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Jobs Market Boost Forecast for Election Year

15 November 2019

Election year 2020 will boost public sector employment demand as the government presses ahead with major projects, says Robert Walters New Zealand Director Shay Peters.

“Delivering outcomes such as affordable housing, access to education and breaking cycles of poverty will require an influx of talent to Wellington and regional areas,” Peters says.

The jobs market will be impacted by increased demand for contingent labour, with government contractors required in program and project management.

“Similarly, additional hiring is needed to progress major transport infrastructure in Auckland.”

Infrastructure employers will be on the hunt for a range of engineering professionals, and ancillary service employers in accountancy, legal and procurement will be seeking contractors to assist with the increase in short term-focused project work.

The Treasury estimates infrastructure projects worth $6.1 billion are in the pipeline .

Another area anticipated to create demand for skilled workers is the rollout of the government’s research and development tax audit scheme. With a budget of around $1 billion the R&D tax credit is expected to significantly lift spending across the economy. Callaghan Innovation and Inland Revenue, the enablers of the scheme, forecast that around 3,000 businesses will take advantage of the initiative. This is expected to create demand for highly skilled employees in both the private R&D sector and the state-run CRI’s, Universities and other ‘approved’ suppliers of R&D services.

Peters says demand will remain strong for staff with a range of specialised tech skills in 2020.

“The commoditisation of data is affecting organisations in every sector of the economy, and employers will compete for the services of a relatively small supply of data scientists and analysts.”

As digital transformation sweeps through organisations large and small, professionals with skillsets in DevOps, UX and UI are in high demand.

The survey also predicts hiring managers in the banking and financial services sectors will struggle to find talent with experience in the regulatory, compliance and risk management areas.

Employers in New Zealand are adding extra rigor to these areas in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission inquiry into conduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services sectors, and other overseas scandals.

“For hiring managers looking to recruit talent in all of these areas, speed is essential,” says Peters.

Managers need to move quickly and decisively during the recruitment process, or risk losing out to competing offers.

“The most compelling proposition will be one that includes flexible working, strong culture, professional development and wellbeing initiatives.”

Sourcing talent from overseas with the support of a recruitment partner with international hiring capability is a way to counteract local talent shortfalls, Peters says.

Robert Walters’ annual Salary Survey, in its 21st year, offers the New Zealand market’s leading guide to the salary expectations recruiters can expect to find among candidates across a range of professions.

To read the full report and gather more insights on specific industries go to

About Robert Walters:

Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading global recruitment consultancies, specialising in the placement of permanent, contract and temporary positions across all levels of seniority.

Our teams of professional consultants are renowned for their professionalism, integrity and exceptional recruitment consultancy.

Robert Walters has two offices in New Zealand, one in Auckland and the second in Wellington.


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