New Zealand hiring survey: professional-level employees (July-December 2016)

Wed, 06/15/2016

According to the latest independent survey by specialist recruiter Robert Half, more than one in five (22%) New Zealand HR managers plan to create extra jobs for professional-level employees in the second half of this year.

Overall business confidence is high with 83% of New Zealand HR managers being more confident in their company’s growth prospects compared to last year.

Megan Alexander, General Manager Robert Half New Zealand said: “Business leaders across New Zealand are reasonably confident in their company growth. This is underpinning demand for skilled talent.”

The majority (64%) of New Zealand HR managers say they plan to maintain current staff levels, only filling vacated positions. Little over one in ten (11%) plan to freeze their current permanent headcount, while only 3% plan redundancies.

“Highly skilled professionals remain in demand in 2016, as companies focus on making strategic recruitment choices and sourcing the right talent. Hiring the right employee can provide a company with a competitive edge.” 

“Companies are also increasingly relying on a flexible hiring policy. Interim professionals are being used more than ever, giving companies the flexibility to respond more quickly to business changes,” said Megan Alexander.

What are your company's hiring plans for permanent professional-level employees in the second half (July-December) of 2016?

Expanding - Adding new positions 22%
Maintaining - Only filling vacated positions 64%
Freezing - Not filling vacating positions and not creating new ones 11%
Reducing - Eliminating positions 3%

Source: independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 New Zealand HR managers.

According to HR managers, talent shortages are abundant, with a net 85% indicating that it is challenging (27%) or somewhat challenging (58%) to find skilled professional-level employees today. The primary reason for this challenge, according to 39% of HR managers, is general demand outweighing supply followed by a lack of niche technical experts available (34%) and a shortage of commercial, business skills (18%). 
“Hiring managers can often make the mistake of believing that there is a large pool of available skilled talent. Companies want to attract candidates who have an immediate impact on business productivity and they can be hard to find,” Megan Alexander added.

While finding and recruiting highly skilled employees remains a challenge, so does retaining the best and brightest with more than three quarters (76%) of HR managers concerned about losing their top talent to other job opportunities this year.

“Staff retention is a top priority for businesses today as the cost of replacing a skilled employee extends beyond money. Employers recognise that retaining key staff who have strong corporate knowledge and fit the culture of the company must be a priority if they want a competitive edge,” Megan Alexander concluded.

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About the research

The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in April 2016 by an independent research company, surveying 100 HR managers in New Zealand. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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