We have reached the halfway point of 2020, and are clearly in remarkable times. While we have been asked a lot of questions over these last few weeks about how the recruitment market is shaping up, there really is no one answer. We’ll do our best here to give you some insights on what we’ve seen, what’s happening now and our best guess on how this year will shape up.As always, we encourage you to contact us if you’re looking for any specific market intelligence, salary surveys, role positioning or similar. We’re in a unique position to watch the market as it evolves and are always happy to share these insights.General CommentsFirstly, it’s important to address the current COVID-19 situation and its immediate effect on the employment market. By and large, our customers transitioned swiftly and reasonably seamlessly to work from home arrangements as the country entered lockdown in Alert Level 4. The majority of our clients’ employees were able to remain engaged in full-time work, and business continued, albeit remotely. We had a very small number of clients who either ramped up rapidly or scaled down at equal pace, but by and large, the biggest change we saw was simply a move to digital working with Zoom and Microsoft Teams becoming standard communication channels, and a really unique seven weeks of work from home.A balanced outlookFortunately, those of our clients who were able to scale up during and beyond COVID-19 have picked up many of those left unemployed by businesses forced to downsize, so as is always the case, we have seen balance.While we do still have a number of candidates on the market as a result of COVID-19-driven restructures and redundancy, many have now been picked up in contract, fixed term and permanent appointments, and we don’t expect to see unprecedented levels of unemployment. We have had several clients bring their hiring plans forward to make the most of a fairly unique hiring market and have seen great success with this.The ‘new normal’We have been asked a lot about remote working and whether this will become the ‘new normal’. While we have seen a couple of large employer clients move to permanent flexi work arrangements, the majority are returning to full-time office hours. Certainly, the need to be able to work remotely when needed has become a priority, but we are not seeing this becoming the new way of working.The contractor marketWe have seen the contractor market slow down quite dramatically both in Christchurch and Auckland, however, all signs are pointing to a return. We are seeing projects that were shelved during Level 4 pick up again, and new projects coming through, bothsystem implementation and business improvement in focus.On the whole, we can confirm the market is quieter than pre-COVID-19 levels, however, all signs are pointing to a quietly confident return. Within Sourced WallsAs we talked about in our last Quarterly Update, being a business that opened its doors on the day of the February 2011 earthquakes, we have always had a huge appreciation for cloud-based working and the ability to work anytime, anywhere. We have transitioned our team back to the office and are enjoying being together as a team, yet safe in the knowledge that if we do see a resurgence, we will be able to make a seamless transition as needed to new or remote ways of working.Who’s in DemandOur key demand areas right now remain across Mobile and OpenSource (Android/PHP/Python) Development for contract roles, and Business and Systems Analysis across both contract and permanent. We are seeing quiet but steady demand for contract resources, yet with the overall driver still being employers looking to reduce contractor cost overheads where it makes sense and replace them with longer-term solutions.We are definitely getting the sense that the market is turning from an outsourced to an in-house model and will watch this with interest. Get ready to see larger internal teams of BA and PM’s and delivery specialists, and contract resources only engaged for specifically targeted requirements. Our contractor base is quite aware of this and many are looking at longer-term options, however, again, we also say the market always comes back to balance and we don’t expect the contractor market to fall away altogether.General Round-UpAs we’ve covered, we have seen a large number of candidates coming into the market, and a large number redeployed quickly. We are confident that those still looking will find solid employment within the next few months as recruitment activity picks up to full pace. Fortunately, a lot of our clients rely primarily on the domestic market and their recruitment has resumed as face-to-face interviews have become easier. We are working very closely with our candidate base to ensure they have every opportunity for redeployment, and continue to look at the various ways in which our clients can engage these talent pools.For further market insights or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.In Case You Missed ItOver the last quarter, we’ve written some new blogs. You can find them below:Returning to Work After COVID-19: 4 Things to Plan ForAs organisations begin planning their transition back to the office, things are going to be different, and detailed preparations will be vital for helping employees adapt to new ways of working post-pandemic. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to planning your team’s return to work, we’ve outlined the key considerations to keep in mind, here.Should I Hire a Permanent Employee or a Contractor?The demands of the emerging economic picture will require a flexible and agile approach to risk and reward for all organisations, and this is also true of their recruitment activities. Here’s everything you need to know to make the choice between hiring a permanent employee and a contractor.