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Acumen Republic
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Media Release

 

HIRING EXPECTATIONS DIP SLIGHTLY DESPITE POSITIVE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

Hudson Report survey shows employers remain cautious

New Zealand – 15 January 2014 – Hiring expectations dipped slightly this quarter, down 2.9 percentage points (pp) from the previous quarter’s five-year high, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today1.

The drop comes despite New Zealand’s economic indicators showing organisations are well positioned for 2014 as a result of strengthening business confidence and solid economic expansion.

Nearly two thirds (60.3%) of the more than 1,000 employers surveyed said they intend to keep staffing levels steady this quarter. This rose 3.3pp and accounts for the slight drop in positive hiring intentions, which remain relatively stable at 30.8% and Hudson says, reflects continued caution in the market.

“Although indicators suggest another year of continued economic growth, employers are cautious and remain hesitant to commit to new headcount, particularly with an eye to the performance of the Australian economy,” said Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.

“The employment market remains tight, so employers’ ability to find the people and skill sets they need, and take advantage of the more confident economic conditions will be critical to getting ahead in the next 12 months.”

“In saying that, with the labour market still subject to fluctuations in demand, the challenge for employers in 2014 will be to navigate the step-change from a pure focus on productivity to pursuing new growth opportunities and making the decision to take on new staff.”

Hiring intentions in the South Island remain the strongest across the regions, with 49.0% of employers intending to increase headcount. This is largely being driven by demand for labour in all forms in Canterbury. Strong manufacturing activity in Auckland is driving positive hiring intentions up 1.4pp to 28.2% in Upper North Island.

Intention to increase headcount in the Lower North Island dropped 8.7pp to 24.8%. This is reflective of the level of financial restraint the current government is exercising over public expenditure in relation to its self-imposed cap on public sector headcount.

Nationwide, the Construction/Property/Engineering sector remains the industry with the highest positive hiring intentions (58.0%), followed by Information Technology (47.9%), Manufacturing (43.6%), Government (29.6%), Healthcare (excl. government) (25.0%) and Financial Services/Insurance (18.5%).

The strength in Construction/Property/Engineering is underpinned by the Canterbury re-build and to a lesser extent demand for housing in Auckland. Candidates in demand include project managers, estimators, quantity surveyors, contracts managers and individuals with civil engineering skills across a broad range of disciplines.

“Throughout the IT sector, many organisations are approaching the time where investment in upgrades or new platforms is a requirement rather than an option, and there is a growing focus on digital,” said Mr Rogers.

“The ability to manage the IT infrastructure procurement process effectively and invest wisely will be crucial to getting ahead in 2014 and beyond. And we’re seeing acceleration in investment in digital-related roles.”

IT candidates in demand include project managers, business analysts, developers and testers. Demand for ICT contractors is the strongest across all professions, with 31.3% of ICT employers looking to increase contracting headcount.

Overall demand for contractors eased due to seasonal factors, dropping 5.0pp to 19.8% intention to hire, as organisations sought to maintain leaner operations during the holiday period and as projects requiring additional resource come to a close. This trend is likely to continue as the year goes on and organisations’ appetite to add permanent headcount grows stronger.

“Favourable economic conditions have employers well positioned to pursue expansion plans in the year 2014. The organisations with the right skills and people in place will be well placed to capitalise on the growth opportunities in the current environment.”


1 Hudson surveyed 1,091 New Zealand employers about their hiring intentions January to March 2014
2 Business NZ PMI – November 2013

-ENDS-

Editor Note

Please contact us for more information, print-ready graphs or to arrange an interview.

Hudson has changed its reporting to achieve greater transparency and consistency across markets. This makes it simpler to compare results and geographical variations. From now on, Hudson will report on three findings: the percentage of employers intending to increase staffing levels, those intending to maintain them and those intending to decrease headcount. 'Intention to hire' refers to the proportion of employers intending to hire more employees during the forthcoming quarter. Hudson will no longer use the 'net effect' figure.

About Hudson

Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialised 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 specialised 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 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 programme; 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
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.