NZ's job market flooded with applicants as Kiwis search for new work in wake of Covid-19

Source: 1News

New Zealand’s job market is becoming incredibly congested, with companies and recruiters seeing hundreds of applications for some positions.

Businesses up and down the country have been impacted by Covid-19, with many imposing hiring freezes, making redundancies and, in some cases, restructuring entirely.

Jane Clarkson-Antill is on the job hunt after fleeing Covid-19 in the UK and moving home to New Zealand.

She’s tried her hand at many hospitality roles, from kitchen-hand, to bartender, to chef. But even with her breadth of experience, Ms Clarkson-Antill can’t find a job.

“I've emailed people, I've been on Facebook, Trade Me, Seek, a couple of agencies and it's just, I haven't heard anything back. I've applied for so many jobs, it's really tough,” she says.

Ms Clarkson-Antill has applied for more than 30 jobs and not one company has called her back.

“You try to have savings, but it's going down, you know, because there's no jobs.”

Recruitment agencies say they've never seen applications in such volumes before. One call centre position at Madison Recruitment pulled 500 applications in five days.

Madison Recruitment’s permanent job listings have reduced by 80 per cent with companies playing it safe and waiting out the virus.

“We've gotta be careful about making sure that we're not just accepting applications and registrations of everyone, and giving them false hope,” says Christian Brown of Madison Recruitment.

Companies that are doing the hiring are also struggling to keep up with the number of people applying. Gorilla Kitchen in Auckland has received 50 applications for a cafe manager role.

One temp worker, Catherine Stuart, says before Covid-19 she was working 60 hour weeks. Now she’s just happy to try anything.

“I'm a workaholic. I can work seven days a week, day shifts, night shifts, if it's on call, if someone calls in sick, I'm there within half an hour, pretty reliable and a hard worker.”

Despite it all, Ms Clarkson-Antill says she isn’t losing hope.

“It will happen, it’s just going to take some time. Just keep positive, keep thinking I’ll get one.”