2017 seems to be kicking off with a hiss and a roar – not only for employers looking to fill vacancies but for quality candidates searching for new opportunities.
The level of job ads across Waikato is high relative to the past five years and has been experiencing an upward trend over the past four months, suggesting positive conditions across the region.
Similarly, employment conditions across New Zealand are strong with further growth in tourism and construction predicted – however when we look at Waikato, the agricultural powerhouse of New Zealand; our friends at Seek tell us that farming is just one industry on the rise in the region.
Waikato’s manufacturing, transport and logistics industry increased by 11 percent year-on-year in October and looks set to benefit from the developing of the inland port in Ruakura. Job ads for Waikato’s construction industry increased by 71 percent year-on-year while related industries, such as Trades and Services, grew by 32 percent. Meanwhile job ads for engineering increased by 53 percent year-on-year while design and architecture ads were up by 9 percent over the same period.
However, many of our clients tell us that finding quality staff still keeps them awake at night – with demand for productivity and outputs outstripping their ability to deliver. When we delve into the data, we can see that the hardest roles to fill include air-conditioning, construction, automotive, surveying, healthcare and interestingly, fundraising and multicultural services roles.
On the flip side, easier roles to fill include security services, cleaning, nannies, assembly and process workers, fleet management, warehousing and quality assurance roles to name a few. So what does this mean for employers and candidates alike?
If you’re an employer looking to find staff for ‘difficult to fill’ roles, no longer can you place an advert and keep your fingers crossed that a superstar will walk in the door. Businesses need to tackle the employment market with all guns blazing!
By this I mean you need to use every possible channel to find new talent and increase your company brand presence on every occasion. As an employer, put an employee’s hat on and ask – why would I want to come and work for you?
What makes my business stand out from the other 15 air-conditioning companies hiring this week?
Am I narrowing my potential talent pool by only fishing in one pond?
Is bias (gender, ethnicity for example) clouding my judgement and excluding great employees?
Do I only advertise in one publication or search engine?
I tell many of our clients that when it comes to talent there are typically two types of candidates in the market – those who are active – e.g. out there applying for roles, actively searching for a new position, working their networks etc; and those are passive – e.g. not specifically looking for a new job but would definitely be open to a discussion should the right role come along. You might be missing out quality candidates by only canvassing active candidates.
In comparison, if you’re a candidate looking for a new role in 2017 then here are some quick tips to help you along the way.
Do not apply for every role that is advertised.
Be very clear about your strategy and vision – and determine what roles best suit your skills and experiences.
Seek advice if you’re not sure where to start and if accuracy is not one of your strong points, make sure all your documentation is error-free and checked by others.
Ensure you have a presence on LinkedIn (a search engine used by all recruiters) and that you have a strong job profile on Seek.
Let the market know you are looking for a new opportunity – especially your own network of personal and professional contacts.
Lastly, Hamilton is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities and the appetite for talent remains strong moving forward.
Whether you’re an employer or a candidate, you’ll need to have all of your wits about you to keep up with the momentum.