Recruitment Market Segment LS
Recruitment Market Segment RS
Wednesday, 25 August 2021 12:58

Pandemic drives 283% spike in remote work job postings Featured

By Staff Writer

The majority of Australian businesses are open to hiring people from across Australia and having them work remotely, following a 283% spike in remote work job postings since the beginning of the pandemic, according to research by one recruitment company.

Research by recruiter Robert Half found that while lockdowns across the country accelerate the move towards remote work for the professional sector, Australian bosses are embracing the ‘Anywhere Workforce’ trend in order to access a wider talent pool and address the “fierce talent gap” facing the Australian market.

The research coincides with the launch of Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report, produced alongside labour market analytics firm, Burning Glass Technologies, aimed at providing an in-depth analysis of current employment market trends, in-demand roles and the rise of the ‘Anywhere Workforce’.

According to the Demand for Skilled Talent report, the increase in remote job postings between March 2020 and March 2021 (compared to compared to the pre-COVID period of June 2019-February 2020), was driven largely by business support roles (+394%), followed by finance and accounting roles (+279%) and technology roles (+227%). 

And for those looking to explore remote work, the job titles with the greatest remote work growth by sector are:

Business Support



Office Administrative Assistant (+708%)

Accounts Payable/Receivable Manager (+1924%)

Helpdesk Support (+471%)

Customer Service Representative (+701%)

Payroll Specialist (+976%)

Computer Systems Engineer (+328%)

Executive Assistant (+537%)

Compliance Manager (+637%)

Database Engineer (+317%)

Robert Half says the rise in remote work has catalysed a revised approach to remuneration packaging and, as well as assessing the traditional metrics including employee skills and seniority, employers are now assessing the applicant’s location to determine salary based on cost-of-living factors.

The Robert Half survey found that more than almost one-in-four (38%) businesses are likely to remunerate according to the location the team is headquartered while 34% would consider a hybrid of the two locations – office location and remote worker location – to set the appropriate salary benchmark. One-in-four (25%) hiring managers say they would use the location of the remote worker when considering salary. Merely 3% remain unsure.

Robert Half says salaries between states can vary by up to 16% for the same role and experience level[1], which represents a significant opportunity for employees to boost their earning potential through remote work arrangements.

When looking at remuneration intent, New South Wales (45%) and Victorian (47%) organisations are more likely to remunerate a remote employee based on headquarter location than their Queensland (27%) and Western Australian (30%) counterparts.

At the same time, the research reveals that Victoria and New South Wales generally offer higher average salaries per equivalent role to their Queensland and Western Australian counterparts.

Based on Robert Half remuneration data, Victorians pay the highest salaries for finance and accounting professionals, up to 13% higher than their Queensland counterparts for median experience levels.

In technology, businesses in New South Wales can pay up to 16% more for median experience levels, compared to their West Australian peers.

For employees securing remote work, Robert Half says this suggests that the most lucrative positions are with New South Wales or Victorian businesses who pay according to their headquarter location.

“Remote work presents new opportunities for employees and employers alike. For employees, the rise in remote work has created the potential for professionals to secure work with a remote employer who may pay more than a local organisation as well as save on living costs by moving away from the big cities,” said David Jones, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half Asia Pacific.

“For instance, an employee based in a city with a lower cost-of-living while working remotely for an organisation who pay a higher salary based on their location may be able to increase their discretionary income.

As a deepening skills shortage puts pressure on Australian businesses, remote work offers employers the ability to tap into new talent pools outside of their geography.

“To successfully attract remote workers, remuneration strategies will need to be abreast of national salary trends in order to offer a competitive package to out-of-state applicants.

“For businesses looking to attract remote talent based in higher-paying states, they should be prepared to at least meet the remuneration standards of the applicant’s location or risk losing the candidate to a local role,” Jones concludes.

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