Canterbury tech sector growth steady

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More than 85% of Canterbury employers are planning to recruit new IT personnel in the next six months as businesses move into an active growth phase, according to new research data.

The six-monthly Sourced Report from Christchurch’s specialist IT recruitment agency Sourced, shows hiring intentions locally remain very high, up around 1% since February, with 62% of employers recruiting for new projects.

“Indications from the data are that businesses are moving forward from planning into action and growth,” says Sourced Director Jason Bishop.

“Along with most employers recruiting for multiple roles, we’re seeing an overwhelming need for software developers and other results-driven roles such as network engineers and web and multi-media developers. Businesses are moving forward.”

Job security is also high in the region with more than 92% of employers hiring for permanent positions reflecting long-term growth commitments and 8% for contractors; a dynamic that differentiates Canterbury from New Zealand’s other main IT centres where contracting is significantly higher.

However, staff churn is up with 46% of employers hiring to replace staff, compared to 22% in February, and 40% of employees planning to look for new work in the next few months compared to 25%.

Bishop says the data reflects the cyclical nature of job churn, which tends to peak mid-year, and should be used by employers to support continued investment in their workplace culture.

“It’s a risky time of year for staff churn, so employers need to be zeroing in on their teams, communicating collectively, supporting people and actively building motivation and engagement.”

Indeed, the survey shows the vast majority of employees (81%) see professional support from management and leaders as the most important part of a workplace culture, followed by professional development opportunities and flexible working hours.

“Clearly that support and connection from management is critical.”

However, Christchurch is still not seen as a great place to progress an IT career, despite the abundance of opportunities that have developed across the full breadth of sectors, creating one of the most diverse IT centres in the country.

But, there’s a sense that employers are over-focused on qualifications when hiring and often reluctant to cross-train existing employees into progressing their roles and skills.

“Employers can learn a lot by taking note of what’s happening in Canterbury‘s buzzing tech sector. As well as support and training, IT professionals are hungry for opportunities to interact with their peers. There’s a running calendar of tech cluster events happening and employers should be encouraging their people to get out, share, learn and grow.”

The survey also shows that employers and professionals alike feel more could be done to support start-ups with a strong call for financial support such as subsidies and tax incentives along with free services ranging from broadband through to conferences and showcases.

“The strongest message from the survey is that Canterbury’s tech sector is critical not only to growth and to attracting investment and talent to Christchurch, but as a growing hub of knowledge and innovation nationally.”

The Sourced Report is a survey-based insight of the Christchurch IT sector, highlighting local employment trends and market expectations. It is published every six months by Sourced, Christchurch’s specialist IT recruitment agency.

For more information contact Jason Bishop, APRCSA

Sourced Director

t +64 3 928 2315

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