Companies hiring amid coronavirus pandemic
Job vacancies were slashed by almost 20 per cent in the first fortnight of March, as many businesses aimed to reduce costs while they weathered the COVID-19 storm - but while some organisations shed workers, others are crying out for more hands on deck.
Figures from job site Adzuna revealed job ad listings in Australia dropped 19.8 per cent between March 1 and March 15 - about on par with Brasil (down 22.6 per cent) and the UK (down 17 per cent).
Italy (down 40.7 per cent), Austria (down 29 per cent) and New Zealand (27.5 per cent) recorded the most significant drops.
Job site SEEK experienced similar trends.
Australia and New Zealand managing director Kendra Banks said restrictions throughout February on travellers from China had a direct impact on Australia's tourism and education sectors, while a fall in Chinese production led to reduced transport and logistic activity.
"More recently, our last few weeks of employment data shows a significant drop across many more (industries) including retail, construction and sport and recreation," she said.
"We know first-hand that small business owners, particularly those running hospitality and tourism businesses, are either not hiring people, or are postponing new starters until they have more certainty around the impact to their business."
But although some employers were shying away from new hires or standing down staff, others were ready to take more people on to keep up with demand created by the pandemic.
THESE ORGANISATIONS ARE HIRING NOW
The pizza company is hiring 2000 more delivery drivers.
"We know that it's a privilege to stay open and delivering to the community during this time. We also know that a hot meal, friendly face and reassurance that a customer's meal has been prepared taking all necessary precautions is more essential now than ever before - and we need friendly faces to deliver," Domino's Australia and New Zealand chief executive Nick Knight said.
Responsibilities include random acts of kindness and bringing joy through pizza to people's lives; feeding those working hard to keep our community safe on the front line; the ability to follow all strict safety procedures around cleanliness, sanitisation and safely preparing customer's orders; the ability to be agile and flexible as the company adopts new procedures to be best practice, and follow government and health regulations; a resilient spirit in the face of adversity; the ability to bring a smile to a customer's face - particularly when you may be the only person they see that day; a good driving record to deliver pizzas safely in the community.
Woolworths Group chief people officer Caryn Katsikogianis said the supermarket chain was facing unprecedented demand for food and groceries across Australia both in-store and online, creating a need for "more hands on deck" in the coming months.
"We'll also be looking to offer as many flexible contract and casual roles as we can to help us navigate the period ahead," she said.
"We're also providing our own casual team members from all parts of the Woolworths Group (Big W and Endeavour Group) additional hours to work within our Food business.
"We're creating a streamlined expression of interest process for Qantas and Jetstar employees taking leave without pay to see if we have suitable short-term opportunities across our store support office, supply chain facilities, customer fulfilment centres and stores."
Last week, Coles announced they would be recruiting for 5000 casual team members to work in supermarkets across Australia.
"This will allow us to serve more customers and replenish shelves faster, while offering employment opportunities for Australians working in other industries impacted by COVID-19," the statement said.
"Casuals will have their inductions fast-tracked so we can boost the number of team members on the shop floor as quickly as possible.
"We are also seeking to hire more Customer Support Agents to drive our online delivery vans.
"Due to the current demand for groceries, we are actively recruiting for roles across our
network to help more Australians have access to everyday essentials," an ALDI spokeswoman said.
"We're always looking to hire good people," 7Eleven public affairs manager Rowan Lee said.
"Eighty-five per cent of our workforce are casual so we suit people with flexible working arrangements.
"Anyone with customer-facing experience would be well regarded."
The Department is requesting expressions of interest for work in medical, nursing and midwifery, allied health, administrative support, operational and dental roles to help with the response to COVID-19.
Some roles will be subject to minimum experience, qualification or registration requirements.
Most also require a pre-employment screening, criminal history check and relevant Vaccination Preventable Disease checks.
CENTRELINK / SERVICES AUSTRALIA
Government Services minister Stuart Robert said an extra 5000 staff members would be hired "to cushion the impact of the coronavirus and help build a bridge to recovery".
"These staff will assist in supporting delivery of Government services to their fellow Australians through this challenging period, including bolstering the capacity of Service Australia's telephone lines and claims processing," he said.
"Staff will be recruited through a mix of temporary and non-ongoing positions at Services Australia as well as through our service delivery partners."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also put the call out in a press conference yesterday.
"Right now, I'm looking to hire 5000 people - 5000 people to ensure that we can get the support into our social services system so people can get the benefits and we can upgrade the systems and we can roll that out," he said.
The mining company announced last week that it would hire an additional 1500 people, including machinery and production operators, truck and ancillary equipment drivers, excavator operators, diesel mechanics boilermakers, trades assistants, electricians, cleaners and warehousing workers.
The jobs will support coal, iron ore and copper operations in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
They will be six-month contracts initially but BHP will aim to offer permanent roles to some of the workers.
The jobs will be offered through existing labour hire partners and BHP contracts in each state.
TELSTRA AND OTHER CALL CENTRES
Telstra has created 1000 temporary roles in its call centres.
Job ads call for people who have "inbound, outbound sales or customer service experience in a large-scale organisation, experience working in a contact centre or retail store, proven experience in solving problems, the ability to maintain customer relationships (and who) can learn and use new systems quickly".
Recruiter The Adecco Group Australia's chief executive Rafael Moyano said there had been a significant increase in call centre and customer service roles with hundreds of jobs available across Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in particular.
"Recruiters are stepping up to the plate to help members of the casual workforce remain employed by redeploying them to industries and businesses experiencing these spikes in demand," he said.
"It is primarily casual and contract workers that are most needed at the moment.
"Many of the queries coming through to call centres at this time will be sensitive and complex, so employers are looking for individuals with strong levels of empathy, resilience and problem-solving.
"Excellent customer service and administration skills along with strong written and verbal communication skills will be key."
National Harvest Labour Information Service state manager Robert Hayes said the number of jobs for pickers and packers on the harvest trail remained stable, as there was a lot of demand for fruit and vegetables.
He warned the work was not for everyone, though.
"You need a good work ethic and the ability to work in sometimes reasonably harsh climatic conditions," he said.
"Crops are grown often in quite cold and hot weather, there are early starts, long hours and it can be physically demanding - you can be up and down ladders, and lifting and carting crates of produce.
"If you have come out of an office or service-related environment, you have to recognise any horticultural type work will be significantly different on your body.
"A lot of the work is paid on a piece rate so your payment is determined by how fast you are picking a product.
"If you are a slow worker, your pay could potentially be low initially, until you pick your speed up."
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Although not seeing increased demand for workers, the rideshare platform's head of international Simon Smith said Ola was "still welcoming new applications from quality drivers".
"Over the last few days, demand from customers has dropped as you'd expect but a substantial number of people are still using our app for essential trips," he said.
"As the situation changes, we'll assess when to onboard new drivers, depending on what new transport requirements might emerge or when things start to get back to normal.
"Right now Ola has become an important way to travel for essential workers and for anyone not wanting, or unable, to use public transport.
"As the coronavirus pandemic continues, rideshare will be a key community service for critical journeys.
"We're already in discussion with governments about how we can help with this."
Originally published as Companies hiring amid coronavirus pandemic