Contracting Hiring Expectations: Q4 New Zealand By Profession
- Overall, the majority of employers intend to keep their temporary and fixed term contracting headcount steady (63.2%), while just under a quarter (23.3%) of employers intend to increase their contractor base.
- Employers in the Lower North Island have the most positive intentions to increase contracting employees at 26.4%, followed by the South Island (25.5%) and the Upper North Island (19.2%). Interestingly, employers in the Lower North Island also have the strongest intentions to decrease contracting headcount at 18.1%.
- Financial Services is the most optimistic profession in terms of increasing contracting hires next quarter (34.3%), and is the only industry to report increasing hiring intentions for contractors.
- The Accounting & Finance profession is reporting the strongest intentions to decrease contracting headcount (19.9%), followed by ICT (14.9%) and Office Support (14.1%).
- More employers intend to decrease headcount than increase staff in Office Support and Accounting & Finance.
- The emphasis in the contracting market is moving from hourly or day rates towards fixed term contracts which are believed to offer better financial value particularly when a project has a defined timeline.
This fixed term approach is proving popular across many organisations, particularly in government. Opting for a fixed term contractor over an hourly rate has pros and cons for employers. While a fixed term contractor is generally a lower cost investment, the candidate market is not so developed and the resource not as flexible to scale up or down.
Capability and capacity requirements are influencing demands for contractors. The Government recently stated that specialist skills were needed for the rebuild of Christchurch, the design of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, and on multi-billion dollar IT projects. There are many large-scale technological projects to be completed so the increased spending on contractors would continue for several years.17
17 The New Zealand Herald, Govt depts clock up $1bn in consultant fees, viewed 12 September 2012.