View Full Version : finding a job in hr in melbourne

09-03-2012, 04:31 PM
Why is it so hard to find a job in HR in Melbourne when I have a degree, a few years experience and have been back in Melbourne for more than half a year? I have been to over 20 interviews (agencies, 1st round, 2nd round, final round!) but have not had 1 single offer in those 5 months.

I search for jobs on jobs in HR, Byron employment, AHRI, seek, mycareer and apply direct everyday including weekends. I get through to interviews and I get through to the final stages of recruitment but no employer actually says yes. I have not ever been out of work for this long and I'm at a loss as to how a formerly successful careerist has been mutilated by the job market.

Advice, comments, help fellow HR buzzers?

13-03-2012, 10:36 PM
It's hard to say without knowing more, although it may not be wise to go into too much detail in a public forum.

Is it possible that you are applying for jobs that are at the upper limits of your experience and are being pipped by more experienced candidates?

What level of position are you applying for?

When you say "back in Melbourne", how long have you been away, and where have you been?

Are you applying for specialist or generalist HR jobs?

You refer to yourself as a "careerist" - have you changed jobs frequently in the past?

19-03-2012, 12:20 PM
One aspect of the difference in the job market in Melbourne is that employers and recruiters frequently readvertise the same role. Why?

19-03-2012, 01:30 PM
One aspect of the difference in the job market in Melbourne is that employers and recruiters frequently readvertise the same role. Why?

Presumably (hopefully) because they haven't filled the job yet ... and

because Seek make it affordable (for recruiters in particular) to regularly "refresh" their job ads to get them back onto the 1st page of the search results .... and/or

because they're lazy and have written generic ads that can be used for similar jobs?

There are possibly other reasons as well ....

Just for my personal interest can you point to any specific examples of this?

19-03-2012, 03:24 PM
I've found some jobs seem to get advertised, you apply that day, get seen by the agency in the afternoon for a meeting and get the whole 'that role is already filled, but it's great to get to meet you so we have you on the books for the next role'. (My current role was still being 'newly advertised' by 2 of the other agencies a week after I had accepted the role). If you don't want to 'waste' your time with an agency doing this, find a way to politely ensure the role is still available before accepting an interview time.

Other roles I've seen readvertised after a month or two I can only assume are due to the recruitment process not working out. I've known a few cases where this has actually happened.

However as Moz said, most of the roles are refreshed at least once a week to come to the top of the search results on any of the job seeking sites.

19-03-2012, 04:34 PM
I've found some jobs seem to get advertised, you apply that day, get seen by the agency in the afternoon for a meeting and get the whole 'that role is already filled, but it's great to get to meet you so we have you on the books for the next role'.

Maybe it never existed in the first place!

I bet they didn't tell you who the employer was either?

I've had many years experience in the recruitment industry, including in senior management positions, and I am sorry to say there are all sorts of dishonest practices out there. This includes advertising jobs that don't really exist to get some candidates on the database, so you can then drum up some real business (we call them Job Orders). BUT I wouldn't expect an agency that specialises in HR recruitment to do this - they wouldn't need to. It's more likely to happen with an agency who is just trying to get into the HR market.

There are other reasons it could happen. I know this isn't the scenario that Cottoneyes describes, but if the agency interview was arranged a week ago, the position could genuinely have been filled in the mean time and the recruiter (rightly or wrongly) may decide to let the interview appointment stand, particularly if the candidate looks good on paper and it is likely they will be able to place them in a similar job elsewhere.

Alternatively the recruiter may conclude that you are not a god fit for the position but feels it's easier to tell you the position is filled rather than explain why you are not suitable, (it's not uncommon for employers to use recruitment agencies to discriminate on their behalf!)

There are potentially even more reasons, that relate to how some agencies are operate. For example some have KPIs for their recruiters that can drive this sort of behaviour, because one of the measures is the number of people interviewed in a week or month.

I'm not condoning any of this behaviour - just explaining what goes on behind the scenes!

There are good, bad and ordinary operators in every service industry and the recruitment industry has more than it's fair share of the latter two. That said, there are some very professional and honest recruiters out there and well run companies that don't use KPIs that drive bad behaviour!

26-03-2012, 02:26 PM
re-advertisements aren't only happening with recruitment agencies, they are also occurring with direct applications to employers.

the market in HR in melbourne is a lot tougher than in other states at the moment and it is extremely questionable as to why melbourne's HR job market is tougher. There are more jobs advertised in other states and they are more lenient as to the background of the HR practitioner, ie. there are no nit picky 'essential' requirements to have HR background in a specific engineering industry. HR is the same with every industry, there should be very little reason to reject an applicant with a different industry background other than that the market is geared towards employers and they get to pick and choose or to not even fill the role.

50% of recruiters believe roles should be given to unemployed candidates as opposed to left unfilled, but that has occurred to me.

When a rejection occurs, I would like to be given more pragmatic responses other than that there were more suitable applicants. I have been given that rubbish response numerous times and I think employers should stop being scared about litigation and say the reason outright.

How are candidates supposed to improve on themselves and gain a position by knowing that other HR practitioners are more suitable for roles?

People Person
10-04-2012, 11:09 AM
Hi Desperate/Jobless,
I am so sorry the Sydney market is killing you. It is a tough one and very fickle when it comes to HR.

I am fairly sure recruitment agencies do not advertise fake jobs because advertising costs money. Without a client to pay, there is no one to pass those costs on to. (And recruitment agencies hate spending money on anything they don't have to). However I agree that recruitment agencies tend to use applicants unfairly. They will bring you in for an interview for a job (even if they are fairly certain they will not be referring you to the job you have applied to) in the case that they have a job that might fit your profile in the near guture so, one has to play the game to a certain extent. This has happened to me before and I treat it as an opportunity. Then, I call the consultant every day until they refer me to an interview.

If you are getting to employer interviews, but not being offerred the job, ask for feedback.
You might not always get the most honest answer, but it could help you to understand why you are missing out.

Try taking a contract - the recruitment turnaround is quick and you can get access to new experiences that might not otherwise have been available to you. This is what I do now.
I am a career contractor.

Qld IR Consultant
10-04-2012, 05:04 PM
[QUOTE=Moz;12424]Maybe it never existed in the first place!

I bet they didn't tell you who the employer was either?

This is a big issue at the moment. Myself and a couple of other consultants did a bit of research into a couple of large recruitment firms that were advertising roles. Unfortunately for them their very own employees admitted to us that the roles didn't exist, that they were fishing to build up a database of contacts.

Extremely unethical behaviour in my opinion.....But I am lead to believe it is not an uncommon practice.

Good luck with your search and I hope you are successful in securing a role soon.....

12-04-2012, 06:12 AM
Dear desparately jobless - just curious as to how the job search is going. Have you had any luck since you posted your thread? Having been in the same predicament as you (although in Sydney) I can totally relate to your frustration. It is without doubt the most gut wrenching experience and it impacts your confidence in your own skills and ability. Hang in there, there is always an answer and sometimes it takes time for the right answer to come along. Without knowing your particular circumstances (past employment history, types of roles you are applying for, industries etc etc) I can only share general thoughts. My experience tells me that using seek...although still a great source of potential roles, it is only one answer. I found that really working my profile on LinkedIn made a huge difference, I found that people were viewing my profile more and more everyday and I also found through this that you can really work your connections to leverage opportunities. It also pays to connect with an agency that you feel comfortable with, although in Sydney, I found a great agency in Melb who worked her magic brilliantly. I've spoken to so many agencies and although they are all great at what they do, the time it takes to interview, interview again, wait for the phone call, don't get the phone call when promised is the pits. As an all-rounder I learned early on that going for roles that identified very specific skills were not going to win for me either so really thinking about what it is you have as your key strengths based on achievements in previous roles really needs to come out in your CV's opening few paragraphs.