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5 weeks, $3k: average cost to fill a vacancy

Time is money

The financial and time constraints of hiring new workers are among the chief factors barring SMEs from growing their workforce.

Global jobs platform Indeed revealed close to half (48 per cent) complained that the hiring process is a key challenge for their business, while 40 per cent suggested that hiring today is significantly harder than it was five years ago.

Attracting new staff is also reportedly harder than attracting and converting new customers.


On average, Indeed found SMEs spend five weeks and $3,300 to fill a vacancy. This cost is driving many to use cheaper options such as online job sites, although 20 per cent of businesses struggle with the volume of irrelevant applications this delivers.

“Too many Australian SMEs find recruiting a challenge. They have access to fewer resources and compete with larger and more established companies for top talent,” said Chris McDonald, managing director of Indeed ANZ.

“[But] recruitment challenges needn’t interfere with an SME’s growth ambitions.”

He noted a significant gap between what SMEs believe important to highlight in job advertisements and what candidates actually want to see.

Indeed found that over three quarters of SMEs play up business culture and career progression, but only 10 per cent believe highlighting additional staff perks is important, despite numerous studies showing this to be one of the primary decision-making influences among jobseekers.

Specialist recruiter Robert Half recently published a list of the top pet peeves reported by jobseekers, while careers portal JobGetter suggested job hunters are frustrated by a lack of detail in advertisements.



Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5 weeks, $3k: average cost to fill a vacancy
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