretty darn impressive when you think that January has always been a bit of a quiet ‘jobs’ month because so many people are on holiday.

In addition, NSW has the highest employment participation rate at 65.2%.  This means we have the most people either employed or actively looking for work in Australia.  The people of NSW are working and working hard.

And women have the lowest unemployment rate of all, 3.7%. The participation of women in the workforce has jumped to an all time high of 60.6%.  To be fair, the jump in female participation rates could also be a clear indication that the cost of living in Sydney is driving more and more families to requiring a double income to make ends meet, but regardless, let’s be happy that so many women are finding work.

So why are you finding it hard to get a job?

Firstly, stop blaming recruitment companies.  Just so you know, only 15% of jobs in Australia are managed/filled by recruitment companies.  This means 85% of employers are advertising directly, using their own networks, using social media and developing their own recruitment teams to find people. 

Businesses use Recruitment Consultancies for a number of reasons (time / a lack of resources/expertise/ hard to fill jobs), but we are an additional cost to business.  So, lots of small to medium sized businesses don’t use recruiters on a regular basis because our fees can make it prohibitive for them.  To give you some perspective 9 out of 10 businesses in Australia are classified as small, with a turnover of less than $2 million per year and employing less than 20 people.  40% of people working in Australia, work in a small business.  These are the employers who are least likely to use a recruitment firm to find staff.

So, if you are not looking beyond what a recruiter is advertising when you are looking for a job, you are missing out on a huge sector of the market.  Better still, you are more likely to find a job close to home if you look at small businesses because they are spread so widely geographically.  Small businesses are likely to advertise on social media (Facebook Buy/Sell groups seem to be popular places where companies advertise for staff), they also put signs in windows, and use word of mouth.  Old school printing off your resume and going door knocking can be very effective when targeting small businesses and don’t forget many areas still print their own local newspapers.

Use Google.  Not every job gets advertised on SEEK or Indeed.  So, it pays to look at what is being advertised directly by employers on their own websites.  This is where a good keyword search comes in handy. I just googled Receptionist jobs Penrith (in NSW) and there are pages and pages of links you can click to access not only the main job boards but specialist boards too – I had to stop myself from clicking on  because I would spend far too much time looking at puppies and kittens heh heh heh.  Always click past the first page of results – you are more likely to find employers on the second and third pages and that is where you can start engaging directly with the employer.

Good luck out there!