Sourced Quarterly Market Update - Autumn 2016 - Sourced

Welcome to our regular quarterly market update. We hope you’ve enjoyed a relaxing Easter break, and the last of the long warm nights, as daylight savings has drawn to a close. Autumn is no doubt upon us, but as always it offers a new season and opportunities to look ahead to what is shaping up to be a busy year.

The past 3 months have proved very interesting, with some variation on what we would typically expect of market conditions for this period. We’ll look forward to filling you in on this, and general market news, during this latest quarterly market update.

General Comments

The market has gotten off to a slightly quieter start than we would typically see for Q1, influenced heavily by a late surge in permanent recruitment in November/December, and a quieter than usual contracting market. With permanent recruitment projects completed in late 2015, carry-over recruitment has been minimal and organisations have been able to focus on inducting new team members, resource planning for Q2, and as we typically expect of the January/February period, spending time with family and enjoying well earned breaks before the year kicks off in earnest.

The market remains heavily in favour of permanent recruitment, with contract recruitment just starting to come back online; a market which has been subdued since the end of Q3 2015. Recruitment of permanent positions is tending to be well planned, highly targeted and either replacing departing team members (and looking for like-for-like) or adding very specific skills to existing teams. Software Development, Business Intelligence and Professional Services have been our 3 key recruitment areas, with a small bubble of Senior/Leadership positions, which is great to see given the scarcity of these opportunities in late 2015.

The drop off of contract resource demand in 2015 is slowly returning to balance with a lot of our experienced/Senior level contractors now re-engaging in local projects. We are not seeing a huge volume of growth in the project space, with contractors being used more regularly to lead, engage in or support existing projects needing extra resource or smaller projects that are not able to be resourced internally. Testers, Business Analysts and Project Managers are first off the rank, with little movement in the contract software development market right now.

As with 2015, we are continuing to recruit a strong volume of candidates from offshore, new to Christchurch, or returning home, as those employees now in work locally keep their heads down. There has been little appetite in the new year for local employees to move about, and now is the time we would typically see this movement, which speaks volumes of the market, the efforts of local employers to improve reward and retention strategies, and the opportunities already in play within our tech sector. Our local candidates that we are recruiting are tending to be those returning home, moving from contracting into permanent positions, those affected by redundancies in 2015 or moving from study into full time employment.

A trend we have been watching with a lot of interest is the movement of our Senior Leaders, CIO’s and Technology Managers moving out of the permanent market and looking to embark on solo projects, consulting engagements or just taking the time out to reflect, re-energise and reengage. We openly recognise that there remains a ceiling in the Canterbury tech sector market for our aspiring leaders, and we wonder what the answer to the ‘where to from here’ question will shape up to be, because there are many people asking it. This seems to be particularly true with those who have risen through the ranks quickly, and have perhaps discovered there is more they are looking for. But where does that ‘more’ exist? Many are answering it in many different ways, from starting new consulting businesses to taking a full change in career direction, to simply stepping back to spend time with family and reevaluate. If you have a take on this, we’d love to hear it.

Within Sourced Walls

We all enjoyed a very well deserved break across Christmas/New Year and have come into the New Year rearing to go. Our team remains stable with an Operational/Leadership and Consulting team of 7 and while we expect further growth this year, we are enjoying a stable and highly engaged team who work exceptionally well together.

We are looking forward to some upcoming community events, which we really enjoy getting involved with, including hosting two further Ronald McDonald dinner programme nights, where we will invite a number of clients to join us in feeding the families of the house, and a Hoyts Premiere Screening night, raising funds for Cholmondeley Children’s Home – a fantastic organisation really making a difference in the community.

In late March, we were pleased to promote the Canterbury IT industry at the Lincoln University Careers Exhibition. Alongside companies from a variety of industries, we chatted to the next generation of IT people and spread the word on current IT demands and trends. It’s always great to be touching base with the new influx of Canterbury IT talent and helping them understand the market as they transition from academia into the commercial world.

Since January our Operations Manager, Hannah Iranon, has joined one of the oldest and most trusted IT bodies in New Zealand: the Institute of IT Professionals (IITP). As a coordinator for the Christchurch region, she is contributing to the betterment of the Christchurch IT community through assisting the IITP in improving the education and professional development of IT professionals as well as working with the government and the education sector to further promote and advocate for the IT industry in New Zealand.

We really enjoy opportunities to engage with industry and the community above and beyond our day to day work, and these are just a few examples of how we’re doing it.

Who’s in demand?

As with Q4 of 2015, demand remains very much focussed on Software Development, with an increase in demand for BI (contract and permanent), Project Management (contract and permanent) and Leadership roles. Permanent recruitment is far outweighing contract, and roles are tending to be at a mid-Senior and Management level.

Contract requirements are tending to be in the Test, PM and BA space, but we are seeing many contractors returning to previous projects, adding support or bolstering existing teams as opposed to being heavy influencers.

General Round Up

The market continues to hold buoyancy, however it would best be described as ‘stable’ as opposed to in growth mode, with demand leaning heavily towards permanent, and candidates reasonably available provided there is flexibility to consider non-New Zealand natives. There is little movement within Christchurch unless candidates are ‘actively sought’ and there remains a really untapped market in the mid level, new to New Zealand candidate market. These individuals are bringing in excellent technical skills and experience, and a desire to learn and grow within an NZ workplace.

Many of our leaders are on the move, or looking for the next move, so we watch with interest as this has the potential to have a significant impact locally, and also affords rare new opportunities to those on the cusp of leadership.

We expect Q2 to gain pace as we move into the new financial year, planning is completed and projects start to come onstream. While possibly at a slight pause point, the market does look set to go again and we will look forward to updating you on this is in our next report.

Did You Know?

There have also been some interesting shifts in the demographics of the Christchurch IT market. We have seen a 26% increase in women participating in our Sourced Report survey, which is testament to the greatwork that local organisations are doing locally to attract a greater level of diversity to the Canterbury technology sector.

We have also seen a rise in the number of 31-40 year old respondents to the survey, rising by 35%. This is likely due to a bubble of people making the jump from the 20-30 year old demographic. When looked at in the longterm, this change also explains other trends, such as the importance of pay as a motivator decreasing as the workforce ages, with that generation starting to get married, buy houses and have families.

This has also had an effect on the other end of the age scale, with the numbers of respondents over 50 years old having dropped by 19%. This is something the industry needs to be cautious of as this trend continues to develop.

Take a further look at this, and more insights into the Christchurch IT market, in the latest Sourced Report.
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