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Avoid the tug-of-war: Hot issues for 2008

14 January 2008

Avoid the tug-of-war: Hot issues for 2008

The New Year is upon us, but what does it hold for the recruitment market? Here specialist recruiter Hays identifies the top ten trends it expects to influence the recruitment market in the year ahead:

“It is not uncommon for candidates in areas where the skills shortage is most acute to receive multiple offers of employment,” said Jason Walker, regional director of Hays in New Zealand. “In these cases organisations across the country find they are competing for the same candidates and this will place pressure on employers to differentiate their offer and stand out early in the recruitment process to avoid this tug-of-war.”

Unique candidate attraction:
“The ability to communicate with a clear message and cut through the clutter with unique candidate attraction strategies will become fundamental to reach both active and passive jobseekers. Both organisations and recruitment agencies will need to identify unique strategies to proactively source candidates, rather than relying solely on traditional methods of candidate attraction.”

Regional focus:
There will be an increase in organisations actively promoting their vacancies in New Zealand’s smaller regions and towns, offering attractive relocation packages to secure these additional skills.“

Searching the globe:
“As well as looking regionally, increased international mobility opens a global candidate pool for certain roles when the skills required are portable, such as corporate governance or information technology. Yet a lack of understanding and recognition of international qualifications means talented professionals, such as accountants with overseas CIMA, ACCA or CPA qualifications, do not always get the attention they deserve. However given the levels of candidate demand, this trend should start to shift and businesses with an overseas office network or who recruit through an agency with an international network can proactively search for talent overseas.”

Don’t thank me, pay me:
“Salary pressures will continue to grow for candidates in demand and organisations will need to keep their rates competitive to retain staff. New Zealand employers will also face the added issue of competing with companies across the Tasman who can offer higher remuneration and better tax breaks.

“It is also equally important for candidates to maintain realistic salary expectations and not price themselves out of the market. The Hays Salary Survey is a guide to typical market rates.”

Generation Y:
“Assertive or whingers – Generation Y often face fixed stereotypes from potential employers. Nevertheless the issue of retaining, motivating and managing the expectations of these candidates will be an important one in 2008, and companies will need to become savvy in initiating retention and development programs for this generation of employees – and indeed all star performers in their business.”

“2007 saw a clear increase in candidate movement across all areas of New Zealand, again bringing to the fore the critical nature of retention programs. Every manager in an organisation has a role to play in a retention strategy and regular reviews and appraisals need to become core elements of the retention program.”

Employee Value Proposition:
“Companies developing an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) are proactively finding a way to differentiate themselves from other employers in a competitive market. All businesses are unique, so by identifying and communicating your company’s EVP - or in other words its unique culture, values and what it’s like to work for - to potential employees, you are more likely to attract candidates who are an ideal ‘fit’ with these values and who will find a long-term, rewarding career with the company.”

“Despite the candidate short nature of the market and the need for employers to act quickly to secure candidates, businesses must at the same time improve their vetting and screening process. Candidates may be in demand, but a poor hiring decision has consequences that can impact many within the business. Using a recruitment agency can eliminate this risk.”

Career focus:
“We expect increased turnover as certain candidates who changed roles in 2007 in order to attain a higher salary, now shift their focus to their career and look for a role aligned with the direction they want their career to progress in an organisation they are culturally aligned with.”

The one to watch:

“New Zealand’s energy sector is undergoing major skills shortages and is competing with international companies by increasing salary packages to attract talent to our shores. With oil and gas exploration continuing at a great pace, geoscience, engineering exploration and production professionals are all in extreme demand. The mining industry overall is enjoying the worldwide boom for resources and there is significant demand for trades and mining professionals in both Islands.

In addition, New Zealand's new Government Energy Strategy focusing on renewable energies will put pressure on candidates with experience in wind, hydro and geothermal power generation in the design, construction and maintenance areas.

For the hotspots of skills in demand in 2008, see the Hays Quarterly Forecast at


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