The jobs that don’t have enough workers

Want to be one of the only applicants in the interview queue? Try looking for work in one of these areas.

CAREERS’ panel of expert recruiters answers a reader’s question each week. Have a question? Email

I’ve heard employers in regional and outer suburban areas of Adelaide struggle to get applicants for roles. Is this so, and if so, in what industries?

Lisa Morris



Yes, it is true that skills shortages are more pronounced in regional areas, where fewer skilled professionals choose to live. However, rather than being specific to one particular industry, this trend is evident across industries, from mining to finance and healthcare. The good news is that we have seen a shift in recent months, with more employers embracing remote working and therefore willing to consider candidates who live outside their region. However, in general, when a regional employer looks for a highly-skilled professional, a solid candidate attraction campaign is required. For example, we have recently run three campaigns to find and engage a media professional, an IT expert and an administration manager with the necessary skills and experience who were willing to relocate.

Justin Hinora

Executive consultant,

Hender Consulting

Regional and outer suburban areas tend to have a lower density of population as compared with metropolitan Adelaide. As a result, these areas don’t tend to have the same choice for candidates. Different areas can often have region-specific industries, and some of these can be seasonally driven. It’s also not uncommon for someone considered to have sought-after skills and experience in a metropolitan setting, struggle to secure employment in their profession in a regional setting due to limited opportunities, and have to adapt or change industries in order to secure employment.

Andrew Sullivan

Managing director,

Sullivan Consulting

Areas with lower populations will always tend to have lower application rates, simply because of the number of candidates in the area. Factors such as fewer services in regional areas, higher commuting times from the suburbs, or need to relocate can all be barriers for city dwellers to apply for non-urban roles. However, regional areas are growing, especially in healthcare, childcare, education, and management, and many positions need to be filled. So if you’re looking for a change of lifestyle, more space and a more tight-knit community – consider taking a look!

Alexandra Rosser

Head of Organisational Psychology Consulting,

Stillwell Management Consultants

While statistics suggest that one in five businesses across Australia are reporting skills shortages (ABS, December 2020), regional and outer suburban areas are particularly challenged due to a range of factors. Tourism, accommodation and hospitality providers and employers in agriculture and viticulture, for example, have been severely impacted by COVID-19’s effect on reducing international and domestic travellers who traditionally took up seasonal jobs. Aged care, healthcare, education, engineering and IT are other industries in which employers have not been able to meet their demands while the construction industry also reports difficulty finding and keeping skilled tradespersons.

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