Employers are more positive about the New Zealand economy since the global financial crisis but there is still some reluctance to bring on new staff, says employment firm Hudson.
But the ICT industry is bucking the trend and showing much more confidence in itself, with more than 45 percent of New Zealand IT employers intending to increase their IT teams in the next quarter according to Hudson’s latest Employment Trends report.
There is continuing demand for project managers, analysts and software developers to support integration projects in the finance sector and efficiency initiatives at government organisations, according to the report.
Hudson says demand is particularly high because the average length of vacancies is increasing, often running for six months or more, which is putting pressure on IT departments which are running understaffed.
For comparison, Hudson says accounting and financial professionals have the least optimistic hiring expectations, with one in eight employers in this sector intending to reduce hiring.
The majority (60 percent) of New Zealand employers are holding stead on hiring new staff, and 10 percent have indicated they plan to cut staff numbers in the next three months.
Roman Rogers, executive general manager at Hudson says that despite positive economic forecasts for 2012, employers have provisioned for a staggered increase in headcount for this year.
“Most employers started the year with plans of incremental, rather than aggressive headcount growth, so these results aren’t surprising,” says Rogers.
“Employers have a firm focus on driving productivity and high performance and there is certainly more pressure to get the hires right.”
Statistics New Zealand estimates that 53,800 New Zealanders moved to Australia in the last year, most in search of higher paying jobs supporting the mining boom there.
The Hudson report says 57 percent of New Zealand employers blame the New Zealand economy for the loss of skilled IT workers to Australia.
Hudson says a quarter of the companies responding to its survey indicated some level of hiring freeze across their company, which has led to the increased use of temporary or contract staff.
According to the report, the IT sector has the strongest growth in hiring contract workers (39 percent), followed closely by supply chain and procurement (30 percent). Only 7.7 percent plan on reducing their contract staff numbers.
The Hudson Quarterly Employment Trends report surveyed 1350 New Zealand businesses.