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New Zealand’s economic recovery fuels jobs growth momentum

15th October, 2013

New Zealand’s economic recovery fuels jobs growth momentum: Hays Quarterly Hotspots

Quantity Surveyors, Senior Management Accountants and G&B Line Mechanics are just three of the professionals sought by employers as the New Zealand economy bounces back from the earthquakes that shook the country’s second city of Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region in 2010-11.

New Zealand’s economy expanded 2.5 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier led by consumer spending, house construction and rebuilding in earthquake-damaged Christchurch. Growing confidence in the economy will continue to fuel an active recruitment market, says recruiting experts Hays.

According to the recruiter’s latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand, there is an increase in permanent employment opportunities, and similarly an increase in openness from employers towards temporary/contract employment.

“We are seeing some employers become more confident in recruiting permanent staff initially rather than bringing someone on board in a temporary capacity first,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“Overall the availability of candidates is decreasing and the need for strong, experienced and skilled professionals is increasing.

“The construction on civil and commercial projects has increased and is on the brink of significantly increasing further based on forward planning. This will continue to fuel a very active candidate market.”

According to Hays, a significant trend impacting today’s recruitment market is the preference for companies to recruit on a temporary-to-permanent basis in order to trial a candidate in the role.

“While permanent employment opportunities have increased, many employers prefer temporary assignments to not just cover workload peaks, but to trial a candidate. This ensures they are a good fit, both in terms of skills and with the business’ culture, before offering them a permanent job,” says Jason.

“Fixed-term contracts meanwhile are also popular as they help control costs. Those candidates prepared to commit to contracts running through until Easter are highly desirable,” he said.

A selection of skills in demand in New Zealand from the Hays Quarterly Hotspots follows:

Accounts Payable – With healthy levels of growth set to continue in the months ahead there has been an increase in demand for Accounts Payable professionals. Companies require people who can add real value by creating efficiencies through the use of accounting systems. Experienced AP candidates who are willing to work in temporary and contract roles are in short supply.

Senior Management Accountants – Strong Senior Management Accountants who have a demonstrable background of adding commercial value are hard to find. Employers are looking to secure candidates with the right mix of technical and soft skills.

Senior Architects – Senior Architects are currently in demand due to an increase in project work. The New Zealand market is gaining traction in both the residential and commercial sectors and good quality candidates experienced with Revit software and the local NZ building code are sought.

Architectural Technicians – Technicians with experience in producing working drawings and documentation for building consents are in demand. Availability of candidates is low as many sought alternative employment due to the lack of available opportunities over the past 3 to 4 years. Also, due to recent changes in New Zealand building codes, retraining is necessary for those re-entering the sector. Senior technicians are required to work on a range of residential and commercial projects; these range from residential and commercial refurbishments through to new build design and regeneration schemes.

Quantity Surveyors/Estimators – With such a large amount of growth in the residential and sub contractor markets, the increased need for qualified Quantity Surveyors and Estimators has been significant. People who have gained experience in the local market are preferred, however companies are very open to employing non-residents since demand continues to increase.

Commercial Site Managers – With the Christchurch rebuild beginning to gain traction, and a strong pipeline of work moving forward, there is a high demand for qualified and skilled Site Managers to lead these projects through to delivery.

People who have experience running large individual projects or multiple smaller projects are in demand. Candidates who have good systems experience and relevant construction trade or tertiary qualifications are preferred, with employers being open to employing off shore to get the right people.

Customer Service Representatives – We are currently in a candidate short market. Most candidates have secured new roles over the past six months that support the Canterbury rebuild across insurance, telecommunications and finance. The setting up of Australian Call Centres in New Zealand has also reduced candidate availability.

Telesales – Good solid telesales experience is in demand. Companies are seeking candidates who are confident with a proven sales background. As businesses continue to drive growth, telemarketers are required to secure and set up appointments. These roles are typically temporary due to targeted marketing campaigns

G&B Line Mechanics – Due to the continued shortage of training over recent years, and the exodus of so many New Zealanders for higher paid positions in Australia, there is a constant requirement for these professionals in most areas of the country. While the economy improves there is an increased demand for better distribution of electricity and the need to ensure good maintenance of the lines. This is driving the demand for New Zealand qualified Glove and Barrier and Level 4 Line Mechanics.

Protection Technicians – There is a global shortage of specialist engineers who are essential for the testing and commissioning of substations and line communications. To be fully trained takes over seven years and the cost is extremely high for local companies. As a result, there has been a preference to recruit these candidates off-shore as they are extremely difficult to find in New Zealand.

Chartered Structural Engineers – Due to the complexity of the construction work taking place in Christchurch in the next few years, consultancies are looking for locally qualified and experienced Structural Engineers with chartered status.

The continued demand for these Engineers is based on national building assessments and refurbishment design schemes. Following the initial evacuation procedure (IEP) and detailed assessments, many buildings are now undertaking full construction projects and building upgrades.

Chartered Civil Engineers – Consultancies are also looking for locally qualified and experienced Civil Engineers with chartered status, again as a result of the complexity of the infrastructure rebuild work.

Land Development Engineers – There has been a dramatic pick up in the residential markets across New Zealand which has created a need for both Land Surveyors to assess land for development projects and Land Development Engineers to undertake preliminary design schemes.

Permanent Test Analysts – Most Test Analysts have secured contracts, leaving a shortage in the market for remaining positions.

Business Intelligence – Big data and the ability to access this information as a revenue stream has given rise to the demand for individuals with experience in this area. Due to the relative newness of the field in New Zealand, most applicants need to be sourced offshore to meet the needs of the NZS market place.

Life Underwriters – In Auckland and Wellington there is currently a shortage of quality Underwriters. Yet newly created positions are being generated along with replacement roles.

Claims – In Auckland and Christchurch there is still demand for claims professionals to fill fixed-term contracts at brokers and insurers for earthquake claims work.

Receptionists – Along with high turnover, we are finding that Receptionists are generally looking at bettering themselves or looking for the next step up so there is always a need to back-fill their positions. As with good Administrators, good Receptionists will not find themselves out of employment for long periods of time.

Executive Assistants – Executive Assistants often move internally to cover other duties or fill higher vacancies. While they are still able to provide administrative support, this movement does create a need to refill their EA position.

Senior Project Managers – Senior Project Managers are needed as companies win tenders for projects. Development is starting to increase, mainly on the commercial and residential side, which is creating vacancies in this area.

Professional Quantity Surveyors – These professionals are an ongoing requirement as there is a candidate shortage in the country and work in this field is steady. Companies are starting to look at overseas candidates, although they prefer New Zealand experience.

Traditional and Digital Media Planner Buyers – As the media continues to fragment and new mediums become available, these professionals are in high demand.

CRM Analysts – Customer relationship management analysts and customer experience skills are in demand as employers look to automate their direct marketing programs.

Machine Operators (Digger Operators) – There will be a large increase in civil work within Auckland over the next 6 months. Auckland has lost a lot of workers to Christchurch already and candidates are also going to Australia where they can earn more money. As a result, demand for these skills will be high.

Qualified Carpenters – Commercial building in Auckland is expected to grow and as the residential market is also picking up there are less Qualified Carpenters to go around. New laws have been introduced that require work to be signed off by qualified tradesmen; however a large number of them are not certified and therefore cannot be hired. These skills are sought to help repair and rebuild light commercial buildings as part of the ongoing rebuilding work in New Zealand.

Gasfitters – As increasing numbers of people change to more economical gas energy in their homes, new residential builds need qualified Gasfitters so that work can be signed off.

NZ Licensed Plumbers – With the residential property market picking up we expect there to be higher demand for Plumbers. There is already a shortage of Plumbers in the Auckland area as many have secured work in Christchurch.

Scaffolders – We expect these tradespeople to be in high demand as a result of the commercial work that is underway and the lack of qualified Scaffolders in Auckland. There is also a lot of ongoing work on leaking buildings and these projects need Scaffolders to be on site dealing with scaffolding shrink wrap.

Life Underwriters – In Auckland and Wellington there is an on-going shortage of quality Life Underwriters. Newly created positions are being generated along with replacement roles. Candidates are prepared to relocate in order to pursue career development opportunities.

For the full list of skills in demand, please view our Hays Quarterly Hotspots.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. We are the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in Asia Pacific and the UK and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 30 June 2013 we employed 7,840 staff operating from 239 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2013, Hays reported net fees of £719 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £125.5 million. Hays placed around 53,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 182,000 people into temporary assignments. 29% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.


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