The demand on employment services providers during COVID-19 has been sudden and strong, with thousands of jobseekers being added to caseloads every week. The added complexities of needing to shift service delivery approaches to a predominantly remote servicing model has led to rapid industry-wide change.

Michael Kolomyjec, Group Executive Employment Services for atWork Australia, said “I have never seen such a fast and dynamic response from our industry to the external environment. Being able to safely engage with newly out-of-work jobseekers in the most effective way has been a core focus of how we adapt our service delivery to respond to COVID-19.”

atWork Australia has taken a proactive approach during this period to engage with jobseekers who want to work, using a combination of traditional phone support as well as new digital and online methods. Via a brand-new technology platform, atWork Australia has been able to communicate with large groups of jobseekers when new vacancies become available, highlighting the employer requirements for the roles.

Mr Kolomyjec said, “In our first trial of this new system we had over 100 applications for Process Worker vacancies, with 70 of those received in the first two hours. Within a week, all available roles were filled.”

With so many displaced workers highly motivated to return to work as soon as they can, it is not surprising that the voluntary response from jobseekers to these vacancies has been so strong. Some of the applicants may not have the required skills and are therefore not put forward to the employer. However, their enthusiasm is encouraging and allows atWork Australia’s Employment Consultants to identify their transferrable skills and match them to other available and more suitable jobs.

Mr Kolomyjec said, “Our new jobseeker engagement process has been highly successful across a number of vacancies in high demand industries, such as logistics and warehousing, processing and transport. Additionally, a number of Australians with the highest level of disadvantage, who may have been unemployed pre COVID-19, have also been successfully placed into employment during this period.

“Combining innovation in digital technology, a new internal process and an understanding of employer needs has resulted in many Australians finding work again,” said Mr Kolomyjec.

Feedback from jobseekers about recent engagement has been positive, with one newly commenced jobseeker saying “atWork Australia gave me a different outlook on how to approach and look for work.”