IT still tops hiring expectations, recruitment survey finds

The latest look at staffing plans still shows IT foresees more hiring than any other industry

IT continues to be the most optimistic industry sector in New Zealand according to recruitment firm Hudson’s latest six-monthly survey of hiring expectations.

Hudson surveyed more than 2000 employers across 17 industry sectors and IT came out on top in terms of the proportion of respondents who intend to hire more staff between January and June.

In all, 55.8% of all IT companies surveyed say they intend to take on more employees during that time.

Telecommunications also rated highly, with 45.1% of respondents in that sector saying they planned extra hirings.

Construction and professional services were also above average, with construction scoring 53.4% and professional services 45%.

Lower-rating verticals included education and resources, each scoring approximately 15% and manufacturing also rated relatively low at approximately 24%.

The results, collated in the six-monthly Hudson report, were generally slightly down on the last three reports and the overall level of hiring confidence was the lowest for two years.

IT was down 7.1 percentage points from the last report, released mid-year, but the result still “indicates an extremely positive outlook for the coming six months” for the sector, the report notes.

Those figures are for fulltime staff. In the contracting/temporary workforce sphere, IT also scored highly, but was second to the utilities sector.

The degree of optimism regarding hiring was markedly different between small, medium-sized and large organisations, with small firms far more positive.

Small companies (those with less than 20 employees) scored a 47.2% net positive result, medium-sized (20-200 employees) 38.5% and large organisations 33.2%.

While the result for small businesses was 3.9 percentage points higher than the last survey, those for medium-sized were down 5.8 percentage points and large organisations dropped 9.7 percentage points.

The report says, “Hudson has observed that large companies have been experiencing hiring freezes driven by events such as organisational restructures.

“However, small businesses have remained more buoyant due to their flexibility, niche market focus and value-add rather than commodity offering.”

The report also notes “With the unemployment rate at historically low levels of 3.7%, the lowest in the OECD, the sourcing of skilled staff by employers remains a critical issue, which in some cases is restricting the ability of firms to expand.

“As a result of this, the retention of key staff by companies must remain a key focus for employers.”

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