21 Apr Effects of Covid-19 on the Labour Hire Industry
COVID-19 and the Labour Hire Industry
COVID-19 has got to be one of if not the most used terms in the past year throughout the world. This has affected every single country in some shape or form. While some have managed and controlled this virus well, others remain in lockdowns with repeating waves of cases. With the international border to Australia closed to non-citizens and permanent residents since March 2020 no one anticipated that we would still be in this situation over a year later. Australians are still not allowed to leave without a valid reason to prove the travel is essential. Mandatory quarantine is still required for returning ex-pats and will be the case for possibly the rest of the year. Australia has been strict on lockdown measures, but this has proven to be vital in flattening the curve on several occasions. With a vaccine rolling out there is light at the end of the tunnel.
How COVID-19 Affected us at Hunter Labour Hire
Initially, when lockdown occurred, this meant moving back to our homes to work remotely like most people. This transition was new to most of us and took some time to get used to it. We adjusted our workdays with virtual meetings and personalised home computer set-ups. Our job involves a lot of speaking to people over the phone, so this made no difference. This also meant putting a temporary hold on inviting candidates into the office for face-to-face interviews, a practise which we only reintroduced last month.
COVID Impact on Candidates & Clients
We had a dramatic increase in candidates looking for work when the lockdown was introduced in March 2020 as a lot had lost their job due to projects been delayed, closed and postponed. We ensured that our current workers were kept busy first before anything else and some are still working with us to this day and grateful for the work – check out some of our 200 google reviews by our candidates to see for yourself with many citing been kept busy over the lockdown period helping them remain in Australia.
This had the opposite effect on clients and workload. We received fewer requests and fewer new clients on board than usual as they had a surplus of employees that they were unable to provide work for. So from March until June, we were much quieter than normal but with the new financial year came a much-needed surge in the construction industry. Lockdown measures eased steadily, and labour hire requests increased. Some clients had a backlog in work to be carried out with projects been lifted off the ground once again.
New clients came onboard and admittedly had never considered labour hire before but with uncertain times ahead they preferred a casual labour hire worker on a day-by-day basis as opposed to taking someone on permanently and having to let them go when work slows again. This also included some interstate clients that in some cases could not send their workers over state borders so engaged with us to get some of their projects completed. As the financial year started so positively, HLH Group even added to their team introducing yours truly as a new recruitment consultant & blog extraordinaire.
Post COVID-19 as a Labour Hire Company
Since then there has been a notable decrease in applicants seeking labouring roles. As some working holidaymakers left the city to complete regional work, some went home, and others had started to travel again to Queensland this meant a shortage of construction workers. Our focus has shifted in favour of retaining our current candidates while also bringing on new talent at the same time. This ensures our existing clients continue to receive an excellent quality of service and never be let down.
Our ‘refer a friend’ program has proven to be successful where we offer our candidates a $50 Westfield voucher when their recommendation has completed 2 weeks of work. We have been managing this shortage well and will continue to focus on this. The reopening of international borders is something that we all want from a personal perspective but for us and the construction sector in Australia it is crucial to ensure the shortage is eased and projects can recommence at full capacity. For now, all we can do is appreciate that most of our state border is open now and that circumstances have been managed and controlled to a worldwide high standard which enables us to still operate to a very high capacity.
Labour Hire in Uncertain Times
Ultimately, if the last year has shown us anything, it’s that you have to be able to adapt to uncertain times. We are thankful for our solid base of labourers and workers who have been able to provide our clients with reliable labour hire in uncertain times. As things start to open up again we look forward to continuing to provide reliable labour hire but in more certain times! If you’d like to join the team or see what we can help you with an upcoming project then give us a call now on +61 2 8985 2019 or contact us online.