Industries where the jobs are right now

With job ads on the rise and fewer people applying, now is an ideal time to explore opportunities across a range of industries that are hiring right now – and you may already have many of the skills required to step into a whole new industry.

So just where are the opportunities at the moment? The below table shows role types that have seen a drop in the number of people applying, plus higher demand for workers and significantly more job ads than before the pandemic. This means there’s considerably less competition for these role types, creating more opportunities for people looking to shift into the industry.


Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Machine Operators 63%
Community Services & Development Child Welfare, Youth & Family Services 13%
Trades & Services Welders & Boilermakers 31%
Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Road Transport 99%
Trades & Services Technicians 39%
Farming, Animals & Conservation Veterinary Services & Animal Welfare 92%
Marketing & Communications Marketing Communications 66%
Information & Communication Technology Developers/Programmers 28%
Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Production, Planning & Scheduling 48%
Engineering Maintenance 52%
Trades & Services Automotive Trades 54%
Trades & Services Maintenance & Handyperson Services 34%
Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Couriers, Drivers & Postal Services 37%
Marketing & Communications Digital & Search Marketing 100%
Information & Communication Technology Engineering - Software 74%
Trades & Services Electricians 11%
Information & Communication Technology Database Development & Administration 47%
Sales New Business Development 13%
Trades & Services Fitters, Turners & Machinists 50%
Sales Sales Coordinators 118%
Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics Warehousing, Storage & Distribution 66%
Information & Communication Technology Networks & Systems Administration 40%
Sales Sales Representatives/Consultants 47%
Hospitality & Tourism Chefs/Cooks 53%
Community Services & Development Community Development 60%
Healthcare & Medical Nursing - Aged Care 60%
Information & Communication Technology Business/Systems Analysts 51%
Trades & Services Security Services 33%
Human Resources & Recruitment Recruitment 62%
Trades & Services Gardening & Landscaping 64%
Sales Account & Relationship Management 58%
Sport & Recreation Coaching & Instruction 140%
Information & Communication Technology Programme & Project Management 35%

Source: SEEK Employment Report, April 2021 compared to February 2020 (pre-Covid-19).

Workers are in demand

While SEEK job ads are rising across New Zealand, the number of job seekers isn’t matching demand. Applications continue to be at low levels compared to where they’ve typically been over time.

These job market conditions have led to an increase in opportunities within a range of industries. Transferable skills are highly prized in a market where job seekers are in short supply, so even if you don’t have industry-specific experience, you may still be considered a strong candidate for the job.

Here are just some of the industries where workers are in high demand.

Make your mark in marketing and sales

Demand for staff in the Marketing & Communications and Sales industries is growing, but applications per ad are down for a number of key role types.

There are 66% more ads year-on-year for Marketing Communications roles, for instance, but 34% fewer job applications per ad. Meanwhile, ads for New Business Development roles in the Sales industry are up by 13% but applications are down by 41%.

Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, says transferable skills are valued by employers in both Marketing & Communications and Sales.

“In Marketing & Communications, employers look for digitally adept people who understand the latest digital trends and embrace technological change. A growth mindset and the ability to multitask are important, too.”

When it comes to sales jobs, Shapley says employers look for “instant returns from their new salespeople”.

Shapley adds that this is why employers want candidates with commercial experience who can draw on an existing network, consult with prospects and assist with planning and reporting. “Overall, demand is highest in sales for business development managers with strong interpersonal and networking skills.”

If you are looking to shift into the Sales industry and have great networking, planning and reporting skills, then now is a great time to use those transferable skills and make the move.

Hospitality is ready to welcome you

Ever hoped to turn your love of cooking into a career? New Zealand’s renowned Hospitality & Tourism industry is recording high levels of job ads for roles such as Chefs/Cooks. There are 53% more ads for these roles types compared to the same time last year, but applications per ad are down by 40%.

There are no required qualifications to become a Chef or a Cook, but it’s common for Chefs to complete an apprenticeship. Many employers also require Cooks to have a vocational qualification, although formal certifications are not always required.

So, if you love creating tasty dishes, work well under pressure and have a good understanding of food handling and hygiene, highlight these skills in your next application.

Make a move into transport and logistics

The Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics industry is also on the lookout for more workers. Job ads for Couriers, Drivers & Postal Services, for instance, are up by 37% year-on-year, but applications per ad are down by 44%. Job ads for Warehousing, Storage & Distribution also increased by 67% compared to the same time last year, but there are 42% fewer applicants per ad.

To stand out as an applicant in this industry, Teresa Moore, CEO of Adecco New Zealand, recommends highlighting your adaptability – it’s one of the most valued transferable skills in the industry.

“In warehousing and distribution, for instance, we are seeing businesses with an increased workload struggling to keep up with customer demand as a direct result of a sharpened increase in domestic online shopping,” she says. “As a result, adaptability has been recognised as an essential skill. Entire industries are undergoing a shift in the way they work and employees having to adapt to unfamiliar processes on the spot.”

If you’re looking at shifting jobs or industries and don’t believe you meet all the selection criteria, it’s worth knowing you might be more equipped for the job than you think. With more employers valuing transferable skills, if you can highlight yours, you may just be their number one choice.

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