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Amy O’Rourke
Acumen Republic
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Media Release



Understanding and developing leadership capability key to capitalising on opportunities in current economic environment

New Zealand – 27 JUNE 2013 – The latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today1 reveals that employers in New Zealand anticipate minimal headcount growth this quarter with more than half of employers (60.1%) intending to keep headcount steady, while intentions to increase headcount inched up 2.1 percentage points to 30.5%.

“Intentions to hold headcount at existing levels represents a continued focus by employers on building capability and driving productivity within their teams,” said Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.

“Economic growth remains gradual and with the majority of employers holding staff numbers steady, Hudson is seeing a growing focus by organisations on talent management and retaining top performers,” added Mr Rogers.

Industries with the strongest intentions to hire include Information Technology where 51.4% intend to hire more staff this quarter, followed by Government (32.2%) and Financial Services/Insurance (32.1%).

“Investment in technology and the focus on efficiency gains by New Zealand organisations are driving demand for senior IT people, business intelligence, in-house IT support and customer engagement roles. And increased hiring intentions within government largely reflect preparation ahead of the 2014 General Election,” said Mr Rogers.

“Cheaper commodity prices, driven by the high exchange rate are helping to lower private debt levels and drive consumer confidence. As a result, hiring intentions are up a significant 16.9pp for small businesses. And in the South Island, re-build related activity is set to be a strong economic driver in the South Island for many years to come,” he added.

The Report also looked into how organisations are assessing and developing leadership. The research found that while 71.9% had invested in some form of leadership development programme in the past 12 months, over half (57.0%) of employers surveyed do not formally assess leadership, making it difficult to understand current capability, where gaps exist and how leadership can be improved.

Hudson’s research shows that 37.8% of respondents perceive the greatest shortfall of leadership as poor people management followed by poor change management (25.5%).

“Consulting and communicating with your team is crucial to managing your team well. However the quick decision-making that is often required in today’s challenging and unpredictable economic environment means this can prove difficult in practice. Despite these challenges, it is essential that time is allowed for this,” said Mr Rogers.

A lack of clear vision and direction is cited as the most likely reason for a leader to derail in an organisation (20.0%), followed by poor collaboration within an organisation.

“Employees are looking for leaders to be able to understand and guide them through a complex environment. This is achieved by having great relationships, being cognisant of the realities of frontline staff, acting on consultative decision-making and making sure not to move on to the next project before change is bedded in,” he added.

The Report showed that the best leaders develop a vision and inspire people to buy-in to it (55.4%). Developing a positive company culture (53.6%) was also seen as a greater issue in New Zealand than in any other country surveyed.

“Involving teams in the direction and decision-making process is key to achieving both understanding and buy-in,” said Mr Rogers. “Perceptions around a lack of clear vision or direction often arise when there is a lack of alignment between leaders and employees. Leaders cannot create a strategy and vision in isolation and need input and support from their teams.”

Successful leaders share common attributes and formal assessment programmes should take these into account. These attributes include: people leadership – the ability to set the vision, and inspire others to act; the ability to manage complexity and change; mental efficiency; personal drive and ambition to succeed; and relational and cultural sensitivity, whereby leaders have strong interpersonal skills and are open and responsive to others’ perspectives.

Behavioural forms of assessment are the best way to understand current capability. These include psychometric tools to examine individuals’ leadership traits and capabilities; assessing individuals’ behaviour through observation, simulation or leadership development centres; and measuring how their workplace behaviour is perceived by using 360º feedback. Using a blend of these approaches provides a holistic, accurate and informative view of leadership capability.

“Once leadership capability gaps are established, organisations can bridge these via effective, multi-dimensional leadership programmes and strategies, which have a heavy focus on action-based learning,” said Mr Rogers. “Hudson also recommends support from coaches who promote self-awareness and behavioural change, and mentors who can provide advice and act as a sounding board.”

“Leaders with a clear vision, who collaborate and communicate with their teams can maximise opportunities in these uncertain economic times,” said Mr Rogers.

1 Hudson surveyed 1,056 New Zealand employers about their hiring intentions July to September 2013


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

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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.