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NZ’s top 10 talent trends for 2014

Friday 13th

NZ’s top 10 talent trends for 2014

Multilevel knowledge, working out which Big Data skills are actually needed and increased demand for skills in response to ultra-fast broadband and rising construction and residential property activity are among the top talent trends that will shape New Zealand’s recruitment landscape in 2014, according to recruiting experts Hays.

“Towards the end of 2013 we saw business confidence start to rise, which should feed through into the labour market in the first few months of 2014,” said Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“New Zealand’s economy is maintaining momentum and employment is increasing. Employers are becoming more confident, with some recruiting permanent staff initially rather than brining someone on board in a temporary capacity first. This bodes well for 2014,” he said.

According to Hays, a big area of growth in 2014 will be crossover roles. “As the technology, marketing and finance worlds merge it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, with multilevel knowledge,” says Jason.

“Also the ability to harness the whole notion of social media will be important, to the point where it is not an add-on but is seamlessly incorporated into the main game.”

Hays’ 10 talent trends for 2014:

1. Christchurch commercial rebuild: “As the Christchurch commercial rebuild finally kicks-off, the construction of commercial projects will significantly increase and this will fuel a very active jobs market for all related professionals,” says Jason. “Adding to vacancy activity will be seismic investigation and the subsequent upgrade of commercial and industrial buildings across the country.”

2. Skills shortage catch-22: “In addition to the Christchurch rebuild, major infrastructure projects scheduled for Auckland and Wellington will further deplete New Zealand’s candidate pool. More broadly, a reduction in the unemployment rate and increased demand for specialised talent will result from growing confidence in New Zealand’s economy. The IMF predicts the economy will grow further in 2014 as business and consumer confidence continues to rise. Yet the availability of candidates is decreasing at the same time as the need for strong, experienced and skilled professionals is rising. Thus in 2014 expect high-level skilled professionals to be in short supply.”

3. Ultra-fast broadband jobs boon: “As ultra-fast broadband is rolled out to residential customers across New Zealand, an active jobs market will follow in its wake. Already hundreds of professionals have been employed to lay thousands of kilometres of fibre, and many more are set to work on this mammoth project in 2014 and beyond. As fibre is delivered to residential streets, businesses that deliver services capitalising on its introduction will recruit skilled professionals, from salespeople to sell broadband plans to customers, to technicians to support these customers.”

4. Resurgence of the residential market: “A busier real estate market has fuelled hopes of a resurgence in New Zealand’s residential market. In 2014 we will continue to see more activity in the market and Auckland will overheat. In terms of recruitment, improved market conditions adds to business confidence which fuels new hiring while property professionals will see demand for their skills rise in 2014.”

5. Big Data dilemma: “Without doubt one of the most used (and feared?) terms in the past couple of years is ‘Big Data’. There is no doubt that the desire to process huge amounts of data in near real-time will drive innovation for how data can be harnessed to inform business and marketing opportunities. Looking beyond the hype, most of the current opinion is that it is really about analytics and a renewed focus on that is what’s required. Therefore in 2014 we will see increased demand for IT Project Managers and Business Analysts who are involved in data manipulation projects. ‘Data Scientists’ will also be in increasing demand; the Harvard Business Review named the role ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ since these professionals can recognise patterns in data from multiple sources and then make observations and predictions, which is crucial to business success.”

6. Mobile App Development: “The increased usage of tablet-based applications and the associated user experience is driving demand for strong JavaScript Developers, particularly those with HTML5 and CSS3 skills for web development. Yet so few candidates combine both elements and are therefore able to build complete systems. Given insatiable customer demand for apps and an improved user experience, this skills shortage will become a more pressing concern in 2014. It could even cause general delays and interruptions in the evolution of the mobile app market at a time when it is raring to go.”

7. Crossover roles: “Technology and marketing, and technology and finance functions are merging, creating a need for people who can move across sectors with multilevel knowledge.

Such hybrid skills are perhaps most obvious in the digital marketing space, where marketing professionals need to engage technology to inform their decisions. It is also seen in marketing teams where marketing analytics professionals use modelling and analytics practices to improve marketing outcomes. Business analysis is another example where professionals have a functional background and in-depth knowledge of their industry and company, but also need to translate requirements in technical areas. In 2014 we will see technology departments merge with both marketing and finance; technology will no longer sit in the domain of the CTO or CIO, but will instead be owned by the overall business. As a result, marketing and finance professionals will need to enhance their technology skills to remain competitive in the jobs market.”

8. Responsible social media usage: “As confidence returns to the jobs market, the candidate is again ‘king’ however most organisations are yet to embrace social media effectively when it comes to recruitment. The expectation is that a presence and activity such as posting a job is enough, but the commitment and resources that are really needed to build effective relationships is vastly underestimated by most. Without that commitment it is very difficult to attract and engage with the right talent at the right time.”

9. Staff retention: “Employers are often blind to the cause of staff turnover and in 80 per cent of cases an employee chooses to leave due to the job itself, pay and conditions or work relationships – all issues employers can do something about. As employees become more confident and start to explore their options in the jobs market, employers will really need to turn their focus back to retention.”

10. Borderless: “In our global economy the world is becoming borderless and in order to achieve career development people are willing to change countries more readily. With this in mind speaking another language is a hugely important business skill, and it will only become more so in future. .For those looking to move up, these skills and the cultural intelligence they often come with are equally indispensable for today’s global executives and the organisations they lead. The insight to understand people on their own terms and in their own language will be increasing valued in the years ahead.”

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

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