New Zealand's top 3 recession-proof industries 

New Zealand's top 3 recession-proof industries 
SEEK content teamupdated on 20 April, 2024
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With rising costs interest rates, inflation and ongoing impacts of the Russian-Ukraine war, markets around the world could be facing harder times and possibly a recession in 2023. And many New Zealanders could be wondering if their jobs are safe. 

SEEK’s Senior Economist, Matt Cowgill says that there might be a few storm clouds ahead. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is forecasting that the NZ economy will shrink in 2023. 

“The RBNZ is forecasting that the unemployment rate will rise quite sharply in 2023. If that happens, more employers will let staff go, and jobs will be harder to find for those out of work.” 

“While no industry is fully ‘recession-proof’, not every industry segment is susceptible to a downturn in the economy, and there are some industries that will do better than others," Cowgill says.   

  1. Healthcare & Medical is the most recession-proof. People still need to access healthcare even during a period of slow economic growth, so demand for healthcare workers will remain strong during a recession.  
  2. Farming, Animals & Conservation is also relatively recession-proof – people still need to eat regardless of how the economy’s going.  
  3. Education & Training is one of the most stable industries, as people still want to further their studies and advance their skills during a recession. Teachers will still be required to work and remain in high demand, even during periods of uncertainty.

If you're looking to protect yourself in a recession, it helps to know which jobs are the most in-demand right now. We’ve looked at the latest data – the table below is a snapshot of the top 20 most-in demand jobs in New Zealand right now, including average salary.    


AllAccountingAdministration & Office SupportAdvertising, Arts & MediaBanking & Financial ServicesCall Centre & Customer ServiceCommunity Services & DevelopmentConstructionConsulting & StrategyDesign & ArchitectureEducation & TrainingEngineeringFarming, Animals & ConservationHealthcare & MedicalHospitality & TourismHuman Resources & RecruitmentInformation & Communication TechnologyInsurance & SuperannuationLegalManufacturing, Transport & LogisticsMarketing & CommunicationsMining, Resources & EnergyReal Estate & PropertyRetail & Consumer ProductsSalesScience & TechnologySport & RecreationTrades & Services View

1Healthcare & MedicalRegistered Nurse$75,768 
2Administration & Office SupportAdministration Officer$55,909 
3Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Service Representative$54,210 
4Retail & Consumer ProductsStore Manager$60,534 
5Retail & Consumer ProductsRetail Sales Assistant$46,800 
6Community Services & DevelopmentSupport Worker$50,462 
7Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsStoreperson$52,500 
8ConstructionProject Manager$131,440 
9Hospitality & TourismChef$56,100 
10Information & Communication TechnologyBusiness Analyst$131,102 
11Hospitality & TourismChef De Partie$56,049 
13Administration & Office SupportOffice Administrator$56,304 
14Retail & Consumer ProductsMerchandiser$45,765 
15ConstructionQuantity Surveyor$115,978 
16Retail & Consumer ProductsSales Assistant$46,516 
17Retail & Consumer ProductsAssistant Store Manager$56,077 
18Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsWarehouse Storeperson$52,244 
19Healthcare & MedicalHealthcare Assistant$51,944 
20Trades & ServicesElectrician$78,963 
2AccountingAssistant Accountant$71,767
3AccountingFinancial Accountant$103,873
4AccountingManagement Accountant$103,230
5AccountingAccounts Administrator$59,409
6AccountingFinance Manager$126,621
7AccountingFinance Business Partner$124,076
8AccountingAccounts Assistant$59,992
9AccountingFinancial Controller$141,229
10AccountingFinancial Administrator$62,463
11AccountingBusiness Advisory Accountant$77,838
12AccountingPayroll Administrator$64,348
13AccountingPayroll Officer$72,290
14AccountingAccounts Payable Officer$60,938
15AccountingFinancial Analyst$99,359
17AccountingPayroll Specialist$79,879
18AccountingBusiness Advisory Manager$114,985
19AccountingPayroll Adviser$73,383
1Administration & Office SupportAdministration Officer$55,909 
2Administration & Office SupportOffice Administrator$56,304 
3Administration & Office SupportReceptionist$51,315 
4Administration & Office SupportExecutive Assistant$77,172 
5Administration & Office SupportOffice Manager$70,650 
6Administration & Office SupportPersonal Assistant$68,489 
7Administration & Office SupportTeam Administrator$58,990 
8Administration & Office SupportService Administrator$54,872 
9Administration & Office SupportProject Coordinator$68,515 
10Administration & Office SupportProject Administrator$64,049 
11Administration & Office SupportAdministration Coordinator$60,425 
2Administration & Office SupportAdministration Support Officer$53,719 
13Administration & Office SupportCustomer Service Representative$54,510 
14Administration & Office SupportOffice Assistant$54,163 
15Administration & Office SupportAccounts Administrator$61,461 
16Administration & Office SupportContracts Administrator$63,023 
17Administration & Office SupportCustomer Service Administrator$54,318 
18Administration & Office SupportAdministration Manager$68,250 
19Administration & Office SupportTeam Coordinator$64,685 
20Administration & Office SupportMedical Receptionist$55,177 
1Advertising, Arts & MediaJournalist$67,165 
2Advertising, Arts & MediaReporter$68,849 
3Advertising, Arts & MediaEditor$88,534 
4Advertising, Arts & MediaProducer$76,921 
5Advertising, Arts & MediaAccount Manager$79,285 
1Banking & Financial ServicesCustomer Service Representative$57,702 
2Banking & Financial ServicesManager$145,245 
3Banking & Financial ServicesFinancial Adviser$92,229 
4Banking & Financial ServicesBanking Specialist$72,644 
5Banking & Financial ServicesAnalyst$99,107 
6Banking & Financial ServicesBanker$65,789 
7Banking & Financial ServicesBusiness Manager$101,089 
8Banking & Financial ServicesCompliance Manager$138,628 
9Banking & Financial ServicesConsultant$65,475 
10Banking & Financial ServicesRisk Manager$146,333 
1Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Service Representative$54,210 
2Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Care Consultant$52,702 
3Call Centre & Customer ServiceTeam Leader$77,661 
4Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Support Officer$52,554 
5Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Experience Consultant$55,045 
6Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Service Specialist$55,649 
7Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Service Adviser$59,272 
8Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Service Coordinator$58,449 
9Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Care Specialist$51,424 
10Call Centre & Customer ServiceCustomer Service Manager$97,249 
1Community Services & DevelopmentSupport Worker$50,462 
2Community Services & DevelopmentSocial Worker$72,677 
3Community Services & DevelopmentCommunity Support Worker$50,843 
4Community Services & DevelopmentCaregiver$48,175 
5Community Services & DevelopmentYouth Worker$52,611 
6Community Services & DevelopmentResidential Support Worker$51,598 
7Community Services & DevelopmentCoordinator$64,999 
8Community Services & DevelopmentAdviser$101,168 
9Community Services & DevelopmentTeam Leader$78,666 
10Community Services & DevelopmentManager$101,871 
11Community Services & DevelopmentService Manager$81,015 
12Community Services & DevelopmentMental Health Support Worker$53,179 
13Community Services & DevelopmentProbation Officer$64,696 
14Community Services & DevelopmentFacilitator$58,261 
15Community Services & DevelopmentSupport Coordinator$51,847 
16Community Services & DevelopmentService Coordinator$64,665 
17Community Services & DevelopmentEmployment Consultant$59,784 
18Community Services & DevelopmentProgram Coordinator$61,247 
19Community Services & DevelopmentHousing Navigator$56,735 
20Community Services & DevelopmentSupport Manager$80,138 
1ConstructionProject Manager$131,440 
2ConstructionQuantity Surveyor$115,978 
3ConstructionSite Manager$123,902 
5ConstructionSite Traffic Management Supervisor$58,176 
7ConstructionExcavator Operator$66,663 
8ConstructionMachine Operator$57,752 
9ConstructionSite Supervisor$105,842 
10ConstructionContracts Manager$110,803 
12ConstructionConstruction Manager$158,618 
13ConstructionOperations Manager$112,528 
14ConstructionConstruction Project Manager$128,515 
15ConstructionHealth And Safety Adviser$105,887 
17ConstructionTruck Driver$57,633 
18ConstructionProject Coordinator$71,422 
19ConstructionProject Engineer$109,615 
20ConstructionLeading Hand$71,588 
1Consulting & StrategyAdviser$120,715 
2Consulting & StrategyChange Manager$146,111 
3Consulting & StrategyPlanner$101,250 
4Consulting & StrategyConsultant$111,658 
5Consulting & StrategyAnalyst$104,028 
1Design & ArchitectureGraphic Designer$69,570 
2Design & ArchitectureArchitectural Technician$89,644 
3Design & ArchitecturePlanner$100,554 
4Design & ArchitectureArchitectural Designer$85,166 
5Design & ArchitectureProject Architect$120,483 
6Design & ArchitectureLandscape Architect$95,716 
7Design & ArchitectureArchitect$107,019 
8Design & ArchitectureDesigner$80,004 
9Design & ArchitectureInterior Designer$93,690 
10Design & ArchitectureProduct Designer$123,333 
1Education & TrainingEarly Childhood Teacher$61,287 
2Education & TrainingTeacher$70,279 
3Education & TrainingTeachers Aide$53,567 
4Education & TrainingTutor$66,338 
5Education & TrainingLecturer$88,841 
6Education & TrainingKaiako$66,518 
7Education & TrainingAdviser$79,064 
8Education & TrainingChildcare Worker$44,106 
9Education & TrainingFacilitator$86,055 
10Education & TrainingLearning Assistant$51,250 
11Education & TrainingAcademic Staff Member$75,640 
12Education & TrainingEarly Childhood Educator$57,785 
13Education & TrainingProgram Coordinator$60,416 
14Education & TrainingManager$93,597 
15Education & TrainingLibrarian$59,709 
16Education & TrainingTraining Adviser$75,536 
17Education & TrainingCoordinator$63,960 
18Education & TrainingLibrary Assistant$52,043 
19Education & TrainingPrimary Teacher$68,568 
20Education & TrainingResearch Fellow$93,035 
1EngineeringProject Engineer$112,076 
2EngineeringCivil Engineer$103,194 
3EngineeringStructural Engineer$108,358 
4EngineeringProject Manager$124,347 
5EngineeringMaintenance Engineer$86,003 
6EngineeringMechanical Engineer$105,298 
7EngineeringGeotechnical Engineer$101,271 
8EngineeringElectrical Engineer$97,188 
9EngineeringSite Engineer$92,208 
10EngineeringDesign Engineer$99,442 
11EngineeringMaintenance Fitter$80,605 
12EngineeringEngineering Geologist$90,915 
13EngineeringEngineering Manager$135,488 
14EngineeringAutomation Engineer$112,213 
15EngineeringSystems Engineer$101,167 
16EngineeringMechanical Design Engineer$97,019 
17EngineeringTransportation Engineer$99,867 
18EngineeringTechnical Director$158,000 
19EngineeringWater Engineer$102,762 
20EngineeringAsset Manager$115,759 
1Farming, Animals & ConservationVeterinary Nurse$54,156 
2Farming, Animals & ConservationVeterinarian$106,325 
3Farming, Animals & ConservationRanger$61,820 
4Farming, Animals & ConservationAnimal Attendant$44,556 
5Farming, Animals & ConservationCellarhand$51,754 
6Farming, Animals & ConservationFarmhand$52,412 
7Farming, Animals & ConservationSupervisor$68,177 
8Farming, Animals & ConservationTeam Leader$75,930 
9Farming, Animals & ConservationMachine Operator$56,825 
10Farming, Animals & ConservationVineyard Operator$52,263 
1Healthcare & MedicalRegistered Nurse$75,768 
2Healthcare & MedicalHealthcare Assistant$51,944 
3Healthcare & MedicalPharmacist$87,449 
4Healthcare & MedicalOccupational Therapist$80,840 
5Healthcare & MedicalPhysiotherapist$77,634 
6Healthcare & MedicalMedical Receptionist$51,931 
7Healthcare & MedicalDental Assistant$49,837 
8Healthcare & MedicalPractice Nurse$73,269 
9Healthcare & MedicalGeneral Practitioner$182,508 
10Healthcare & MedicalSocial Worker$79,447 
11Healthcare & MedicalEnrolled Nurse$70,202 
12Healthcare & MedicalPsychologist$96,758 
13Healthcare & MedicalNurse$80,101 
14Healthcare & MedicalCounsellor$75,881 
15Healthcare & MedicalCaregiver$50,173 
16Healthcare & MedicalMental Health Professional$72,973 
17Healthcare & MedicalClinical Manager$96,588 
18Healthcare & MedicalMedical Imaging Technologist$80,694 
19Healthcare & MedicalCommunity Registered Nurse$70,363 
20Healthcare & MedicalSpeech And Language Therapist$75,865 
1Hospitality & TourismChef$56,100 
2Hospitality & TourismChef De Partie$56,049 
3Hospitality & TourismDuty Manager$55,004 
4Hospitality & TourismSous Chef$62,611 
5Hospitality & TourismKitchen Hand$47,825 
6Hospitality & TourismHousekeeper$48,515 
7Hospitality & TourismHead Chef$75,236 
8Hospitality & TourismFood And Beverage Attendant$50,170 
9Hospitality & TourismRestaurant Manager$62,917 
10Hospitality & TourismKitchen Assistant$45,887 
11Hospitality & TourismBarista$49,277 
12Hospitality & TourismCook$53,990 
13Hospitality & TourismWaitperson$49,775 
14Hospitality & TourismGuest Services Agent$47,474 
15Hospitality & TourismCustomer Service Representative$53,555 
16Hospitality & TourismBartender$51,056 
17Hospitality & TourismCafe Assistant$47,889 
18Hospitality & TourismAssistant Restaurant Manager$59,911 
19Hospitality & TourismAssistant Manager$57,160 
20Hospitality & TourismCommis Chef$50,391 
1Human Resources & RecruitmentHuman Resources Adviser$90,458 
2Human Resources & RecruitmentRecruitment Consultant$79,029 
3Human Resources & RecruitmentHealth And Safety Adviser$94,796 
4Human Resources & RecruitmentHuman Resources Business Partner$119,805 
5Human Resources & RecruitmentHuman Resources Coordinator$64,778 
6Human Resources & RecruitmentHuman Resources Manager$111,547 
7Human Resources & RecruitmentRecruitment Adviser$83,369 
8Human Resources & RecruitmentHuman Resources Administrator$58,476 
9Human Resources & RecruitmentHealth And Safety Manager$135,743 
10Human Resources & RecruitmentPeople And Culture Manager$132,135 
11Human Resources & RecruitmentRecruitment Coordinator$63,342 
12Human Resources & RecruitmentPeople And Culture Adviser$90,226 
13Human Resources & RecruitmentPeople And Culture Coordinator$64,478 
14Human Resources & RecruitmentHealth And Safety Coordinator$71,122 
15Human Resources & RecruitmentPeople And Culture Business Partner$114,800 
16Human Resources & RecruitmentTalent Acquisition Adviser$86,171 
17Human Resources & RecruitmentPeople Adviser$95,037 
18Human Resources & RecruitmentHealth And Safety Business Partner$111,000 
19Human Resources & RecruitmentCapability Adviser$89,618 
20Human Resources & RecruitmentHealth Safety And Wellbeing Adviser$107,903 
1Information & Communication TechnologyBusiness Analyst$131,102
2Information & Communication TechnologySoftware Engineer$121,086
3Information & Communication TechnologyProject Manager$141,450
4Information & Communication TechnologyData Engineer$128,853
5Information & Communication TechnologySoftware Developer$112,417
6Information & Communication TechnologySystems Engineer$102,143
7Information & Communication TechnologyFull Stack Developer$119,639
8Information & Communication TechnologySolutions Architect$158,657
9Information & Communication TechnologyTesting Analyst$110,165
10Information & Communication TechnologyService Desk Analyst$61,572
11Information & Communication TechnologyDevops Engineer$123,355
12Information & Communication TechnologyProduct Owner$133,758
13Information & Communication TechnologyData Analyst$103,021
14Information & Communication TechnologyEngineer$127,437
15Information & Communication Technology.Net Developer$128,304
16Information & Communication TechnologyProject Coordinator$93,147
17Information & Communication TechnologyTest Automation Engineer$124,418
18Information & Communication TechnologyProduct Manager$140,430
19Information & Communication TechnologyTechnical Consultant$122,856
20Information & Communication TechnologyTechnical Lead$141,752
1Insurance & SuperannuationCommercial Broker$83,786 
2Insurance & SuperannuationRecovery Coordinator$62,507 
3Insurance & SuperannuationUnderwriter$121,923 
4Insurance & SuperannuationAccount Broker$59,875 
5Insurance & SuperannuationClaims Technician$56,050 
2LegalLegal Counsel$136,360 
4LegalLegal Secretary$64,559 
5LegalLitigation Solicitor$102,910 
6LegalSenior Associate$151,891 
7LegalCommercial Solicitor$103,500 
8LegalLitigation Lawyer$96,464 
9LegalProperty Lawyer$110,577 
10LegalCorporate Lawyer$126,250 
1Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsStoreperson$52,500 
2Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsDelivery Driver$52,927 
3Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsForklift Driver$52,820 
4Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsMachine Operator$55,576 
5Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsMedium Rigid Driver$55,842 
6Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsDriver$55,453 
7Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsWarehouse Assistant$50,326 
8Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsPicker And Packer$46,876 
9Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsOperations Manager$109,761 
10Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsWarehouse Operator$53,249 
11Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsHeavy Combination Driver$61,820 
12Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsProcess Worker$47,219 
13Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsProduction Operator$53,765 
14Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsHeavy Rigid Driver$57,321 
15Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsTruck Driver$62,014 
16Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsProduction Worker$47,896 
17Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsSupervisor$70,640 
18Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsTeam Leader$69,666 
19Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsDelivery Agent$50,444 
20Manufacturing, Transport & LogisticsProcessing Officer$48,489 
1Marketing & CommunicationsCommunications Adviser$96,495 
2Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Manager$105,803 
3Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Coordinator$63,865 
4Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Executive$75,692 
5Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Specialist$80,627 
6Marketing & CommunicationsDigital Marketing Specialist$86,118 
7Marketing & CommunicationsBrand Manager$99,186 
8Marketing & CommunicationsProduct Manager$111,936 
9Marketing & CommunicationsCommunications Manager$117,635 
10Marketing & CommunicationsEvents Coordinator$59,614 
11Marketing & CommunicationsDigital Marketing Manager$107,500 
12Marketing & CommunicationsCommunications And Engagement Adviser$109,833 
13Marketing & CommunicationsDigital Marketing Coordinator$63,646 
14Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Assistant$56,838 
15Marketing & CommunicationsCommunications Coordinator$66,043 
16Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Adviser$86,100 
17Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing Lead$88,088 
18Marketing & CommunicationsSearch Engine Optimisation Specialist$93,166 
19Marketing & CommunicationsEvents Manager$94,423 
20Marketing & CommunicationsSocial Media Specialist$73,691 
1Mining, Resources & EnergyLine Mechanic$66,925 
2Mining, Resources & EnergyCable Jointer$71,463 
3Mining, Resources & EnergyElectrical Fitter$77,767 
4Mining, Resources & EnergySupervisor$100,833 
5Mining, Resources & EnergyEngineer$114,643 
1Real Estate & PropertyProperty Manager$70,653 
2Real Estate & PropertyReal Estate Agent$94,500 
3Real Estate & PropertyFacilities Manager$98,090 
4Real Estate & PropertyDevelopment Manager$173,713 
5Real Estate & PropertyCommercial Property Manager$108,846 
1Retail & Consumer ProductsStore Manager$60,534 
2Retail & Consumer ProductsRetail Sales Assistant$46,800 
3Retail & Consumer ProductsMerchandiser$45,765 
4Retail & Consumer ProductsRetail Sales Associate$48,057 
5Retail & Consumer ProductsSales Assistant$46,516 
6Retail & Consumer ProductsCustomer Service Representative$46,254 
7Retail & Consumer ProductsAssistant Store Manager$56,077 
8Retail & Consumer ProductsSales Consultant$51,794 
9Retail & Consumer ProductsAssistant Manager$55,479 
10Retail & Consumer ProductsDuty Manager$53,542 
11Retail & Consumer ProductsDeli Assistant$45,645 
12Retail & Consumer ProductsSalesperson$48,617 
13Retail & Consumer ProductsAssistant$51,213 
14Retail & Consumer ProductsBranch Manager$84,186 
15Retail & Consumer ProductsTeam Leader$50,497 
16Retail & Consumer ProductsCheckout Operator$46,323 
17Retail & Consumer ProductsProduce Assistant$45,459 
18Retail & Consumer ProductsSales Associate$49,402 
19Retail & Consumer ProductsGrocery Assistant$46,282 
20Retail & Consumer ProductsCheckout Supervisor$53,271 
1SalesBusiness Development Manager$100,539 
2SalesAccount Manager$87,372 
3SalesSales Representative$69,251 
4SalesSales Consultant$72,617 
5SalesTerritory Manager$81,141 
6SalesSales Manager$110,034 
7SalesKey Account Manager$105,873 
8SalesSales Executive$81,504 
9SalesSales Coordinator$61,000 
10SalesSales Specialist$87,071 
11SalesSales Account Manager$81,838 
12SalesTerritory Sales Manager$78,750 
13SalesNational Sales Manager$135,320 
14SalesTechnical Sales Representative$84,800 
15SalesBranch Manager$117,125 
16SalesSales Professional$76,110 
17SalesSales Development Representative$63,332 
18SalesAccount Executive$79,583 
19SalesVehicle Sales Consultant$92,088 
20SalesBusiness Manager$118,036 
1Science & TechnologyLaboratory Technician$56,272 
2Science & TechnologyScientist$98,605 
3Science & TechnologyTechnician$56,804 
4Science & TechnologyEcologist$90,345 
5Science & TechnologyData Scientist$120,430 
1Sport & RecreationLifeguard$47,802 
2Sport & RecreationPersonal Trainer$77,204 
3Sport & RecreationClub Manager$57,627 
4Sport & RecreationFitness Instructor$49,583 
5Sport & RecreationSports Coordinator$58,028 
1Trades & ServicesCleaner$46,783 
2Trades & ServicesService Technician$68,372 
3Trades & ServicesTechnician$61,154 
4Trades & ServicesLabourer$49,822 
5Trades & ServicesCarpenter$68,261 
6Trades & ServicesAutomotive Technician$68,154 
7Trades & ServicesGardener$51,026 
8Trades & ServicesBeauty Therapist$55,100 
9Trades & ServicesBaker$55,525 
10Trades & ServicesSecurity Officer$53,172 
11Trades & ServicesField Service Technician$78,543 
12Trades & ServicesInstaller$61,481 
13Trades & ServicesPainter$58,353 
14Trades & ServicesGroundsperson$55,335 
15Trades & ServicesCabinet Maker$70,457 
16Trades & ServicesDiesel Mechanic$78,241 
17Trades & ServicesFabricator$63,936 
18Trades & ServicesPlumber$75,589 
19Trades & ServicesHammerhand$57,364 
20Trades & ServicesIndustrial Electrician$86,323 
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Source: Job ads listed on SEEK from Oct 2022-Dec 2022, based on average annual full time and annualised hourly salaries (excluding contract roles).

What does this mean for you?  

 As companies scale back their hiring budgets, and competition for jobs grows, it’s important to be ready to act on opportunities as soon as they arise.  

There are “recession-proof” skills that are in demand no matter what shape the economy is in, but you must act quickly, says Charlotte Pridham, Regional Director – Flexhive by Hudson New Zealand.  

Those who can respond promptly are the most likely to succeed in a tight market, she says.  

“As always, but especially during a downturn, you will want to be able to act quickly during the recruitment process, so make sure you're keeping an eye on emails and calls and have useful things like references ready to go,” says Pridham. 

Four tips to help you find a new role in an economic downturn 

1. Highlight your skills and achievements  

How you explain your current and previous jobs makes a difference. Rather than focusing on tasks and responsibilities, clearly communicate the specific results you’ve achieved and the skills you can bring to a role, so that employers can picture how you might fit in at their company.   

“At times of downturn it’s particularly important for employers to see skills such as resilience, an ability to identify opportunities and deliver change. So if you have specific examples of where you have done this, including positive outcomes, make sure you include this,” Pridham says.  

2. Focus on improving your interview skills   

Secondly, communication and the way you present can make a big difference in how capable employers think you are.   

Pridham says during a downturn, employers become more risk averse. But clearly communicating what you want from a role and what you can bring to the table can help to reassure employers and make the process simpler. 

“Take time to reflect on how and where you can add value and think about how you will communicate this so it's clear and succinct for everyone,” she says.   

Practice how you’ll answer common interview questions – especially questions about your skills – so that you can be ready to impress. 

3. Use your networks  

Don’t forget to make the most of any personal and professional contacts.  

“If a recession does occur, there will be more competition for roles, so it’s important to use your network to gain insights and highlight your application – this can make all the difference,” says Pridham.  

Reach out to people you know to let them know you’re looking for work. You might see if they can connect you with others, provide advice, or review your resumé. You could also see if you can set up an informational interview with someone in your industry. Building your network now can mean support is there in times you need it. 

4. Invest in your future and continued learning  

Finally, you can improve your chances of landing a new role by having well-rounded skills. Do you have outdated certifications, or is there new technology that would be useful in a new position?  

Becoming a specialist in your area by upskilling and showcasing your skillsets will be fundamental to making yourself recession-proof, Pridham says. 

“It’s important to focus on having the right skills, not just more skills. Speak to people in your network who are already doing the job and ask them which skills are most valued and sought after. Also remember you can develop and demonstrate skills outside of your role, volunteer to help with a project, or engage in opportunities after work.” 

It’s likely that we’ll see a softening in the New Zealand job market in 2023, and it pays to be prepared for any potential downturn. Focus on highlighting your skills and achievements, improving your interview skills and looking to your networks. And importantly, be ready to respond quickly when you do look for work next. That way, you’ll be presenting yourself well to the job market and have the best chance of landing a new role.  

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