HR & HSE Recruitment Market Update 2022

HR & HSE Recruitment Market Update 2022

Angela Franks Market Insight, Company News, FrazerJonesAU...

Welcome to 2022. We are not entirely off to the start we all hoped for but as we try to avoid getting Covid for the first time or again, I have already seen memes about wanting to ‘cancel my subscription to 2022 after the 30-day free trial’. Having said that, we do see a lot of positives for the recruitment market in 2022. We are relieved that the borders have reopened and we welcome the movement of people, especially in the contract space. A difficulty the past two years has been to find people available to start immediately for short to medium-term projects. There has also been a reluctance to take longer-term roles as people have been risk-averse, driven by a combination of factors but change fatigue has to be at the top. HR & WHSE professionals have also been overloaded with work and for those with kids juggling homeschooling, there hasn’t been an easy or convenient time to think about yourself or your career. But the sentiment is changing and where some companies will have gained employee loyalty through Covid, which is waning as we see the market adapt working practices and cultures shift to create the new normal.

But where does that leave us and how do we plan for 2022?

Our advice to clients hiring is to make sure you have your recruitment process and employee proposition nailed down. More importantly, have a good retention strategy. We often see clients wanting a longer guarantee period which can set off alarm bells - don’t oversell or undersell the role, but you need to sell. Everyone in the interview process has an opportunity to engage and understand it’s a decision for the candidate as well. One way interviewing is a big no no.

Make sure the recruitment process is robust, hiring managers need to be involved early in the process. Above all, be honest. If things aren’t perfect, call it and you will attract the people who are up for that challenge. No one likes surprises. For candidates, do your due diligence and don’t let an amazing salary increase be a distraction to the reality of the role. Make sure you understand the culture but also what that means on a day-to-day basis.

Brisbane: We have seen the migration/relocation from South to North but there is still a misconception on salary costs. A lot of people moving are remaining on their Sydney or Melbourne salaries which means those hiring in Brisbane need to be conscious that the salary gap will make a move less appealing.

Melbourne: The market in Melbourne has really benefited from the market shift Covid has created. Where Melbourne pre-covid would have around half the roles of Sydney, that gap has really started to close. We often see the one role advertised in multiple locations in an effort to find the right candidate and it seems Melbourne is benefiting from that.

Sydney: Pre-covid Sydney always the recruitment Hub for HR where HR roles usually sit at around 40% of all HR roles advertised on Seek. But when you look at the trend over the past 12-18 months more roles are now based in other major cities along with the rise of fully remote working. A lot of people working in Sydney also lived in Sydney but we have seen a shift there too with people moving further out so that is also another consideration for companies when thinking about hybrid working and attraction.


In our Health & Safety team we welcome Hannah who is based in Sydney and later in March we will welcome Linda who will be based in Brisbane. Hannah focuses on the entry to mid-level market, with Linda and with Michele focusing on the senior/experienced hires. WHSE has been under a lot of pressure since Covid began and a lot have been too busy to think of a move let alone apply for a role. We have spent a lot of time forging relationships and understanding the market, knowing what relationship and culture fit will work and the right time to approach.

Whilst salary is a factor for making a move, candidates are very interested in what the organisation offers in terms of flexibility, growth and potential, job security and enhanced benefits such as Mat leave, RDO's, carers leave. A supportive and flexible environment is high on the agenda.

Michele Beale
Head of HSE
Hannah Hailes
Associate Consultant
Linda Giacomantonio
Associate Director



Over the past 12 months, the contract market has been under pressure. We have seen the demand continue but often key projects that would normally be sourced externally have been taken on by existing employees. An obvious benefit is talent retention and development and we have often seen the skills needed aren’t available at the time in the contract market. As a result, a majority of the work coming through has been backfilling the BAU operational roles rather than the more interesting strategic projects, transformations or change agenda roles. This has slowed the movement of people in the market as contractors opt to look at the permanent market or take a contract extension. However, there is good news with opportunities coming through for OD, transformation and change projects.

We anticipate salary inflation will continue certainly into the first quarter due to the lack of talent, however, our clients are much more open to creative approaches, offering completion bonuses, utilising part-time resources of a more senior caliber and looking outside the constraints of strict industry alignment to attract talent.  The other pressure has been time constraints where time to hire (to start date) is tracking at 3 weeks for temporary and 5 weeks for fixed-term contracts.

Kate Benson leads our Interim and Contracting team focusing on mid to senior hires. Kate is supported by Kimberley Kenneth in Melbourne along with Karen Lyons and Monique Van Vliet in Sydney who work in the entry to mid-level market.

Kate Benson
Associate Director
Kimberley Kenneth
Monique Van Vliet
Associate Consultant
Karen Lyons
Associate Consultant



Competition for talent Australia-wide remains tight and we saw a lot of candidates juggling multiple offers for most of 2021. But the shift has started and we have already increased interest in advertised roles and responses to headhunting.

So what looks different for 2022? Where last year there was real pressure on generalists and BAU we are already talking to clients about DEI, workforce planning, leadership capability, OD and change management. Growth is a key priority for many organisations and where cost-cutting has been exhausted, employee engagement & wellbeing along with operational efficiencies are now a priority.

We welcome Susan Lange to the team who joins as Relationship Manager. Susan will be working closely with Angela Franks, Roxane Sexton in Sydney and Denise Harmer in Melbourne who specialise in Mid-Senior experienced hires. Kimberley Kenneth, Karen Lyons and Monique Van Vliet also support the team in entry to mid-level permanent roles.

Angela Franks
Head of Frazer Jones
Roxane Sexton
Denise Harmer
Manager Melbourne

To speak to one of the Frazer Jones Australia team please click on the consultant images above to access phone, email, and LinkedIn contact details. We look forward to being able to help you with any of your recruitment or career needs for 2022 and beyond.