Re-engage re-energise tech staff

Recruitment activity in Christchurch’s innovation and information technology sector is at an all-time high – 85% of employers are hiring to service unprecedented growth across the sector and the region.
Suffice it to say, it’s a vibrant ‘tech sector’ job market. New projects are the main driver of recruitment and with 97% of roles on offer for permanent positions we’re seeing growth commitment and increased job security.

And there are a lot of really exciting and challenging roles emerging in everything from agri-tech and health-tech, high-tech manufacturing and IT services through to the thriving start-up scene which now makes up about 18% of the market.

In total, the local tech sector comprises 6% of Canterbury’s GDP and employs around 12% of the national tech workforce.

That’s 7,000 people, and it’s forecast to double in size by 2031. For employers, the challenge is not only to find the right talent but keep current employees engaged and energised – particularly at this time of year when there’s an increased risk of job turnover.

People have settled back in after summer breaks and if they’ve not yet re-engaged with enthusiasm about their current role, they’ll be looking elsewhere.

There are plenty of opportunities to tempt them away, so it’s a critical time to focus on ensuring your team is energised which will help create a strong workplace culture – culture drives behaviour, which drives productivity and is a competitive advantage.

So what defines a strong workplace? Our Canterbury tech sector survey, the Sourced Report, shows what matters to job seekers and how employers should respond to that. The top three qualities job seekers look for in a Christchurch IT role are work/life balance (80%), challenges (70.7%) and career

opportunities (69.3%).

Not surprisingly, those who are currently in employment said the aspects of their workplace they enjoy the most are variety of work (66.7%), flexible hours (58.7%) and access to good technology (56.7%). This tells us how important it is for employers to maintain and build their identity and

culture to attract the right people.

Interestingly, remuneration is not at the top of the list which reflects the strong team-driven innovation culture in Christchurch. But, we are expecting to see salary increases as business move out of recovery and into growth, which makes it a great time to be here. Around 10% of job seekers also want stock/equity options with their employers, which tends to be readily available among the smaller and start-up organisations that make up such a big chunk

of the market. And, both employers and employees want to see greater investment in up-skilling employees, very promising for job seekers.

Alongside these research-based insights into what the market expects of a good workplace, we can offer some general guidelines around how to re-engage and re-energise your team:

  • Talk to people – Give as much attention to people and process as to projects and delivery. Some people may want more time with managers, some more time with the team or whatever is appropriate for your business. The key thing is ensure you’re connected and not solely relying on reports to see how well your people are doing.
  • Share the vision – People need a good idea of the year ahead as well as the long-term vision. Continue to communicate work in progress, what’s coming in terms of new projects, what people have to look forward to as well as what to plan and prepare for. Ensure everyone’s working toward a common goal with a winning mind-set, culture and positive team environment.
  • Connect and up-skill – Encourage people to participate in Canterbury’s wider tech community. It’s an active scene that offers plentiful learning and networking opportunities. We have a lot of software user and IT interest groups ranging from the Institute of IT Professionals through to the Canterbury Software Cluster. Employees get to do something for themselves, learn how to keep themselves up-skilled and bring that learning back to their workplace.
  • Excite and inspire – Give people something to be excited about, build a forward-looking and positive frame of mind. This isn’t just about new projects and business goals, but what’s in it for them. Collectively plan some team-based events like a training programme or an offsite challenge to ensure there is more to life than business as usual.

We know that Christchurch wants and needs ambitious people who are great communicators, collaborators and want to be part of a team that is helping to make a difference. We also know that right now, employers are most interested in finding people who are team-players. In many cases, employers will actually invest in training these people rather than hire someone who is qualified but not the right ‘fit’ for an organisation.

The bottom line? Building and maintaining a strong and inspired workplace culture is one of the best investments a business can make.

If you want to be a part of the Christchurch IT sector, get in touch on (03) 420 2999 or visit for more information, including the latest Sourced Report.

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