July 2015 market update for Canterbury IT - Sourced

The shortest day has been, it’s nearly Summer?!

Welcome to our regular quarterly market update. We hope you’re keeping warm and well, and indoors through this cold patch. We’ve all been watching out the window hopefully over the past week or two looking for snow, but it would appear we are only going to be treated to cold temperatures and the odd sleety shower, as opposed to the white stuff!

The past 3 months have been a busy period for the Sourced team on a work and home front. We have enjoyed the pitter patter of new feet in the office (all four of them), have been active outside of work with some really great community focussed initiatives, and while the market appears to have dipped slightly, we have been enjoying a strong mix of contracting and permanent roles coming to market, keeping our feet firmly in both camps.

General Comments

The market appears to have stabilized as we’ve hit mid year, with a lot of planned growth recruitment complete. Projects are either in ramp down or in the early stages, and a high level of employee retention means roles that we are recruiting have tended to be specialist, in direct response to discrete pieces of work, or planned recruitment without the absolute urgency we have seen earlier in the year.

We have definitely seen a lift in demand for contracting resource, again as employers look further out and identify that requirements are discrete, well packaged pieces of work that do not warrant permanent investment in, or where specialist skills are required to be injected to get work across the line. We have thoroughly enjoyed maintaining a committed group of specialist contractors/consultants who we have been able to move from one project to another, ensuring we are delivering a continued level of service, and our contractors enjoy the benefits of the client network we have built over the past few years. While we continue to grow our contractor base, we are most definitely moving towards a model where the majority have completed assignments with us before and come highly recommended.

We are recruiting an increased number of candidates from offshore, new to Christchurch, or returning home, as those employees now in work locally keep their heads down and focus on projects ahead, having little appetite to change employers at this stage of the year. This may well change, however for now we are seeing that staff turnover is very low and we are predominantly recruiting into new positions across the board.

We have seen an interesting bubble of candidates coming to us from South America, meeting and/or placing at least 8 individuals over the last 3 months being from the Argentina/Brazil areas. We’re not quite sure what is driving this, however we have had some really great talent arriving from the region.

Some interesting points to come out of CDC’s recent Economic briefing:

  • 5000 migrants to Christchurch last 13 months – only half of these for the rebuild
  • 3% unemployment, close to 2% male unemployment
  • Innovation precinct – 70% full, Kathmandu, Wynyard, Vodafone (cornerstone), Greenhouse (incubator). Starting to be discussed internationally.
New ‘SIGNAL’ for ICT industry and growth in Christchurch

Another week, another big announcement about the growth of the IT sector here in Christchurch. Minister Steven Joyce was on hand last week to announce two new ICT graduate schools: one to be established in Auckland, and another in the Innovation Precinct right here in Christchurch.

The South Island school will be called the South Island Graduate Network and Lab (SIGNAL), hosted by the South Island Tertiary Alliance—a partnership of the University of Canterbury, Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology (CPIT), Lincoln University, Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago.

Once fully established, these graduate schools are expected to train in excess of 350 students per year. Here at the Christchurch school, programmes will focus on key ICT areas relevant to the regional economy, including agri-tech, health technology, and communications products and services.

Our industry needs these skilled graduates to keep feeding our growth. The 350 per year expected to graduate from these schools are a good start, but we’ll need even more yet to become the economic powerhouse in New Zealand that we know the tech sector can be.

It’s also another welcome cornerstone tenant in the burgeoning Innovation Precinct, joining the Lightning Lab, Wynyard Group, Vodafone and others as key tenants at the eastern end of the CBD. With progress well underway on the new construction in this area, we’re entering perhaps the most exciting phase yet of the rebuild for this zone.

Within Sourced Walls

As we alluded to above, there has been the pitter patter of new paws in the Sourced office, with Ted the Black Russian Terrier finding his puppy feet with us over the next month or two. While we have managed to keep him behind doors, he is available to meet and greet on request. We are expecting to announce a new addition to our consulting team over the next month or so also – so please watch this space!

Ronald McDonald House Charities New ZealandWe really enjoyed hosting a number of clients recently for our Ronald McDonald House Dinner programme, where we served up dinner to 45 family members staying at the house. Many of our clients weren’t aware that The House relies on businesses and local individuals to provide meals to the house every night of the week, and they are not always able to achieve this. We thoroughly enjoyed our two nights, meeting the parents and kids staying at the house, and coordinating feeding many hungry mouths, with just an hour and a half to plate up. Many of our clients commented that they would be taking this programme back to their own work places, so we really felt that this was a great result.

We are just starting to look ahead to the second half of this year and how we continue to get involved with our local community. If you have any great ideas you’d like to contribute please let us know!

Otherwise we have been business as usual here at Sourced, enjoying the increasing pace of the rebuild here in central city, and trying out the local eateries and cafes that are popping up with increased frequency.

Lookout for us as sponsors at Canterbury Software Summit, which is approaching with increasing pace. The Lightning Lab Business Accelerator 2015 program is looking for interns at the moment – head to the link (Facebook page) for more info.

Who’s in demand

Demand has been broad and varied over the past 3 months. We appear to have had a bit of a bubble in the demand of Level 1 & 2 Applications Support Analysts at a technical level, and for contractor and permanent staff in the Data Migration, SQL, BI space.

Contracting on the whole has been buoyant with demand for Testers, BA’s, Project Managers and BI Specialists. On the permanent front, other than Application Support Analysts, we have been busy across the usual Developer/QA areas with a slight dip in Engineering/Infrastructure requirements.

We have seen some great specialist and Senior Management roles coming to market, recently recruiting in the PreSales space for a brand new vendor to New Zealand, and we have underway recruitment for the new IT Director at House of Travel group.

General round up

The market continues to hold buoyancy, while best described as ‘balanced’ with demand even across contracting and permanent, and candidates reasonably available provided there is flexibility to consider non-New Zealand natives.

There is a really untapped market right now in the mid level, new to New Zealand candidate market, where individuals are bringing in excellent technical skills and experience, a desire to learn and grow within an NZ workplace. While there is always perceived risk, we have some really great success stories coming out of this candidate market, which we’d be happy to share should you wish to chat about this further.

Did you know?

We created a series of short videos that cover what we stand for at Sourced. We’ve included one below, but head over to our Facebook page or Youtube channel to view some more. We did love our day in a recording studio!


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