What’s happening out there indeed?
Every day is a different day posing new challenges and opportunities at present.
While there has been a temporary slow down in demand for resources in the current Auckland L4 lockdown, there has not been the ‘hard stop’ we saw last year.
Seek adverts were down 25% in August 2021 versus 75% in L4 lockdown 2020. In most areas there has already been a bounce back in demand for labour, which will be mirrored in Auckland as soon as lock down restrictions lift. Of greater note is that advert responses are significantly down across the board this year, with even lower numbers of candidates being open to considering a new opportunity while in lockdown.
Business confidence remains high and our clients are telling us that projects will continue to progress. Businesses know how to deal with lockdowns now and it is widely accepted that these disruptions are not going away any time soon.
We are now all accustomed to making things happen from home and while it is certainly harder to juggle online meetings with school work and family time, we are making it work, because we have to.
This year has seen a massive spike in demand for Digital and ICT resources, both contract and permanent. In my 25+ years in this industry, I have never before seen this frenzy of activity, as businesses look to secure available talent.
Passive candidates are getting punch drunk from receiving multiple approaches daily, salaries on offer are not just $10k above current, but $50k+. Contract rates are going through the roof and of course businesses are needing to counter offer to retain valuable team members.
While it is fantastic news that the NZ economy continues to grow, we must face the grim reality that labour shortages across the board will intensify.
The borders will remain closed, NZ immigration policies will tighten even further, and in time young New Zealanders will head overseas (either to act on pent up demand for their OE, or to be able to afford to buy a house). Net migration has gone from very high levels to zero and is likely to go backwards in the years to come.
The need and demand for skilled people is skyrocketing and the talent pool is shrinking.
In a recent webinar, Economist Shamubeel Eaqub predicted that by the end of 2022 there will be less people available to work in New Zealand, than before the pandemic began.
When asked what businesses can do to mitigate these challenges, he suggested:
- Improve the pay and working conditions of your staff
- Wherever possible use Contractors and Temps to bolster your workforce
- Focus on communication and retention of valued people
- Have a long-term plan of what labour resources your business needs and how you are going to achieve this
Overall, I believe the message to employers should be – understand the needs of your people and let them know that they are valued.
In our Lexel RaaS Business we would be nothing without the amazing Contractors we work with to provide services to our clients.
To understand our Contractor’s needs better we recently asked them to take part in a brief survey. After around a 50% response rate, results told us that overall we are doing pretty well in connecting with and meeting the needs of our Contractors, with a few tweaks needed here and there.
Do Contractors need connection with other Contractors?
While we strive to ensure our Contractors have access to regular RaaS social and networking events, this can be difficult to achieve in Covid times. We are always looking for ways to improve our level of connection with our Contractors.
As this has been rated as very important by Contractors overseas, we were surprised to learn that over 55% of our respondees do not feel the need to feel more connected to other Contractors.
When asked if it is important to them to feel connected to other contractors:
What is most important to Contractors when considering a new opportunity?
When asked ‘what is the most important factor when considering a new role?’ Remuneration and flexible working were by far the top two motivators.
What can you as an employer do to attract and retain the best talent in this crazy market?
Understand the market. It is critical to have an up-to-date knowledge of both the availability of talent and current market rates in the areas you are looking to recruit in. Call us – we can help you with this.
Understand and invest in your people. Take the time to get to know the individual motivators of your people and wherever possible proactively provide these. Retention is far more cost effective than replacement.
To discuss any of the matters outlined here, to have a general chat around what we are seeing or how we can help you to manage your current resourcing challenges, please do reach out. I would love to hear from you.
Contact: Amanda van Ryn, General Manager – Resourcing as a Service
Email: [email protected]