Economists have known for a long time that you can tell a lot about the state of the job market from employment advertising. Advertising data can, I’m reliably informed,tell you which industries and businesses are growing and contracting, where the jobs are geographically, and what kind of roles are in demand – a reflection of the economy as a whole.

If you’re an economist or enthusiastic consumer of job ad data you might find the story they tell utterly compelling, but the ads themselves are almost universally dull.

  • Position
  • Required qualification
  • Demonstrated experience
  • Competitive remuneration and benefits
  • Yadda yadda yadda


They’re not all horrible, of course. Some, like this one, are clever and well-targeted.

An ad that’s also a skills assessment. Smart.

I spend a lot of time with my head in the recruitment space. The services Resource offers are all about helping small businesses scale through flexible support, be it through affordable recruitment solutions, or outsourcing and freelancing –  an area where there’s a lot happening right now.

As such, I frequently find myself in job-ad world, looking at what is happening, who’s struggling to find staff, where opportunities for freelancers might lie. Occasionally, I stumble on a job ad that tells more of a story than the boffins at the Australian Bureau of Statistics could ever decipher purely from ad data.

Enter: Long Reef Surf, Sydney.

This is one of the great job ads.


To me, this looks like a dream job for a young, beach-going kind of person. Flexible, a cool industry, a hands-on role, a bit of this and a bit of that with folk who clearly have high standards and a sense of humour, learning the entire business from the ground up.

But my keen sense of intuition ; ) tells me that Karen has struggled to find and retain good quality staff.

If Karen’s struggling to find good staff for this fab role, then so must businesses everywhere. Little wonder, then, that outsourcing and freelancing is booming. With a pool of the right people to call on as and when required, businesses can scale their efforts up and down as business conditions ebb and flow. It’d certainly work for Karen through the surf shop’s busy November to January period.

I have a suspicion that there’s a direct correlation between the quality of the surf on Sydney’s northern beaches, and the availability of Long Reef Surf’s staff. Perhaps what Karen actually needs is access to a stable of freelance retail types who are happy to work at short notice. Ie. When the surf’s up. I imagine there are employers right up and down Sydney’s sparkling coastline who would benefit from a resource like that.

Non-surfing freelance staff for surf retailers.

Now, there’s a business idea.


Questions, anyone?

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