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New Zealand Hiring Expectations - Quarter 1, 2015


Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand

“The balance of economic indicators in 2014 has set us up for a stronger, more consistent year ahead and we expect the current levels of optimism and hiring to hold steady in 2015. The Canterbury re-build continues to be a strong force in driving growth, but the real story this quarter is the increasing role of Auckland and its investment in property, construction and manufacturing, in leading the employment charge.”

Key Findings and Commentary

Permanent Hiring Expectations: New Zealand

  • Hiring sentiment in New Zealand is at its highest level in five years as an increasing number of employers look to grow their teams in 2015.
  • A net 28.1% of employers intend to increase permanent staff numbers in the first quarter of 2015, up four percentage points (pp) compared to the previous quarter, and up 6.2pp compared to the same time last year.
  • The results are largely driven by rising expectations in the Upper North Island where employer sentiment has steadily increased over the past 12 months, up 7.9pp since the beginning of the year.
  • As employers relax their control on headcount and recruit specialist skills sets we can expect to see talent shortages start to bite, resulting in a greater use of a temporary and contract workforce and creating pressure on salary and wages.
  • With hiring momentum growing it’s critical employers move now to ensure they’re not caught short and can continue to deliver against their business strategy.

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Permanent Hiring Expectations: New Zealand by Region

  • Net hiring sentiment in the South Island remains the strongest nationally, with a net 42.2% of employers intending to increase headcount, up 8.6pp compared to the previous quarter. The Canterbury rebuild continues to drive employment leading to a demand in the property and construction sector for roles such as quantity surveyors, project managers and contracts managers.
  • Net hiring sentiment in the Upper North Island continues to gain momentum with 26.5% of employers intending to increase headcount. Investment in construction, housing, manufacturing and supply chain are all major drivers behind increased optimism in the region. We also expect to see a lift in demand for talent in the financial sector resulting from increasing domestic consumption1 and low interest rates.2
  • Net sentiment in the Lower North Island remains relatively steady, with a drop of 1.4pp with a 17.6% of employers looking to increase headcount in Q1 2015.

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Permanent Hiring Expectations: New Zealand by Profession

  • Supply Chain and Procurement sees one of the highest increases in net positive hiring sentiment with 33.8% of employers intending to increase headcount. Strong business confidence3 and rising domestic spend4 is triggering an increase in manufacturing and production which is leading to a demand for Supply Chain and Procurement roles. Roles most in demand are planning roles (demand and supply) and procurement specialists.
  • Other professions also seeing positive hiring net sentiment include Financial Services, up by 2.8pp. We are continuing to see a trend where innovation is a key driver for success and therefore there is great demand for product and service development roles, business improvement specialists and operational risk and compliance.
  • Office Support (up by 7.9pp) and Accounting & Finance (up by 0.8pp) professions are also seeing a rise in the net hiring sentiment. Investment in contact centres and demand for executive assistants are driving the need for the Office Support professionals.
  • ICT continues to perform well with a slight decrease in net hiring sentiment compared to the prior quarter.

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Contracting Hiring Expectations: New Zealand by Profession

  • Net contracting hiring sentiment continues to rise, up 0.6pp to 14.7%. We expect to see this trend continue as skills shortages increase over time and employers struggle to fill gaps left by candidate movement and internal promotions.
  • HR is the profession with the strongest net hiring sentiment, increasing by 18.1pp to a net 21.2%.
  • Hiring sentiment in the ICT profession has dropped by 4.7pp but remains strong with a net 20.5% of hiring managers intending to increase contracting headcount in their ICT teams. We’re currently seeing a demand for more specialist skills hence the increasing use of contractors. Roles in demand are those tied to the system development life cycle including business analysts, project managers, software developers and architects.

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About the Hudson Report
The Hudson Report is an established employment trend report, based on in-depth and nationwide research.
Released every quarter, this report highlights key hiring trends gathered from interviews with 914 employers in New Zealand.
1 Statistics New Zealand, National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2014, 21 November 2014
2 New Zealand Reserve Bank, News Release, 30 October 2014
3 ANZ Business Outlook, Sweet spot, November 2014
4 Statistics New Zealand, National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2014, 21 November 2014
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