'Insane' detail in Seek job ad reveals devastating impact of coronavirus

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

An advertisement for a dishwasher position has received over 6,000 applicants while a role for a cleaner received more than 1,100 hopeful candidates.

This is what the employment market during the pandemic is like, with thousands of job seekers applying for the same roles.

Aidan Draper is one of those applicants applying for roles in the Melbourne area and hoping to get his foot in the door.

He applied for a role with a print and finishing company that required no experience. After sending off his CV, he saw that he was one of over 4,000 other applicants, while a retail assistant position received over 1,300 hopefuls applying.

Aidan Draper is looking for a job during the pandemic
Melbourne based Aidan Draper is 'burning through his savings' while applying for jobs. Source: Aidan Draper

Currently living in Melbourne’s lockdown on a working visa, the 21-year-old British tourist told Yahoo News Australia he has even started applying for roles in other states out of desperation.

“Because of the amount of applicants here, I started applying in Sydney – just to find amounts such as 6190 (applicants),” he told Yahoo News Australia.

“I am on the working holiday, so receiving no government assistance and just burning through savings,” he added.

Every day, Mr Draper is disheartened when he sees how many other people have applied for the roles he’s hoping to land.

“If I went back to England, they are about to be plunged into another lockdown so the length of time I have spent in these conditions would be more than most people in the world,” he said.

‘It will get worse before it gets better’

Carl Hartmann, co-founder of Shortlyster, an Australian software platform that matches skilled applicants with the right positions told Yahoo News that as JobKeeper and JobSeeker supplemental payments decrease, the situation is going to “get worse before it gets better” with unskilled jobs becoming more desirable as people become more desperate.

“There are a lot of Australians who have had their hours cut and/or aren't eligible for JobKeeper or JobSeeker, and as a result, are struggling to make ends meet.

“This is why employers are seeing a huge increase in candidate applications for casual roles such as the advertised dishwasher role as this group looks to secure extra hours and income,” he said.

Seeks ads with thousands of applicants for each role.
An advertised dishwasher position received over 6,000 applicants, while a cleaning role received over 1,100. Source: Aidan Draper

Mr Hartmann also believed the high number of applicants for advertised positions will become a common sight in the future.

“This high volume of candidates per role will become the new normal for the foreseeable future,” Mr Hartmann explained.

“On Shortlyster, we've seen significant growth in candidates per role over the last six months, and this has increased even further in the last 30 days.”

Mr Hartmann said with thousands of applicants applying for limited roles, it can make it harder for employers to wade through the applications and find the right candidate for the role.

“With this new norm, it will become key for employers to utilise technology to screen through these applications cost-effectively and without bias to find the right fit for their business,” he said.

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