Download Media Kit
View Hudson Report
09 354 0584 / 027 2958 332
TENTATIVE SIGNS OF OPTIMISM EMERGE FROM EMPLOYERS
Economic confidence slowly translates into stronger hiring as employers focus on cost containment rather than investing in headcount to support future growth
New Zealand – 1 July 2014 – Reversing the downward trend of the previous two quarters, positive hiring intentions rose 4.5 percentage points (pp) to 31.8%, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today1.
However, even with strong business confidence there continues to be a lag in New Zealand employers aggressively growing their headcount to capitalise on favourable market conditions. More than half of employers (57.8%) expect to keep their staffing levels steady this quarter.
“Despite the strong economic outlook, we’re seeing employers across the board continuing to exercise caution, not wanting to count their chickens before they hatch, when it comes to investing to support their growth ambitions,” said Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.
“While we’re undoubtedly seeing increased investment activity in key areas such as housing, roads and the Canterbury rebuild, many companies in these sectors are operating with a leaner workforce, and are holding back on taking that next step of investing in their people to pursue business development opportunities. A strong focus on cost management continues to be a feature among New Zealand employers.”
“That said, we are seeing businesses beginning to invest in their HR and procurement capability, with a stronger focus on putting measures in place to retain key staff. This is a positive step as it demonstrates a shift towards employers investing in people for future growth, rather than being solely focused on cost containment which will help drive our economy further forward. We expect to see greater moves to attract and secure talent over the next few quarters.”
The Canterbury rebuild continues to dominate South Island hiring intentions, which are the strongest across the regions. Positive hiring intentions have rebounded 9.5pp to 48.2%, following a significant 10.3pp drop in Q2 2014 and this, Rogers said, is a result of a step-change in the rebuild process and move from demolition to reconstruction.
“We saw Canterbury stop to take a breath last quarter and recalibrate hiring requirements to meet the needs of the next phase in the rebuild. Future hiring intentions will be further supported by $15 billion2 of new spending earmarked by the Government in Budget 2014.”
The roles that are in most focus within Canterbury are those that are linked to organisations increasing revenue streams or those that help them to achieve more efficiencies so they can be more productive. This has seen an ongoing focus on project managers, quantity surveyors / estimators that are specifically related to the rebuild (both commercial and residential developments), along with business intelligence and business analysts across all sectors.
Government investment in infrastructure with a focus on better housing and transport3 is driving the economy in Auckland and the wider region. Nearly one-third (30.3%) of employers are looking to increase headcount, up 5.5pp, and this is underpinned by New Zealand’s improved trading terms and Auckland’s role as a hub for international imports and exports.
Intentions to increase headcount in the Lower North Island dropped 1.4pp this quarter, and Hudson expects the region to remain moderate in its outlook, with work continuing on delivering an efficient and effective public sector.
Nationwide, the Construction / Property / Engineering sector remains the industry with the strongest positive hiring intentions (59.8%), followed by Information Technology (46.2%), Manufacturing (32.9%), Government (27.3%) and Financial Services / Insurance (23.2%).
Hiring intentions in Financial Services / Insurance continue to be subdued; with mixed results among permanent and contract hiring expectations. Permanent hiring intentions continue to be low however the industry has the highest contracting hiring expectations, up a significant 16.5pp to 35.8%.
“As we head into the end of the financial year for Financial Services / Insurance, we’re seeing a cyclical trend whereby contractors are being hired to manage workflows. We expect however, that after a period of time, this preference will revert to permanent headcount to lock in good talent,” said Rogers.
Contract roles in demand in this profession are those that focus on achieving the balance between efficiency and quality and include product managers, operational risk & compliance, insights & analytics, change managers, business analysts and project managers.
Overall, contractor hiring expectations are again up this quarter, and New Zealand employers continue to cautiously use contract resource in order to determine the mix of skills and expertise they require before committing to permanent roles.
“We’ve found that companies are only prepared to invest in contracting resources that can demonstrate significant return on investment. We’re seeing a surplus of senior-level contractors as companies focus on resourcing mid-level implementation roles which achieve high outputs.”
“As with permanent hiring intentions, contracting in Supply Chain & Procurement and ICT continue to be positive, and demand in the Human Resources profession is particularly on the rise as companies seek to retain key staff,” Rogers said.
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.
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.
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.