Sourced Quarterly Market Update - Winter 2016 - Sourced

Mid Winter has arrived – but will there be snow?

Welcome to our quarterly market update. While we’ve had an incredibly long and warm Summer to Autumn transition, it feels like winter is finally upon us; and now the question on everybody’s lips – will there be snow? Having a 3-year-old in the family certainly makes it that bit more exciting, although if first attempts at an introduction to snow are anything to go by, we definitely have a summer child.

It’s been a busy past three months within Sourced, with lots of activity, events, fundraising, and general community involvement going on. We are finding that more and more our value and contribution to the Canterbury tech sector is growing well beyond traditional recruitment and into areas such as start-up business and tech strategy, organisational structure and creating strong delivery teams, supporting and developing next generation tech professionals, and building connections and formal mentoring programmes through our networks – to name a few. This is where we really find our passion, being able to exist and grow as an integral and contributing member of our community, giving back to an industry that we are extremely passionate about.

General Comments

As we look back on the last quarter we have seen a heavy swing back towards demand for contractors, an area that has been much quieter than usual since the end of 2015. We are also seeing a move away from ‘BAU’ recruitment, towards starting to ramp up for larger projects coming on-line in the second half of this year. ERP and System replacement projects appear to be driving future demand, and with this we expect to see an even larger demand for specialist contracting resource.

We are continuing to draw heavily on international and expat candidate markets, however these numbers have balanced out against candidates moving from within New Zealand and within the Canterbury region. Those choosing to move within the Christchurch market have tended to be moving for hands on/mid-senior level roles, or roles for which they have been specifically headhunted by clients for their skills and capability.

Being located in the centre of the Innovation precinct, it has been really great watching so many businesses returning to the CBD or reestablishing themselves here. 

Being located in the centre of the Innovation precinct, it has been really great watching so many businesses returning to the CBD or reestablishing themselves here. We were recently able to complete a tour through the new Kathmandu building which is a cornerstone of the Innovation precinct, and with Environment Canterbury in, and Vodafone and Wynyard soon to follow, the inner city is looking forward to a really exciting phase of transformation.

If you wander down Cashel Mall now there is a definite sense of our major retailers returning and a vibrancy that is starting to emerge. We are really looking forward to the opportunities of working in a brand new and evolving CBD, where small, large and enterprise tech companies are all co-existing in really unique spaces.

Within Sourced Walls

We are extremely fortunate to have built a highly engaged, committed team at Sourced, and we are extremely proud of the hard work of the team which continues to build our reputation for excellence and genuine engagement in the community. We recently traveled as a team to Auckland for the RCSA (Recruitment and Consulting Services Association) New Zealand recruitment industry awards, where we were nominated for the Excellence in Client Services award, having been named as a finalist against Tradestaff New Zealand. We were thrilled to take away the win, particularly with this being a New Zealand-wide, all industries award, and getting recognition for the work we do to build meaningful and long term relationships with our clients. A great night was had – ball gowns, suits and all.

We also recently hosted the Canterbury Women in Tech Meetup, which is a monthly event aimed at bringing existing and emerging women in tech together to learn, develop and network. This month’s topic was ‘Opportunities for Learning and Development through Mentoring’ and we enjoyed bringing together a really interactive session with guest panellists Charlotte Walshe (CEO, Dynamic Controls), Renea Mackie (co-creator, Kohknowco Innovation Framework, Kohknowco Lab – Unlimited) and Jess Downs (Head of Tech Girls, ARA). This was hosted at the EPIC Innovation Centre, always a great venue for larger events. The event sold out in 48 hours, which just goes to show the increased level of connection and involvement of women in tech in Canterbury.

Following on from this, and something we’d be really interested in talking to you more about, is the evolution of a Sourced Mentor Connection Programme. We are very fortunate to sit in the centre of a really rich network of skilled employees, contractors, managers etc., and a network of up and coming talent who could really benefit from, and are starting to seek out professional mentoring/coaching. We have recently matched up a Senior Project Manager with an Intermediate level PM who was looking for perspective outside of her current company, and this has been a really valuable partnership for both parties. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, or are looking for an opportunity to be mentored please let us know – we can help!

From a philanthropy perspective, this quarter we decided to support the Chomondeley Children’s Centre, with a ‘Finding Dory’ movie night at Hoyts Riccarton. It was really great to see so many clients, candidates, contractors and their families all coming together to support such a great cause. We are always looking at new and different ways to give back to the wider community, so if you have any specific charities of choice or causes that we can contribute to in some way, we’d love to hear about them!

We also supported the Ronald McDonald House Christchurch once again, with 2 dinner programmes bringing together clients, contractors and Sourced team members to serve up meals to approximately 50 family members staying at the house. This was a follow on from our involvement last year; we really enjoy supporting such a fundamental service, and having the opportunity to meet family members needing support at a really critical time.

Who’s in demand

Demand is up in the contracting space, in particular for Project Managers, Developers, Business Analysts and Testers, with the majority of projects being short/mid term, filling gaps in internal capability, getting projects across the line, or laying the initial foundations for future projects. Contracting as a whole is still slightly down on what we’d expect at this time of year, but is showing more confidence as new budgets are approved, the new financial year kicks off in earnest and serious planning is underway for the year ahead. Expect to see some larger projects coming to market in the second half of this year, particularly in the new systems implementation space.

Permanent retention is remaining high, meaning that recruitment that is underway is focusing on adding capability to existing teams, replacing departing team members or tweaking existing structures.

On the permanent front, this is best described as business as ususal. Permanent retention is remaining high, meaning that recruitment that is underway is tending to be ones and twos, adding capability to existing teams, replacing departing team members or tweaking existing structures. Candidate confidence is actually lower than expected, which is an interesting insight, given the continued talk of ‘talent shortage’ and a general impression among employers that recruitment permanent staff, particularly in the software space, is a very tough undertaking. We are finding that candidates that are actively looking may be affected by redundancy, have just returned back to Christchurch, or are reevaluating careers, and are more flexible than you may think in terms of salary, position, level of responsibility, and their level of flexibility in terms of considering ‘out of the box’ opportunities.

While internal staff retention is high, this does mean that there is a degree of selectiveness that we’re seeing from our clients in terms to bringing in new team members, but again with a work force prepared to be flexible, not pushing for inflated salaries or senior position titles, it makes for a very balanced market where both employer and employee are very carefully considering their market position.

General round up

The market continues to hold buoyancy, and has steadily ticked away as we’ve moved towards mid year. Permanent has been far more predominant than contracting opportunities, however we expect to see that swing back as we move out of a ‘business as usual’ phase, with an expectation of larger projects starting to ramp up from July onward particularly in the ERP space.

We are watching the Brexit situation with interest, as, along with a number of other factors, the UK ex-pat and UK-New Zealand new migrant market appears to be one building steam. On the whole our major international workforce are still in the 25-35 year age gap and tend to be working and travelling prior to settling and starting families, or travelling through and opting to stay on, in favour of making New Zealand ‘home’.

We look forward to keeping in touch with you over the coming months, and as always encourage you to connect with us for whatever it is you may need or wish to contribute.

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