Image: Unsplash/Nathan Dunlao

Can employment agencies actually help you to find a job in the current climate?

It is predicted the unemployment rate could jump somewhere between 10-19% by June.

It has been reported employment agencies across Australia will receive millions of new jobseekers, as COVID-19 pushes thousands of Australians out of work and onto their books.

Per Capita, an independent progressive think tank, called for a redesign of employment agencies, namely jobactive providers, in its most recent report. Per Capita state that “based on the existing fee structure, our estimates indicate that funding existing jobactive providers to provide employment services to 700,000 new recipients will cost the government around $210 million”.

Jobactive describes itself as the “Australian Government’s way to get more Australians into work. It connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of jobactive providers in over 1700 locations across Australia”.

Per Capita estimates over 700,000 additional jobseekers could be signed up to jobactive services in the coming months. According to the report, “the jobactive model is already undergoing significant reform in response to government and stakeholder recognition that it has failed to provide real assistance to most people seeking work”.

In a 2018, Per Capita said “jobactive is not welfare to work, it is welfare to nowhere”, adding that “the government’s punitive and paternalistic approach to employment services has failed”.

As of March, the agency was said to have 750,000 participants, with each consultant boasting a caseload of 148 jobseekers.

Can employment or recruitment agencies actually help you find a job right now?

As is the case with most work placements, success often comes from being at the right place at the right time, and even more importantly, finding the right employer and being the right employee for the job, at the right time.

At this point, expect both employment and recruitment agencies will be inundated. Expect longer waiting times than usual, but don’t fully discount having yourself on their radar, even as an expression of interest.

If you have lost your job, use this time and space for reflection. Consider your options. Think about your career path and goals. Do not, I repeat do not, blanket email employers in whatever may even slightly resemble your industry.

Breathe. Think. Try not to panic, then, turn on your computer and open your laptop. There may be something out there waiting for you.

Read: Work-from-home jobs: which industries are hiring?