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Amy O’Rourke
Acumen Republic
(09) 354 0584 / (027) 2958 332
aorourke@acumenrepublic.com

Media Release

 

EMPLOYERS CAUTIOUS TO COMMIT TO NEW HEADCOUNT DESPITE STRONG ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

Hudson Report survey shows solid economic expansion not yet translating into increased hiring expectations

New Zealand – 26 March 2014 – Hiring expectations have dipped slightly for the second consecutive quarter, down 3.5 percentage points (pp), according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today1.

The drop indicates a slower-than-expected start to the year in terms of hiring given strengthening business confidence and robust economic growth. Nearly two-thirds (64.6%) of the more than 1,000 employers surveyed said they intend to keep staffing levels steady this quarter. This is a 4.3pp increase, while positive hiring intentions remain relatively stable at 27.3% and, Hudson says, reflects caution in the market.

“The 2014 year started gangbusters with economic indicators almost universally promising renewed and strengthening growth. But while the market is undoubtedly feeling confident, it hasn’t translated into the aggressive hiring activity that was predicted,” said Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.

“Employers are also facing the dual pressures of needing to reward and energise existing staff seeking higher pay, with the ongoing mandate to limit cost increases.”

“Where rewarding all staff is not immediately possible, we recommend being very clear on what the next steps are for employees and what they can do in order to reach their salary goals. Organisations might also consider putting in place intermediary periods whereby KPI-driven performance-based salary increases may be introduced on July 1 or October 1, as these performance targets are met.”

Hiring intentions in the South Island, while remaining the strongest across the regions, have dropped a significant 10.3pp with 38.7% of employers intending to increase headcount, in the lowest result since Q2 2011.

“This drop in hiring intentions is, in part, linked to the lack of speed around the execution of the Canterbury re-build, as well as the continued adjustment of the market’s expectations around actual hiring requirements,” Rogers said.

Construction and commercial roles remain in demand in Canterbury, including project managers, quantity surveyors and estimators, and there is also increased demand from manufacturing companies who are supplying products to the re-build.

Construction and investment in professional services2 are driving the economy in Auckland and the wider region. Building consents for 2013 are at their highest levels since 20083 and intentions to keep headcount steady are up 6.9pp to 69.1% in Upper North Island.

Intentions to increase headcount in Wellington increased a marginal 0.4pp. With the Government Financial Year ending on June 30 and the General Election in September, little growth in hiring is expected in the coming two quarters.

Nationwide, the Construction / Property / Engineering sector remains the industry with the highest positive hiring intentions (50.0%), followed by Information Technology (43.4%), Manufacturing (32.9%), Government (26.2%) and Financial Services / Insurance (21.6%).

Hiring intentions in Financial Services / Insurance is back on the rise, up 3.1pp.

“This reflects increasing profitability in the banking sector and a higher level of confidence in the industry’s future” said Rogers.4

Teams have been realigned to meet new strategic plans and specialisations, and sought after roles include product managers, credit, operational risk & compliance, insights & analytics, change managers, business analysts and project managers.

Contractor hiring expectations are up across the board with intention to hire Office Support contractors up a significant 10.5pp this quarter, followed by contractors in Financial Services and Sales, Marketing & Communications, up by 7.3pp and 3.1pp respectively.

“Contracting is on the rise, with companies seeking to grow by using contractors more extensively than before. And, people are more open to taking on contracting roles than they had been previously,” Rogers said.

“While employees in this market have usually been risk-averse, their worries have been alleviated by evidence of the more positive economy. They view contracting as more lucrative than permanent work, see an opportunity to gain flexibility around work / life balance and are keen to experience more interesting project work that they might otherwise get.”


1 Hudson surveyed 1,115 New Zealand employers about their hiring intentions April to June 2014
2 Radio New Zealand – Shareholder supports capital raising – 14 March 2014
3 Auckland Economic Quarterly Update – Auckland Council, January 2014
4 The New Zealand Herald – Big five banks show 10% rise in profits – 26 February 2014

-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.