We made it! We’ve been enjoying a number of end-of-year functions and social catch-ups over the last couple of weeks and this definitely seems to be the prevailing sentiment at the moment – a sigh of relief that Christmas is approaching, the year is all but over and it’s nearly time to put tools down and take a breather. And what a crazy year it’s been!

We will do our best in this final report of the year to give you an overview of how the market has shaped up post-lockdown, along with trends, themes, and what we might expect as we look ahead to 2021. We encourage you to contact us if you’re looking for any specific market intelligence, salary surveys, role positioning or similar in these last couple of weeks of the year, given our unique position to watch the market as it evolves. We’re always happy to share these insights.


General Comments

As we mentioned in our last update, by and large, our customers transitioned swiftly and reasonably seamlessly to work from home arrangements as the country entered lockdown in Alert Level 4 in March. Largely, these teams have now returned (or are in the process of returning) to office-based arrangements. We have seen some flexibility remain in terms of being able to work from home when needed, but overall the trend has been to relocate teams back into the office.

We also saw this post-earthquake in 2011 and wondered whether the same would happen this year, and it certainly did. While work from home has offered employees flexibility and better work/life balance, many have been quick to identify the impact on teamwork, collaboration and social interaction opportunities. While we expect to see some businesses continuing to offer work from home arrangements into 2021, we also expect this to become the exception rather than the norm.

Fortunately, the majority of our clients have recovered well through the second half of 2020 and recruitment levels have returned to a reasonably steady state. Fixed-term and contract roles have played a large part in this, with decisions to take on permanent staff members only really leading in this last quarter of the year.

We have kept busy over these last three months, however, in terms of quantity and domain, roles have been very varied, with no one client recruiting in significant numbers.


Market changes

Something that we have seen as a roll-on effect from this year’s challenges is the number of candidates, who were disestablished during Level 4 lockdown, moving off into contract positions and fixed-term contracts (from permanent). We are still expecting to see a further bubble of activity when they re-enter the market in 2021, though if the market continues to trend the way it is, they may well be absorbed into their current roles where clients are realising there are still strong growth opportunities and feel more secure in making longer-term appointment decisions.

As the market has gained confidence, we have not necessarily seen this reflected in the employee market, with the majority in permanent employees reluctant to move jobs at this time. We find ourselves relying on Kiwis relocating back to Christchurch, those disestablished, those coming out of contract roles or people here on working holiday visas to fill vacant positions.


The contractor market

As with the last quarter, the contractor market continues to hum. We are seeing new projects coming through (particularly within system implementation and business improvement), with continued activity in the BA/Systems Analyst and Delivery areas.

On the whole, we can confirm that the market is very much back to where it was pre-lockdown, with all signs pointing to a confident continuation into 2021.


Within Sourced Walls

We have had a very busy year, and despite wondering how the second half of 2020 would play out, we are feeling really positive about the market as a whole and what’s ahead for 2021. It has been an absolute pleasure to walk with our candidates through what have often been really tough times and watch them head off into great new roles where they now continue to flourish. 2020 has been a year to remember and we hold on to the pockets of impact we’ve been able to make, supporting candidates as they have taken their first steps into the contract market, gotten back on the tools for the first time in years or stepped up into leadership positions.


Who’s in Demand

When we look back on 2020, a whopping 25% of our placements have been in the Business and Systems Analyst space. This has been followed by BI/Data and Development roles, however, it really has been a year for the BA. We have found that the role of the BA continues to evolve, and with the continued uptake of agile, begins to take on a lot more of what would traditionally sit with Project Managers and Product Owners. The demand we’ve seen has been broadly spread across fixed-term, contract and permanent, and has been both within application development setting and corporate business.

BI and Development roles have also been broad across contract and permanent, and have largely sat within the Microsoft environment, though mobile technology, specifically Android, has been a dominant feature this year. It has certainly been a year of demand for ‘engineer’ level, on the tool candidates, with leadership roles being a scarcity.


General Round-Up

As we’ve covered, those candidates we saw coming into the market as a result of recent events have been redeployed, and we do see challenges ahead from a resourcing perspective. We are confident that the majority of our clients are back on track and returning very much to their usual levels of business. We do expect things to quieten as we head into Christmas but anticipate recruitment being back to full swing by early February.

For further market insights or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


In Case You Missed It

Over the last quarter, we’ve written some new blogs. You can find them below:

Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?
In the current economy, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to apply for roles that appear to be below their skills and experience level, and while there are risks to recruiting someone who exceeds the requirements of the role, there are also many advantages if you approach it in the right way. Find out more about hiring an overqualified candidate and the key considerations that will ensure you get the best outcome if doing so.

How to Hire People with Resilience
The business landscape is shifting; organisations are faced with new demands and employees are experiencing more challenging circumstances than ever before. In this difficult climate, many employers are realising that a resilient team is key to business sustainability and success. But how do you identify and hire people with resilience? Read on to find out.

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