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Press Release - Hudson Report NZ - March 2013

Joe Stockman / Amy O’Rourke
Acumen Republic
09 354 0588, 09 354 0554

Media Release

Media release embargoed until 12:01am 27 March, 2013


Building talent pipeline key to driving successful business outcomes

Auckland, New Zealand – 27 MARCH 2013 – Hiring expectations remain steady in New Zealand however rising consumer confidence1 is translating into a more active candidate market and employers should be on high alert to retain key talent and drive current and future productivity and performance, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends.2

Nearly two-thirds of employers (64.5%) nationally intend to keep staffing levels steady this quarter, while 28.4% intend to employ more people. Consumer confidence is at a 32-month high, and this combined with great summer weather and rising optimism is flowing through to buying decisions.3

“In the wake of the GFC, employees have been sitting tight in their current roles,” said Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand. “However increases in consumer confidence mean candidates are now starting to look at their employment options, so we can expect to see more people movement if this positivity continues.”

Nationally, Construction, Property & Engineering has by far the strongest intention to hire, followed by Government and Financial Services/Insurance. “Confidence remains high in the South Island, however clarity around what is required for the Canterbury re-build is reflected in a drop in hiring intentions of 8.4pp this quarter.”

“Hiring sentiment in the Capital is also positive as the public sector continues to push through large tranches of work against the Government’s re-election agenda.4 This is focused particularly in the area of database integration and the reduction of duplication across various ministries and departments.”

The Report also looks at organisations’ use of High Potential Programmes to build employee capability, retain key talent and drive strong business outcomes. Over half of all employers (59.5%) currently have such programmes in place, and this reflects a shift toward businesses recognising that they need to invest in retaining talent.

“Smart employers know the market will regain strength again at some point, and this will result in greater demand and competition for talent assets,” said Rogers. “Being able to hold onto talent, and accelerate their growth, will enable them to ride the wave of growth as and when it arrives.”

“Increased productivity is still the name of the game for New Zealand businesses. But with the labour market steadying5 and consumer confidence on the rise, it’s now more important than ever that employers are evaluating and balancing the business needs of their organisation with their approach to talent management.”

“There is often a misconception that High Potential Programmes are high cost, yet the key elements of a successful programme are within reach of most organisations, whether large or small, and an on-going commitment to High Potential employees will help mitigate any potential business disruption driven by the changing marketplace.”

Organisations’ biggest challenge is identifying talent. ‘High potential’ is not the same as ‘high performance’ although there is some overlap – 93% of all high potentials are also high performers, yet only 29% of high performers have high potential.6 This clearly highlights that being focused on high performance alone will deliver short-term results, but poses risk in the longer term.

“Identifying talent with high potential isn’t easy. Employees must be judged on their potential ability to perform a task they have never done before. In today’s risk-adverse environment this can be challenging, but it is necessary to protect the longer-term talent pipeline of the organisation.”

Hudson has identified four main indicators of high potential: the ability to manage complexity and change; cognitive ability and mental efficiency; personal drive; and relational and cultural sensitivity. Cognitive ability is the principal indicator across all levels, yet New Zealand employers are using prior performance (90.1%), attitude (76.4%) and career aspirations (55.9%) to evaluate high potential. This suggests there is still some confusion and employers may be missing out on identifying some high potential employees.

Useful tools include behavioural and psychometric testing, cognitive ability tests and observation at assessment and development centres. These tools provide objective assessments rather than relying on opinions or any biased views.

To maximise effectiveness, High Potential Programmes need to be consistent and sustained with a clear purpose. The value of the programme can then be evaluated against agreed objectives that may include retaining key staff, filling roles internally, filling roles quickly and the higher performance from high potential employees. Common elements of effective programmes are high touch, individual customisation and mentoring, coaching and exposure to new experiences.

Ultimately, HR and recruitment practices must be continuously assessed to ensure organisations are able to retain the key talent and capability necessary to succeed in the current environment. New Zealand businesses remain focused on productivity and performance, and consistent, sustained High Potential Programmes can and should play a key role in unlocking potential, building a strong talent pipeline and driving successful business outcomes in the long-term.

- ENDS -

Editor's Note

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

The Hudson Report; Employment Trends 2013 has changed its reporting approach 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. 'Positive hiring expectations' 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

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.

1, 3 ANZ-Roy Morgan NZ Consumer Confidence: A golden summer, February 2013
2 Hudson surveyed 1,057 New Zealand employers about their hiring intentions April to June 2013
4 Tech roles in hot demand,, 23 January 2013
5 Hudson Salary & Employment Insights 2013
6 Hudson – Critical Thinking: High Potentials, Facts and Fiction
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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.