Job market confidence fuels uplift in hiring activity and talent mobility

More than three quarters of New Zealanders are on the hunt for a new job, with the number seeking new roles up by more than 20% on the first half of the year, according to the latest Hudson Report H2 2016.

The report incorporates the findings of a survey which canvassed the views of 1,386 employers and employees in April 2016, along with Hudson’s insights on the hiring landscape.

The figures paint a picture of an increasingly active job market, with employers looking to hire across all sectors and Christchurch the clear regional leader with almost one third of organisations nationally looking to add permanent staff.

Hudson New Zealand regional GM, Roman Rogers, said in a media release that people take time over the holiday break to sit on the beach and reassess their career. “If they’re considering a move, they either pull the pin straight away or stick it out and see how things go. If they get to the half-year mark and nothing’s changed, then they look to move on.”

Hiring intentions have remained perfectly steady, with net hiring sentiment unchanged since the first half of the year at 29%. This continues consecutive quarters of growth and ongoing confidence from employers, affording them the freedom to innovate.

“We are seeing consistent rhetoric from employers around the need for adaptability, problem solving and resilience in new talent. Business leaders know that, in today’s world, staying still means falling behind. Organisations are looking to gain a competitive advantage through innovation and the use of cutting-edge technologies,” Rogers says.

Employees are echoing that sentiment, with 98% saying they believe it is important or extremely important that their next employer encourages innovation. However, there is room for improvement in the way organisations encourage a culture of innovation, Rogers says.

“There is a real tension – you have employers saying they want to be game-changers, and employees flaunting innovative traits to increase their hire-ability. But in reality, there are a lot of people that actually aren’t wired to operate well amidst constant and aggressive change.

“To truly foster innovation, organisations need to meaningfully embed the processes and development opportunities that will help bring great ideas to life. Taking a proactive approach will help businesses reduce the risk of alienating existing staff whilst ensuring they don’t lose enthusiastic new recruits by over-promising and under-delivering on innovation,” Rogers says.

The report found that greater visibility of construction projects in the Garden City is contributing to a strong positive outlook in the south and a hiring environment that is leading the country.

The South Island showed the biggest increase in intention to hire, with 49% of employers planning to add headcount between now and December, up almost nine percentage points on the first half of the year, compared to decreases in both the upper and lower North Island.

Auckland looks to be steady-as-she-goes, while Wellington is slowing somewhat, with intention to hire down in both regions by around three percentage points on the first half of the year.

The regions are remarkably unaffected by difficulties facing the farming industry, Rogers says, with the effects of Fonterra’s farm gate milk prices remaining relatively siloed. The strong performance of other export sectors is helping to offset the economic impact of lower milk prices.

“New Zealand is successfully diversifying the drivers of its economy, underpinned by its growing position as a global tourist destination. With a number of new airlines now flying here and annual international visitor numbers up more than 10 percent on last year, we are seeing new opportunities in the tourism, hospitality and transportation industries,” Rogers says.

 

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