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Christchurch IT salaries surge with recruitment specialists

Christchurch IT salaries surge as leading recruitment specialists launches new office

April 2, 2014

Leading New Zealand IT recruitment agency Candle has released new data from which reveals the Christchurch market is heating up with wages spiking 10 per cent in the past six months.

The new data coincides with the launch of Candle’s Christchurch office, which represents the company’s first physical presence in the South Island and complements its operations in Auckland and Wellington.

Candle New Zealand’s Country Manager, Troy Hammond, said Christchurch’s average IT salary had risen from $73,200 to $80,200 since mid-2013. An example of the top-tier earners included a Chief Information Officer working in the telecommunications sector who had secured a $275,000 wage.

“A combination of demand for skills for Christchurch’s post-earthquake rebuild and a growing cluster of successful technology exporters has caused the city to outstrip both Wellington and Auckland which has experienced wage increases of only 7.3 per cent ($86,300) and six per cent ($80,300) respectively,” Mr Hammond said.

However, he cautioned candidates that they still needed to be realistic about salary expectations.

“Employers are still very selective with recruitment requirements and salary expectations are part of that mix. Candidates with a salary indication well above market rates are unlikely to be successful,” he said.

With 5,000 Canterbury-based candidates already registered on the company’s database, Candle’s new office is located in Burnside which houses the biggest technology park in Christchurch. It is being headed by Alan Diepraam who has 15 years’ experience in the region, working across both private and government sectors.

Mr Hammond said although the company, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, had been supporting candidates and employers in the region over a long period, the timing was right to play an even bigger part in the Christchurch market. He also forecast continued strong growth in the short- to medium-term.

“Christchurch features a large spectrum of IT industry players - from government, small-medium businesses, publicly-listed companies and start-ups as well as some of the New Zealand’s most innovative and successful software, hardware and electronics companies - and it is all about growth,” he said.

“There is a real focus on the development of software products for international markets with a group of successful software businesses recently listed on the New Zealand stock exchange.”

According to the Christchurch Development Corporation, technology contributes about $880 million to the local GDP but there are skill shortages with some of the larger employers looking offshore.

“There is a broad range of roles on offer from customer support to graduates, ICT developers, engineers, architects, business analysts and product managers to Chief Information Officer and Chief Technical Officer level executives,” Mr Hammond said.

“Businesses here are talking about the continued progress of the area in becoming the Silicon Valley of New Zealand with a lot of start-ups coming on-line, interest from venture capital partners and export driven growth in software products. So we are confident Candle will succeed in increasing its footprint markedly in the region.

“We experience some of the best in industry fill rates for IT recruitment in the country and feel a real sense of pride to be able to service our clients at the local level and give them a face-to-face experience – which is unlike many other agencies that operate in Christchurch as they choose to do it remotely from Wellington or Auckland,” Mr Hammond said.

“There is a real camaraderie of spirit in Christchurch and people are pooling together to help grow their respective businesses in the region. We at Candle are excited about being a part of that and to help employers and professionals reach their business and career goals,” he added.


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