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Job Market Confidence Fuels Uplift in Hiring Activity and Talent Mobility
Hudson Report shows hiring sentiment buoyed by positive business and consumer confidence
New Zealand, 26 July 2016 – More than three quarters of New Zealanders are on the hunt for a new job, with the number seeking new roles up by more than 20 percent on the first half of the year, according to the latest Hudson Report H2 2016 released today.
The figures paint a picture of an increasingly active job market, with employers looking to hire across all sectors and Christchurch the clear regional leader with almost one third of organisations nationally looking to add permanent staff.
Hudson New Zealand Regional General Manager, Roman Rogers, says, “People take time over the holiday break to sit on the beach and reassess their career. If they’re considering a move, they either pull the pin straight away or stick it out and see how things go. If they get to the half-year mark and nothing’s changed, then they look to move on.”
Hiring intentions have remained perfectly steady, with net hiring sentiment unchanged since the first half of the year at 29 percent. This continues consecutive quarters of growth and ongoing confidence from employers, affording them the freedom to innovate.
“We are seeing consistent rhetoric from employers around the need for adaptability, problem solving and resilience in new talent. Business leaders know that, in today’s world, staying still means falling behind. Organisations are looking to gain a competitive advantage through innovation and the use of cutting-edge technologies,” Rogers says.
Employees are echoing that sentiment, with 98 percent saying they believe it is important or extremely important that their next employer encourages innovation. However, there is room for improvement in the way organisations encourage a culture of innovation, Rogers says.
“There is a real tension – you have employers saying they want to be game-changers, and employees flaunting innovative traits to increase their hire-ability. But in reality, there are a lot of people that actually aren’t wired to operate well amidst constant and aggressive change.
“To truly foster innovation, organisations need to meaningfully embed the processes and development opportunities that will help bring great ideas to life. Taking a proactive approach will help businesses reduce the risk of alienating existing staff whilst ensuring they don’t lose enthusiastic new recruits by over-promising and under-delivering on innovation,” Rogers says.
Evidence of Christchurch rebuild driving confidence
Greater visibility of construction projects in the Garden City is contributing to a strong positive outlook in the south and a hiring environment that is leading the country.
The South Island showed the biggest increase in intention to hire, with 49 percent of employers planning to add headcount between now and December, up almost nine percentage points on the first half of the year, compared to decreases in both the upper and lower North Island.
Auckland looks to be steady-as-she-goes, while Wellington is slowing somewhat, with intention to hire down in both regions by around three percentage points on the first half of the year.
The regions are remarkably unaffected by difficulties facing the farming industry, Rogers says, with the effects of Fonterra’s farm gate milk prices remaining relatively siloed. The strong performance of other export sectors is helping to offset the economic impact of lower milk prices1.
“New Zealand is successfully diversifying the drivers of its economy, underpinned by its growing position as a global tourist destination. With a number of new airlines now flying here and annual international visitor numbers up more than 10 percent on last year2, we are seeing new opportunities in the tourism, hospitality and transportation industries,” Rogers says.
Demand for technological advantage spurring on IT & Telco sectors
The telecommunications sector recorded the highest permanent hiring intentions at 54 percent, with IT a close second at 48 percent, followed by construction with a score of 46 percent.
“Not only do the telecommunications and IT sectors have the highest outlooks, technology professionals are in high demand too,” Rogers says.
The momentum is multi-pronged, with the government and banking sectors adding considerable weight to the figures.
“The boom is being led by a number of transformative change programmes. Companies are creating and commercialising new ideas, established organisations and the government are showing a relentless appetite for adapting technology that drives efficiency and reduces costs, and the banking sector is looking at technology as an enabler.”
Under-investment in capability building
With certain skills highly sought after, particularly in the IT and telco sections, it appears employers are not providing sufficient development opportunities for their people – with only one in two employers having a defined strategy to train their people.
Compared to two years ago, 60 percent of employees feel more pressure now to learn new skills and/or improve existing skills. However, less than half feel they have adequate support from their manager or organisation.
“Only one in two feel their employer is a true partner in meeting their skills needs. This should sound alarm bells for employers, given the high proportion of people planning to leave their jobs,” Rogers says.
New Zealanders are taking their careers into their own hands by using their own time to learn new skills based on their own interests and future plans.
“This self-directed approach creates a risk for employers, given peoples’ own learning agendas may not align with the business priorities of their organisations,” Rogers says.
Negotiation and influencing is the number one learning priority among employees, but is only sixth on the list of soft skills in demand by employers.
“This means businesses could be moving forward with significant gaps in their arsenal, leaving them vulnerable to future risks and unable to take advantage of opportunities.”
Only half of employers believe their team has the right skills in place to deliver in the future and just a third feel their team currently has the right mix of skills.
“Future-focused skills such as customer-centricity, innovation, resilience and problem-solving are not taught at university. Employers need to take some responsibility for developing their people on the job to be better contributors for the future.”
– ENDS –
1 Hansard. Hon Bill English (Minister of Finance). Dairy Industry – Milk Price. March 2016
2 Statistics New Zealand. International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand: April 2016
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About the Hudson Report H2 2016
The Hudson Report H2 2016 is the result of quantitative research with hiring managers and employees to analyse the talent landscape and provide insights on what employers might expect in 2016.
The report incorporates the findings of a survey which canvassed the views of 1,386 employers and employees in April 2016, along with Hudson’s insights on the hiring landscape.
Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialized recruitment, contracting solutions, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management, outplacement and eDiscovery. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. With more than 2,000 people in 20 countries, and relationships with millions of specialized professionals, 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