Demand for talent on the rise across New Zealand
The new financial year started on a high for New Zealand’s employment market.

The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows double-digit growth in job ads in April compared to the same time last year. With competition for talented heating up, experts say now is the time for employers to review their recruitment strategy.

Opportunities on SEEK were up by 11.6% year-on-year in April and all but one industry experienced a boost. The only industry to record a year-on-year decline in job ads was Design & Architecture, which saw a small slip of 0.7%.

The positive results were recorded across all major regions. Auckland experienced a 5.2% lift, while Wellington grew by 16.4% and Canterbury was up by 3.6%.

Industries leading the way

National job ad growth for April was largely driven by demand across three sectors: Trades & Services, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics and Hospitality & Tourism. These industries accounted for 39% of New Zealand’s year-on-year growth rate.

New Zealand’s burgeoning tourism industry was also a strong source of opportunities in April. Job ads for Hospitality & Tourism rose by 34% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $50,836.

The legal industry was another top performer with job ads increasing by 32% compared to the same time last year.

Trends across the sectors

Administration & Office Support recorded a 20% lift in opportunities compared to the same time last year.

Shannon Barlow, New Zealand Managing Director of people2people recruitment says this growth is a reflection of positive business sentiment.

“I think this is a good sign of business confidence to be using this resource to drive projects forward,” she says.

“When times are tough, you will see businesses ‘make do’, so it’s great to see the demand for dedicated support roles.”

Opportunities were also on the rise in the Accounting industry, with job ads increasing by 17% year-on-year.

Vanesha Din, Lead – Accounting and Finance at recruitment agency Tribe, says automation is transforming demand for talent across the accounting industry.

“Automation has created a reduction in processing and data-entry roles within medium-to-large sized organisations that are able to invest in technology,” she says.

“Although we have seen a shrinking in the team size of accounts payable, accounts receivable and credit control, there is an increase in analysts and those who can interpret financial data, draw insights around variances and present meaningful results to stakeholders.”

Demand for senior leaders is also on the rise with opportunities on SEEK for CEO and General Management roles increasing by 7% compared to the same time last year.

“Change management, transformation and the ability to challenge the status quo are important skills in these roles as businesses look to push growth and embrace innovation through technology, new products and new markets,” says Emma Scott, Chief of Tribe.

Growth was also recorded in the Marketing & Communications industry, with opportunities increasing by 7% year-on-year. Scott says companies now require talent with a fresh approach to consumer engagement.

“Marketing & Communications is an ever-evolving space as consumers become wiser - and more jaded - to the ways in which they are targeted by businesses,” she says.

“With more businesses moving to an agile way of working, the role of marketing will continue to evolve and develop and we anticipate a greater call for a mixture of traditional and digital knowledge to launch campaigns to market faster.”

Attracting and retaining talent

With competition for talent on the rise, Scott says now is the time for employers to review their recruitment process.

“The demand for good candidates is at an increased level and candidates have multiple opportunities,” she says.

“We have been saying it for a long time, but companies need to put their best foot forward in every step of the recruitment process. When making a decision between opportunities, candidates will take the recruitment experience into consideration.”

When it comes to retaining talent, Scott adds that open communication is highly valued among employees.

“Be open to having discussions with people about what is important to them,” she says. “Inclusion, flexibility and genuine care about wellbeing go an incredibly long way.

Barlow says employers should consider additional benefits beyond a competitive salary package. This includes opportunities for work-life balance and career development.

With unemployment at such low levels, the competition for talent is fierce,” she says. “I think it’s about the big picture and showing how you can meet the needs of candidates both when they join the business and as they continue to grow with the business.”