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New Zealand Hiring Expectations - Quarter 4, 2014

HIRING INTENTIONS REMAIN STEADY AS LATEST HUDSON REPORT MARKS SOLID YEAR

Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand

“2014 has been the year that New Zealand business needed. Confidence levels have stabilised and employers are pleased to have had a year of consistent performance. They’re feeling more assured about the business environment going into the 2015 year and are now are beginning to demonstrate optimism in their hiring decisions.”

Click on the graphs to view key findings


Key Findings

  • Positive hiring intentions have dipped slightly for Q4, 1pp down to 30.8%
  • The majority (62.4%) of employers surveyed are keeping headcount steady
  • Number of employers looking to decrease headcount decreased by 3.7pp to 6.7%


Key Findings

  • Positive hiring intentions in the South Island have decreased for Q4, down 9.8pp to 38.4%
  • In the Lower North Island, positive hiring intentions have increased, up 3.8pp to 26.6% with the majority (65.8%) keeping headcount steady
  • 1 in 3 employers are increasing headcount in the Upper North Island, with only 7.3% of employers planning on decreasing staff in Q4

KEY FINDINGS

  • Positive hiring intentions have dipped slightly for Q4, 1pp down to 30.8%
  • In the Lower North Island, positive hiring intentions have increased, up 3.8pp to 26.6% with the majority (65.8%) keeping headcount steady
  • Positive hiring intentions in the South Island have decreased for Q4, down 9.8pp to 38.4%
  • 1 in 3 employers are increasing headcount in the Upper North Island, with only 7.3% of employers planning on decreasing staff in Q4
  • Across all professions, positive hiring intentions are down for Q4 except ICT and Financial Services, which went up 0.5pp and 15.7pp respectively
  • Technical & Engineering remains the profession with the highest number of employers who are looking to increase headcount in Q4 (50.6%), however with a drop from the previous quarter, down 12.1pp
  • Positive contracting hiring intentions are on the rise, up 2.1pp to 24.5%, with the majority keeping headcount steady in Q4
Click on the graphs to view key findings


Key Findings

  • Across all professions, positive hiring intentions are down for Q4 except ICT and Financial Services, which went up 0.5pp and 15.7pp respectively
  • Technical & Engineering remains the profession with the highest number of employers who are looking to increase headcount in Q4 (50.6%), however with a drop from the previous quarter, down 12.1pp
  • Positive hiring intentions for the Human Resources profession are down 11.1pp to 32%
  • 7 out of 10 managers who hire Office Support professionals are keeping staff levels steady in Q4


Key Findings

  • Positive contracting hiring intentions are on the rise, up 2.1pp to 24.5%, with the majority keeping headcount steady in Q4
  • 1 in 3 hiring managers are increasing headcount in their ICT teams
  • Positive hiring intentions for the Technical & Engineering profession have decreased for Q4, down 10.4pp
  • Employers are hiring more Sales, Marketing & Communications and Office Support contractors in Q4, up 8.5pp and 2.7pp respectively
  • The Accounting & Finance profession remains steady in Q4 with 77.4% of employers keeping their contracting staff unchanged

COMMENTARY FROM HUDSON

  • Nearly two-thirds (62.4%) of employers intend to keep headcount steady this quarter. Positive hiring intentions have dipped 1 percentage point (pp) this quarter to 30.8%, the same level as early 2014. Intentions to keep headcount steady have risen 2.1pp in 2014, demonstrating a stable hiring outlook that has been a feature of this year’s business environment.

    The unemployment rate has continued to fall1, and that backs up the ‘steady as she goes’, consistent but cautious approach to hiring we’ve seen, as organisations have slowly but surely added headcount quarter on quarter, in order to meet productivity goals and chase targets.

    The Canterbury rebuild continues to direct South Island hiring intentions, which remain the strongest across the regions. Positive hiring intentions however dropped 9.8pp to 38.4%, following a similar rebound in Q3 2014 and this is the mark of what has been a lumpy year for Canterbury employers. The Canterbury rebuild, whilst gaining momentum is not a straight line function. The natural wax and wane of large projects continue to make it difficult for employers to accurately assess their required investment in headcount. This has flow-on effects for the supply chain and workforce planning of the broader economy supplying into the rebuild.

    Permanent hiring intentions in Financial Services increased sharply, up 15.7pp to 34.2%; an increase that was mirrored in the contracting space where intentions also rose 5.7pp to 25%. We’re seeing a trend whereby financial institutions are under pressure to create unique selling points which deliver competitive advantage, and as a result, there is incredible demand for expertise in customer insights, and operational risk & compliance.

    Hiring in Information, Communication & Technology also remains strong across the board with 37.8% of employers looking to increase permanent headcount and one in three (33.3%) hiring managers intending to increase contract headcount in their ICT teams. In ICT, the top three contract roles in demand include business analysts, project coordinators and those roles related to project infrastructure – system engineers, system administrators and technical analysts.

    Overall, contractor hiring expectations continue to rise, up 2.1pp to 24.5%, and Hudson expects to see this trend continue as skills shortages increase overtime and employers struggle to fill gaps left by candidate movement and internal promotions. Business analysts are constantly in demand as organisations seek to better understand their customers so that they can deliver a better experience. Project work is also driving demand for contract resource, with administrative resource being required to get projects up and running quickly and efficiently.

1 Statistics New Zealand. (2014). Household Labour Force Survey: June 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014 - http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey_HOTPJun14qtr.aspx
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About The Hudson Report

The Hudson Report is an established employment trend report, based on in-depth and nationwide research.

Released every quarter, this report highlights key hiring trends gathered from interviews with 1,120 employers in New Zealand.

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