April 2015 IT and Tech scene update - Sourced

Happy Easter!

We hope the last few months have treated you well and you are looking forward to the long weekend ahead, and indulging in far too many eggs and hot cross buns! It’s been a very busy few months for the Sourced team as we head into Autumn and we’re all looking forward to a bit of a pause and a chance to enjoy the remaining warm days before Winter arrives.

You will hopefully have received your Sourced Report this week (http://sourcedreport.co.nz/) which we run biannually, and gives you a really informative view of what’s been happening in the Christchurch tech sector, themes, intentions and general confidence levels. Thank you to everybody who participated in the survey which pulls this data together, and hope you find it to be a useful tool.

The last 3 months have been a busy time for the team, with a constant flow of both contracting and permanent opportunities, and a definite trend of movement within the local market from candidates both moving to new permanent and contracting roles. We are expecting to see this continue towards mid year as employee and employer confidence remains high and companies continue to grow and offer outstanding opportunities to the market.

General Comments

When we look over the past 3 months, a really interesting trend has continued to hold, which has been the majority of Sourced permanent placements a result of individuals moving within the city. Now we have seen a number of people unfortunately fall victim to redundancies, come off fixed term contracts or make the decision to transition from permanent to contracting work or vice versa, so this should not make employers too nervous. On the whole, retention remains high among the majority of our clients, and the majority of those moving about locally are doing so for very specific reasons.

A really interesting statistic that has come out of the Sourced report is the significant increase in the percentage of employers filling vacant roles through internal promotion, rising from 24.1% in February 2014 to 50% in February 2015. We have also seen a return to optimism in terms of ‘how easy is it to grow your career within Christchurch’ within only 35% of respondents in February noting that they still found it hard. We are really pleased to see this as it feeds into the key drivers we are seeing for employees seeking new positions – career development, recognition. long term prospects and work life balance.

In terms of what is actually driving the recruitment market, we are seeing a very equal balance of contracting and permanent positions. In the contracting market, we have not been able to keep up with the shear demand for Testing resources, with demands from junior through to test team leadership. This has been followed by a mix of BA and PM requirements, technical writing, project support, web and engineering. We are finding that a lot of organisations are experiencing short term spikes of work, may not have the long term view to appoint permanently, or simply the time, and with contractors being available to start at very short notice and add immediate value, it’s a very attractive offering.

In the permanent recruitment space we are seeing a real range of opportunities coming to market. It has certainly been a very busy time in the IT Management/Senior Team Leadership space with an unprecedented number of opportunities coming to market in the year to date. This has been met with enthusiasm from the market as these roles have historically been rare, and highly contested. Through these recruits we are getting exposure to the real depth that the market has to offer, the level of skills and experience that we hold locally, and how they contribute to the success of some really key local businesses. We are finding again that a lot of leaders have come to market through restructuring, reorganisation, or simply a time to reevaluate and so the impact on businesses losing leaders has actually been quite minimal, but the opportunity for hiring companies to pick from the cream of the crop has been exceptional.

We are also seeing an ongoing permanent demand for testers, software developers and technical engineers. Roles are tending to be very ‘middle level’, with only minor demands a the junior/grad and lower team lead/management levels.

From a client activity perspective, recruitment has been steady and focused, with a mixture of recruitment for projects coming onstream, growing existing teams, and some employee turnover. As we commented last quarter, a very measured approach has been taken with clients taking the time to ensure business requirements are well understood, technical and cultural fit aspects well assessed, and long term candidate motivations well understood to ensure a sustainable solution. Recruitment has been equally spread between permanent and contracting opportunities, with skill demands right across the board.

Within Sourced Walls

We are now well and truly settled into our new office space at Level 1, 222 St Asaph Street. With purpose designed boardroom, meeting rooms and a larger space to accommodate the team, it’s been a fantastic move and we’re really pleased to seeing the ongoing developments within the CBD from our new space. We are however, eating far too much curry. If you are in the area, we can highly recommend Coriander’s downstairs!

The Sourced team remain stable as we settle into the year and don’t have any further plans for growth at this stage.

We are really looking forward to supporting Ronald McDonald House in May, inviting a number of clients to join us to cook an evening meal at the House through the Family Dinner Programme. As many as 26 families could be staying at Ronald McDonald House (South Island) on any given night. For some it is just an overnight stay, while for others it is a ‘home away from home’ for many months and frequent visits. We will be making the meal, setting the tables, serving the meals and then eating with the families. We have two nights booked in, and are really looking forward to it.

Once again Sourced has signed as sponsors for the Startup Weekend and the Canterbury Software Summit. We have added another event to our list this year and are programme sponsors of the Lightning Lab Business Accelerator 2015

Who’s in demand

In the permanent space, demand has been broad and varied, with only two positions really standing out as volume recruitment efforts, These have been in the Senior Management/IT Management/CIO space and test areas.

In the software development space, demand has actually been quite stable with a quiet demand for .Net and web development skills, however with no significant volume or urgency. These roles tend to be based on decisions to bolster teams further, and so are more considered and tend to take a bit longer to come to market.

In the test space, the primary driver in the permanent space has been mid level Functional test expertise, with some automation. In the contracting space, demand has been at all levels, with particular call for seniors and test leads. These demands have been in response to key projects hitting roadblocks, needing additional support, guidance, or simply bums on seats to get work through.

In the professional services space, demand for BA’s and PM’s has been average, with a larger demand in the contracting space than permanent. We have certainly found in the PM space that supply currently outweighs demand, however this is a timing issue and we expect the pendulum to swing back by early new year.

In the infrastructure/engineering area we have again experienced an average level of demand, with a mix of contract and permanent opportunities, with more roles towards the level 1 Desktop Support end than Senior Systems Engineering. Helpdesk and Desktop level 1 roles have certainly picked up, predominantly in the contract and fixed term spaces, and usually to support critical periods of organisational busy-ness.

We continue to encourage graduate recruitment, but this is not a time we expect significant activity.

Overseas recruitment remains steady, with a number of returning kiwis, and new migrants seeing the opportunities on offer in Christchurch. While these numbers are not in significant volumes, they are rising, and we believe in response to the increased optimism in the local economy, employment market, the progression of the rebuild and the lifestyle benefits that are starting to return.

General round up

As we speed towards winter, we expect to see a consistent pace of recruitment across both contracting and permanent roles. There appear to be no signs of the current pace slowing, and we are looking forward to bringing you some great opportunities over the next few months as well as celebrating with clients as they grow their businesses and deliver on really key project milestones.

We are really enjoying the opportunity to work in a market that is buoyant, stable, mature and well organised.

The Sourced office will be closed for both Good Friday and Easter Monday, returning to BAU Tuesday 7th May.

As always, keep in touch and we look forward to catching up with you after a nice, loong weekend!

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