Welcome to our third quarter round up on the local tech market, covering trends, activity and a general view of what we’ve been seeing out there over the past three months. We hope that this update finds you all well and look forward to chatting with you in the lead up to Christmas.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re looking for any information on salary surveys, role positioning, specific market intelligence or similar. We’re in a unique position to watch the market as it evolves and are always happy to share these insights.


General Comments

Roles in Demand

From a client point of view, over the past three months we have continued to see an almost unprecedented level of recruitment activity spanning both contract and permanent recruitment. Contractors are being held onto firmly and extended, and new contracts have continued to come to market in volume, particularly for Business Systems Analysts, Test Professionals and Helpdesk Support specialists. On the permanent recruitment front, we have been working on almost all role areas, though with a particular emphasis on Software and Business Applications specialities, and again, Helpdesk and Technical Support specialists.

The market for Business Analysts, in particular, continues to be extremely competitive, and contracts have been a flow-on effect from employers unable to secure these candidates on a permanent basis.


Business Activity

We are now seeing volume recruitment levels starting to plateau, with most of our clients now only recruiting between 1-3 roles at a time. Larger projects are no longer the norm, and activity is being driven by busier-than-usual periods of BAU or smaller ongoing improvement projects.

While through 2020 and early 2021 we saw many clients going through rightsizing exercises, reviewing and reorganising team structures, now seems to be the season of bedding in and making smaller gains. We are still not seeing any signs of this letting up, taking just as much activity into this next quarter as we have seen since early April. Activity still seems to be driven by business improvement projects, opportunities to grow and diversify, shore up existing systems or introduce new products and services to market. This is much the same as Q2 of this year.


Attraction and Retention

Staff retention levels are still relatively high, although we are certainly seeing more candidates being offered significant pay increases and work-from-home opportunities that are proving too tempting. We are seeing more and more requests from candidates interested in remote work opportunities and it is driving their choices when it comes to job offers.

The ability to work flexibly, from home, is very much in demand right now, and those employers offering this option really do have the leg up when it comes to attracting the top talent. It appears that gone are the days of 9-5 onsite being the norm, with more and more businesses moving to their own hybrid variations of on and offsite work arrangements.


A Dwindling Talent Pool

As many of you will have seen in the media, we are seeing a number of prospective candidates preparing to leave the country, or at least seriously looking at offshore opportunities, as their ability to secure permanent residence in New Zealand dwindles.

Many of the candidates we work with are post-study, on 2–3-year work visas or work holiday visas. The opportunities for this pool of talent to now secure longer-term working rights in New Zealand is getting significantly harder, and when teamed with the lack of homecoming Kiwis, we are seeing a candidate market stretched very thin.


BAU Recruitment

From an employer point of view, we are seeing a continued focus on developing and retaining tighter, more collaborative teams by promoting a strong internal culture. We are not seeing candidates affected by restructuring and redundancies, and most businesses have survived COVID-19 lockdowns well this time around. While last year saw a significant pause, this year it has been very much BAU and our recruitment continued through, with most employers happy to interview and appoint using online channels. It was great to have this focus through what is always an unsettling time and see our candidates now happily ensconced in their new team environments.

While pre-COVID-19, we were continuing to grow our footprint in the Auckland market, the rate has certainly slowed with the prolonged lockdown. Recruitment is tending to be largely contracted with little desire to commit to longer-term appointments while things are still very much up in the air. We watch this space with interest knowing that clients have some really significant growth plans coming once business as usual resumes.


Within Sourced Walls

It was lovely to see another settled quarter with the team – with one glaring exception: Our Liv has left us to graze greener pastures and further her career with a Youth and Community role at Ara. The whole lockdown thing put a bit of a dampner on her final few weeks with us but we still think she is awesome and will do great things in her new role.

Which means we do have a new face in the team, that of Andrea (Andy). Having been thrown in the deep in the end with a ton of work and some of us out of the office, Andy has been quickly brought up to speed and is coping brilliantly. There is no word on how strong her pool game is yet though, so that may have some impact on morale if, in fact, she is a pool-shark.

Otherwise we are all thoroughly enjoying having Archie, our office dog, onsite and agree that the wellness benefits of having a furry friend available are outstanding! We continue to enjoy an office environment that is fun, high-energy, motivated, but mostly just really engaged.


Who’s in Demand

In terms of candidates in demand, it feels like this never changes, however, (Helpdesk, Customer Support and Networking Engineering) has been emerging this quarter as a hot area of market demand, and a variety of programming specialists are also highly sought-after.

BAs really can pick and choose their projects, with salaries on the rise and hourly rates also beginning to lift. Those in contracts are being held onto tightly, and any BA looking for contract work now can expect to be in work within days.

Interestingly, we are still seeing a below-average demand for Project and Programme Managers, showing that BAs are taking on more and more responsibility, or simply that Project Managers are just not choosing to move. There has been very little movement in the Management/Team Leader space, although we are seeing Digital Transformation work continuing to bubble away within client sites, and that may well drive demand at a higher/leadership level.


General Round-Up

It’s still very much a candidates market right now, should they want it. The ability to work from home and work flexibly are top drivers, with salaries starting to come into the equation as employers begin to offer more and incentives to compete in a tough recruitment market. We continue to watch the border situation with interest but are realistic that this is not likely to change in 2021 or even potentially 2022. We are still looking at bringing candidates down from Auckland and seeing younger, more mobile candidates move North. While borders are shut, our candidates are looking at international remote opportunities or relocating domestically to continue to grow their careers.

So, on the whole, it’s a busy time for recruitment, but a very tough market to recruit from. We are utilising all our networks, contacts and tools to uncover the best domestic talent and bring to them our clients in the very best light. Wish us luck as we enter the final three months of 2021!

We look forward to keeping you abreast with how the year evolves!


In Case You Missed It

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

Simple Steps to Building Your Personal Brand
Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, having a strong personal brand is now a vital part of professional life. But how do you curate a stand-out personal brand that will help you get ahead in the market? Find out, here.

LinkedIn Vs. CV: Three Key Differences You Should Know About
Is your LinkedIn profile a perfect copy of your current CV in digital form? If so, you could be missing out on some of the advantages this platform can bring to your Technology career. Find out how to use LinkedIn to its unique potential, here.

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