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Media Release

Demand for Talent at Six-Year High as Job Market Continues to Surge

Hudson Report reveals increasingly fluid job market with forecasts showing high levels of employer and employee activity in 2016

New Zealand, 19 January 2016 – New Zealand employers’ intent to hire has reached a six-year high according to the latest Hudson Report: Forward Focus 2016 released today, with 92.5% planning to increase or maintain headcount in the first half of the year.

Survey results also indicate that 63% of the New Zealand workforce will be open to new opportunities in 2016, creating an increasingly fluid job market.

The Hudson Report, which monitors employer hiring intentions across New Zealand, has been expanded to include data on job seekers and their career plans, providing a complete picture of the 2016 New Zealand talent market.

The six-year peak is bolstered by a surge of growth across industries that have been somewhat muted in the past, said Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.

“What we’re seeing is other sectors starting to pull their weight including manufacturing, transport, tourism, financial services and, chiefly, IT has regained momentum,” Mr Rogers said.

Employers in the IT industry dominate the latest figures, with a net 40.7% looking to increase or maintain permanent headcount across all three of the main metropolitan centres; Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with tech businesses booming in the Auckland and Christchurch hubs, and government projects behind the growth in Wellington.

“Organisations are looking to bring greater efficiencies to what they do, and if they’re not, then their customers are demanding it,” he says.

“There is a lack of tolerance for organisations that are antiquated with their technology. We are seeing a real groundswell to keep pace with that demand, with organisations recognising the need to invest in IT in order to stay relevant,” Mr Rogers says.

Organisational growth has been cited by employers as the number one reason to add to headcount (52%), followed by increased workload (43%).

“Growth is a good problem to have, it reflects a positive economy. While it makes talent attraction harder, it also means more customers and revenue for your business. The key is to plan for this uptick in economic and hiring activity so you aren’t caught short,” Mr Rogers says.

Geographically, people working in Construction, Property and Engineering sector are in high demand in both Auckland (net 43.6%) and Christchurch (net 30.7%), reflecting growth in infrastructure and the nationwide push to fill the housing shortage.

“Large scale projects in each of the three major cities will continue to drive that trajectory. In Christchurch there is still the rebuild and a number of years worth of investment. Projects of national importance are evident across the country; Auckland is dotted with road projects, there’s a new wave of investment in the CBD and ongoing property projects as a flow-on from the housing shortage,” Mr Rogers says.

The War for Talent: The Ceasefire is Over

With hiring sentiment indicating a return of the “war for talent”, employers must be proactive with attraction, retention and engagement strategies, he says.

An overwhelming 85% of professionals surveyed would move industries for the right role and 46% would move countries.

“New Zealand’s workforce is particularly inquisitive. And there is a pent up appetite for change that perhaps hasn’t been satisfied in the last three to four years due to things like organisations maintaining a focus on cost, and lower consumer confidence levels,” Mr Rogers says.

The most common drive for change amongst professionals is the feeling of boredom and the need for a new challenge, with 26% of respondents saying they would move jobs as a result.

“This stems from a fundamental engagement issue that New Zealand has battled with for some time. When we look at what drives boredom, there are typically three things that employees want in their jobs: to feel as though they’re contributing, to feel that their role is meaningful, and to feel that they’re successful. If these elements are lacking then employees will start to look elsewhere,” Mr Rogers says.

The Flight Risk

Australia continues to top the list of places Kiwis would relocate to at 47%, but, as net migration figures show, there is also a large contingent of Kiwis wanting to return home.

“The reality of moving is that it is not that easy. People need to do their due diligence. Lower salaries and the cost of housing is challenging for people wanting to move back to New Zealand,” Mr Rogers says.

And although many job seekers look to Australia for more senior and more specialised roles, with unemployment both there and in New Zealand at 6%, New Zealanders will find strong competition from the local market.

The preference to relocate overseas is heavily weighted in Generations X (41%) and Y (59%), with Baby Boomers (38%) more likely to want to stay put.

“It is characteristic of peoples’ life stages, although we are beginning to see that desire to head overseas delayed until people hit their late 20s and early 30s. Couples that have gained qualifications and sector experience are deciding to do their OEs together having held off in recent years,” Mr Rogers says.

Push and Pull Factors

Employees looking to jump ship are most likely to do so for the right salary (57%), followed closely by work life balance (51%).

“There is an expectation that employers will open their wallets in 2016. In the past few years, employees have anticipated increased remuneration, but those expectations haven’t been met.”

“There is a sense this is changing, and if an organisation is willing to pay above market value for a role, that could be quite compelling, especially among the younger workforce,” Mr Rogers says.

Additionally, cost-conscious employers have in recent years avoided increasing headcount, resulting in current staff being stretched to the point of looking for new work.

“We’ve found that employees are working incrementally more each year to cover the talent shortfall, but the good news is that a significant number of organisations are investing in new people to alleviate that pressure.”

“The rise of Human Resources (50%) to top the list of professions adding to headcount in 2016 is indicative of strong business growth and an increased willingness to invest in people,” Mr Rogers said.

HR is a profession that has been underinvested in for a long time, but is currently undergoing somewhat of a resurgence. Implementing programs to lift employee engagement and partnering with the business to identify the next generation of leaders will be key priorities in 2016.

– ENDS –


References
1 Statistics New Zealand, International Travel and Migration, Oct 2015. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/Migration/IntTravelAndMigration_HOTPOct15.aspx
2 Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force, Nov 2015 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0 and New Zealand Labour Market Statistics, Sept 2015, http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/LabourMarketStatistics_HOTPSep15qtr.aspx

Editor Note
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Background on Hudson Report: Forward Focus 2016
For the last decade, the Hudson Report has tracked ‘intentions to hire’ as a status check on the Australia economy and its hiring landscape. But demand for talent is one thing, supply is another and the picture isn’t quite complete without a line of sight into the people being hired. As a result, the Hudson Report has now been expanded to include core data on job seekers and their career plans. The objective: to provide employers with key insights that help them attract and retain the best people in today’s talent market.

About Hudson
Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialized recruitment, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management and contracting solutions. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. Through relationships with millions of specialized professionals in 22 countries, we bring an unparalleled ability to match talent with opportunities by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients. We combine broad geographic presence, world-class talent solutions and a tailored, consultative approach to help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and outstanding results. More information is available at Hudson.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that the company believes to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release, including statements regarding the company's future financial condition, results of operations, business operations and business prospects, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “believe” and similar words, expressions and variations of these words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including industry and economic conditions' that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Such factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, global economic fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the company's operating results from quarter to quarter; the ability of clients to terminate their relationship with the company at any time; competition in the company's markets; risks associated with the company's investment strategy; risks related to international operations, including foreign currency fluctuations; the company's ability to implement cost reduction initiatives effectively, including the recently announced restructuring program; the company's dependence on key management personnel; the company's ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals; risks in collecting the company's accounts receivable; the negative cash flows and operating losses that the company has experienced from time to time in the past may reoccur in the future; restrictions on the company's operating flexibility due to the terms of its credit facilities; the company's heavy reliance on information systems and the impact of potentially losing or failing to develop technology; risks related to our dependence on uninterrupted service to clients; the company's exposure to employment-related claims from both clients and employers and limits on related insurance coverage; volatility of the company's stock price; the impact of government regulations; and restrictions imposed by blocking arrangements. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. The company assumes no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.