EMPLOYER HIRING CONFIDENCE REMAINS STEADY
Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand
“Overall, Hudson’s latest figures paint a picture of consistent employment stability. While net sentiment has reduced, nearly two-thirds (62.9%) of employers intend to keep headcount steady this quarter and confidence levels across a range of indicators remain largely balanced.”
Key Findings and Commentary
Permanent Hiring Expectations: New Zealand
- Net hiring sentiment dipped four percentage points (pp) to 26.2%. This result follows four consecutive quarters of employment growth and a six year high in March.
- Employers are keeping headcount steady in Q3 following successful hiring activity during the past six months. Teams are now executing on strategy in order to meet productivity goals and targets.
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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 35.2% of employers intending to increase headcount, down 5.1pp compared to the previous quarter. Hiring expectations remain high as the Canterbury re-build continues. This quarter’s drop in sentiment is a natural correction as various building and construction projects change shape organically. Roles in demand include quantity surveyors, design roles, foremen and site managers to oversee the delivery of construction and civil projects.
- Employer sentiment in Upper North Island dipped 5.9pp to 23.1% of employers intending to increase headcount, after six quarters of incremental growth. Auckland continues to absorb the bulk of New Zealand’s high net migration levels. As a result, the job market is tightening and again we’re seeing employers holding headcount steady. Investment in Auckland’s road and infrastructure networks continue to drive employment growth in this region.
- Largely flat, hiring sentiment in Lower North Island is affected by the public sector end of financial year, down 0.8pp to 22%. ICT transformation remains a focus for Government in the year ahead and roles in demand are those specifically linked to change management planning and implementation.
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Permanent Hiring Expectations: New Zealand by Profession
- Nationwide, Technical & Engineering is the profession with the strongest permanent positive hiring sentiment at a net 37.5%. Operational roles that impact on a business’s efficiencies and ability to generate revenue through the supply chain and production of materials are where we are seeing most opportunity.
- Human Resources is the profession with the second strongest permanent hiring sentiment at a net 33.6%. HR business partner roles are in high demand as they require a combination of skills including a depth of general HR knowledge along with strong stakeholder engagement expertise. We’re increasingly seeing the importance of well-developed in-house HR capability recognised by organisations as they look to invest in supporting their managers and staff, with greater staff retention in mind.
- Net hiring sentiment for the ICT profession dropped by 10.4pp to 25.3%. A number of employers have been through significant restructure leading to new IT leadership roles that were filled in the last quarter. As a result, the’ immediate focus is on team performance and turnover. Roles in demand include those that are building the solutions for transformation projects and include specialised developers in mobile and integration technology, automation testers and expert infrastructure engineers.
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Contracting Hiring Expectations: New Zealand by Profession
- The number of employers looking to maintain contractor headcount is at its highest level in five years, with overall net contractor hiring sentiment at 12.3%. Traditionally, the first thing we see when employers are taking cost cutting measures is that the contracting headcount is reduced, leaving very lean teams. What we’re seeing now are employers feeling very comfortable about their contractor headcount, highlighting the overall hiring confidence.
- The Financial Services profession is leading in the contracting space with a net 18.9% of employers looking to increase contracting headcount in Q3 2015, up 14.3pp from the previous quarter.
- Hiring sentiment in the ICT profession dropped by 3.3pp, with a net 16.7% of hiring managers intending to increase contracting headcount. The continued use of third party vendors under fixed procurement panel costs means vendors are able to manage their permanent headcount requirement relatively accurately, with little additional need for contractors.
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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 933 employers in New Zealand.