Candidates job-hopping again as market improves

Recruitment firm's third-quarter survey notes increased activity

Echoing the views of other recruitment firms, global recruiter Robert Walters’ third-quarter employment market update for New Zealand notes that the improving economy is leading to greater opportunities and candidate churn in most sectors, including IT.

Robert Walters New Zealand managing director Richard Manthel says in the commentary accompanying the update: “After a tentative start to 2010 which saw many New Zealand organisations still subject to headcount freezes and restructuring, New Zealand business confidence finally began to return in the second quarter of the year, and we saw companies begin to look forward, as they started to rebuild their teams, give the green light to large projects and once again concentrate on developing business.

“In turn, candidates who had elected to ‘stay put’ in jobs rather than risk a career move in an uncertain economy also began to actively explore new opportunities.”

Specifically relating to IT, the commentary notes: “There was a strong increase in hiring permanent staff over contract work.

“This arose as companies continued to rebuild teams where headcount had been severely reduced in 2009.

“Contract work was still available, but certainly not at the levels witnessed in the first half of the year.

“As a result of regrowing teams, there was an increase in requirements for candidates at operational levels, including system administrators and engineers. Hard-to-find technologies include Citrix, Vmware and Unix.

“Business intelligence was regarded as becoming more ‘useful’ in helping businesses analyse areas that could be improved, so we saw a strong demand for report analysts/writers with data warehouse experience.

“As business confidence continued in quarter three, we saw greater candidate movement, which created increased market momentum as the roles they replaced had to be filled. Many ‘passive’ candidates started to actively seek a new role.

“We expect to see the demand for permanent resources continue into quarter four as business restructures and new business ventures into expanding markets also increase the need for permanent headcount.”

In Auckland, business analysts were the number one in-demand skill set, with report analysts and writers with data warehouse experience also required.

Systems administrators and engineers are also in demand.

In Wellington, business analysts, solution architects, project managers and coordinators, and software developers and testers are in demand. However, activity is still somewhat lower than pre-recession times, the commentary notes.

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