Competition for talent increases across New Zealand
Competition for talent across New Zealand shows little sign of slowing down.

The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows job ads were on the rise again in March compared to the same time last year and experts say employers may need to lift their game when it comes to their recruitment processes.

Opportunities on SEEK increased by 4.4% seasonally adjusted year-on-year in March and growth was shared across much of the country. Average advertised salaries also rose slightly in seasonally adjusted terms and the most notable increases were seen in industries such as Construction, Banking & Financial Services, Legal and Administration & Office Support.

Kate Ross, director of Kinetic Recruitment, says that as demand for candidates continues to grow, companies may need to strengthen their employer brand to attract the best talent.

“Candidates are in strong demand - more than ever,” she says.

“They have all the balls in their court and they know it. Candidates are taking time and really researching a brand to ensure it’s what they want both culturally and in terms of job content.”

Industries on the rise

The Government & Defence industry was out in front for year-on-year job ad growth in March. Opportunities were up by 36% and the average advertised salary was $83,592.

Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics was in second place with growth of 15% and the average advertised salary was $67,860. The Sport & Recreation industry was close behind with a 14% lift compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $62,291.

Demand in country’s thriving Hospitality & Tourism industry continued to grow with opportunities rising by 10% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $52,416. Tourism remains New Zealand’s largest export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings and international visitor arrivals grew by 7% year-on-year in February.

Meanwhile, Trades & Services continued its strong performance on SEEK with year-on-year growth of 10% and the average advertised salary was $61,964.

Small slip for construction

New Zealand’s Construction industry experienced a year-on-year decline of 2% in March and the average advertised salary was $101,377. However, SEEK’s data shows the level of advertising for the industry remains high relative to the past five years.

Ross says the construction boom is continuing to have a flow-on effect to other industries.

“We’ve noticed a substantial growth in companies supplying into the industry,” she says.

“There seems to be a bit of business buying going on, so businesses are merging and providing a more diverse offering. This leads to internal streamlining and the creation of new roles.”

While the Sales industry experienced an 11% year-on-year decline in March, key areas of the industry, such as Business Development and Analysis & Reporting, recorded growth for the three-month period of January to March.

Alexandra Allen, marketing executive with Robert Walters, says demand for Sales professionals remains strong.

We are seeing demand for Sales professionals who can generate new business opportunities for the organisation and help it to increase market share and drive business growth.”

Trends across the country

Annual job ad growth was recorded across every region in March, with the exception of Canterbury. Despite this small decline for the region, SEEK data shows job ad levels remain high relative to the past five years.

Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay continued to record high levels of advertising relative to the past five years and the trend has been on the rise for the past four months.

Meanwhile, Wellington also remains strong relative to the past five years however the level of advertising across the region has been quite flat in trend terms over the past four months.

Employer brand value

The latest SEEK data shows that many industries – such as Administration & Office Support, Sales and Human Resources & Recruitment – are experiencing growth in applications per job ad. However, employers may need to work harder to attract the best candidates.

Ross says employer brand plays a vital role.

“This is very important right now due to the candidate market,” she says.

“Brand and reputation is right at the top of the candidate check list.”

Ross notes that employers should also consider how they present their job opportunities.

“Job ads need to be clear, concise, to the point,” she says.

“Employers also need to move fast and not assume that candidates will wait -  they won’t.”