Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Kiwi Businesses Need to Turn Optimism into Action

Kiwi Businesses Need to Turn Optimism into Action
Media Release
24 August 2012

There is a disconnect between the reported optimism of New Zealand businesses and their readiness to turn positivity into action, according to BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander.

At a breakfast briefing held in Auckland this week by Finance & Accounting and Technology recruiter Robert Half, Alexander discussed New Zealand’s prospects for growth in an uncertain world. He shared insightful commentary on what lies ahead for the New Zealand economy with a focus on the labour market driven by overseas migration and the subsequent skills shortage.

Alexander predicts a positive economic outlook with the New Zealand dollar poised to remain strong in relation to the rest of the world and he expects economic growth to rise from 1.7% to 2 - 2.5% year-on-year over the next two years.

“New Zealand has a productive business base from which we, as a nation, accrue the most financial benefit,” said Alexander. “Our export market is not built simply around processing or manufacturing, but the availability and production of key commodities such as milk powder, wine and meat for export.

“Furthermore, New Zealand is a strong investment ‘brand’ with a good reputation which creates a positive driver for export growth.”

Because of the increased optimism, Alexander challenged New Zealand employers to look closely at their plans for business growth and their recruitment strategies to help drive that growth. In particular, how they might attract talent during an inevitable skills shortage.

“The current skills-short market means companies will be increasingly looking at offshore recruitment options to plug the labour gaps,” said Alexander, challenging the audience: “How will you be hiring in six months time?”

The commentary backed up what Robert Half is seeing on the ground: businesses are positive about growth but have been slow to react to what’s happening in the market and are cautious about hiring the skilled workforce needed to manage that growth.

Robert Half director, Andrew Brushfield, says it’s important for New Zealand companies to focus on their recruitment process now as it’s currently taking four to eight weeks to fill a staff-level position, and up to six months for a senior position.

“Hiring managers should think ahead about securing the next talent pool and ensure they have the correct recruitment strategies in place to manage business growth over the coming months,” he advises. “You won’t find the same skilled candidates looking for jobs that were available years ago. They’ve now been absorbed back into the market or have moved overseas.”

“Businesses must also understand that good quality candidates with the right skill sets won’t be available for long. Multiple job offers are back. Don’t waste time – work with a recruiter that has access to candidates internationally as well as at home and move quickly to secure top talent.”

Likewise, Brushfield urges companies to ensure they’re looking after their existing ‘rock star’ employees. “Workers with knowledge of the company and the right skill sets are increasingly valuable to a business, so the focus on retention is more important than ever,” he says.

While there are no expectations for an economic boom, the key out take of the session was that New Zealand continues to move out of recession and the knock-on effect will be positive for those businesses that are prepared to take positive action for growth.


About Robert Half
Robert Half International (RHI) pioneered specialised staffing services and today is the world’s leader in the field. Founded in 1948, the company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: RHI). In 2012, Robert Half again was named to FORTUNE® magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, ranking #1 in our industry (March 19, 2012).

Robert Half New Zealand operates the divisions Robert Half Finance & Accounting, for temporary and permanent finance professionals; Robert Half Management Resources, for project and interim finance, accounting and business systems professionals and Robert Half Technology, for high calibre technology professionals.
There are more than 350 Robert Half locations worldwide. Visit us today:

About Tony Alexander
Tony Alexander has 18 years experience as Chief Economist at BNZ. He is one of New Zealand’s most respected economic commentators and has one of the longest running syndicated weekly newspaper columns in New Zealand, plus the widely distributed BNZ Weekly Overview. For further information visit:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


NIWA: Tonga Eruption Discoveries Defy Expectations
New findings from the record-breaking Tongan volcanic eruption are “surprising and unexpected”, say scientists from New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)... More>>

Commerce Commission: Appeals Record $2.25m Fine In Vodafone FibreX Case

The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a record $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ Limited (Vodafone) for its offending under the Fair Trading Act during its FibreX advertising campaign. While the sentence imposed in the Auckland District Court on April 14 was the largest-ever fine under the Fair Trading Act, the Commission will argue that it is manifestly inadequate... More>>

All District Health Boards: Historic Pay Equity Settlement

An historic agreement has been ratified that addresses a long-standing undervaluation of a workforce that is critical to the smooth running of our hospitals and the delivery of healthcare... More>>

Finder: RBNZ Survey: 64% Of Experts Say Rising Inflation Will Push More Kiwis Into Debt

Soaring inflation and cost of living pressures will see many households pushed to the financial limit, according to experts... More>>

Barfoot & Thompson: Rents Up By Around 3% In Most Areas

The average weekly rent paid for homes in most areas of Auckland has risen by around 3 percent year-on-year. The figures for end March from more than 16,000 properties... More>>

DoC: Smeagol The ‘Gravel Maggot’ Leaves Its Rare Mark On The Remote West Coast
An extremely rare species of sea slug or ‘gravel maggot’ has been detected for the first time on a remote beach in South Westland... More>>