Employer Insights

What Is Going on in the New Zealand Job Market?

Kirsty HeneganPosted by Kirsty
min read

After the release of our p2p post in April 2019 - a comprehensive market update with a detailed report on salaries, employee shortages, market trends and the benefits different firms are offering, we have been meeting with clients and having interesting discussions about what is happening in the New Zealand Market.

Are we going to see an increase in salaries?

A hot topic has been whether the average wage growth, which has remained at 2% (private sector) and 1.7% (public sector) for several consecutive years, will have an increase in the foreseeable future.

From speaking with clients, I believe the Auckland market in general (not overall) is steering away from the push on salary increases and leaning more towards the overall package and work/life balance. A huge factor for most people isn’t necessarily a salary increase but access to flexible working arrangements, working from home, career progression and general health and wellbeing offerings.

Candidate short market

We are currently in a very candidate short market, with an unemployment rate of around 4.3% and recruiting for certain roles can be a nightmare!

It has changed dramatically from when there were too many candidates for positions and employers could have their pick of the best.

With this shift, I have seen a growth in salaries, a quicker turn around in recruitment times for some roles and an increase in counter offers from current employers. When recruiting, employers are realising that they need to put their most competitive offer on the table initially, as candidates are not taking the time to negotiate, especially when they are being offered a better package elsewhere.

Immigration changes

The immigration changes which will be introduced in August 2019 are being put in place to ensure  Kiwis are given the first opportunity for roles with employers. From 2019 any employer who wants to employ a migrant worker must have accreditation (this is in different tiers, dependent on how many migrant workers you employ) and the minimum salary requirement for people on a talent visa will increase from $55K per annum to $78K per annum.

As mentioned, we are in a very candidate short market which will have a huge effect on companies who are looking to grow or replace staff. When speaking to many clients, they have said they are having to headhunt outside of New Zealand to try and find the right calibre of staff for their roles as qualified applicants are not coming through advertisements in New Zealand. With these changes coming into place, I have already noticed companies not wanting to employ migrant workers because of the hassle of visas and the potential of not being able to retain employees sourced through this system.

With these changes, I believe we will see companies struggling with those hard to fill roles that don’t meet the criteria and there will be a decrease in migrants coming to New Zealand for work and to study.

If you are interested in more information on the immigration changes please follow this link.

And, if you would like your own p2p post to keep ahead of market trends, then please contact us on 0800 727 968.