Welcome to our end-of-Q2 update and a review of how 2022 has been shaping up. We hope you’re keeping warm and well, and we look forward to giving you a peek into what’s happening out there in the world of tech recruitment.

General Comments

Salary movement

As you all know, this year started with a bang, with a surge of new positions coming to market in response to growth and new projects coming online, followed by ongoing recruitment for turnover. A significant number of candidates changed jobs in the six months between October 2021 and March 2022, with the tail of that movement still being felt. In addition, project work has continued to shape up and kick-off, driving ongoing buoyancy in both the contracting and permanent job markets.

It’s been a really interesting watch. There is a definite sense of a softening of the manic six months mentioned above, and while higher salaries are still on the table, there is also a fair bit of push back from an employer point of view. Employers want to ensure those team members who are being paid over and above standard rates are able to add significant value, complement the existing team, and are not creating significant parity issues from a salary point of view.

While very senior specialist skills are more likely to be paid at above-market rates, on the whole, we are not seeing excessive salary rises that should cause concern. Certainly, we have seen an adjustment, sometimes up to $25k, however, this has to be balanced with the realisation that salaries moved little, or even dropped, between 2019 and late 2021 through COVID-19. Top of candidates’ wishlists right now are being paid ‘what they feel they are worth’, more favourable working conditions including hybrid/family-friendly hours, and the ability to grow and develop professionally.

Continued resourcing challenges

As was the case in Q1, with permanent recruitment continuing at pace, the contract market remains somewhat subdued, with the majority effort appearing to be in securing the best talent for permanent positions.

Resourcing continues to present a real challenge to meet the demands of our clients’ growth, and despite the recent opening of the Accredited Employer Scheme, we are seeing some reluctance from employers to utilise international talent pools, taking a ‘wait and see’ approach as this scheme beds in. We are seeing a significant upswing in candidates wanting to relocate to New Zealand and certainly hope these pools will be able to be tapped soon.

We have continued to see a slow down in candidates relocating into the Canterbury region from within NZ, particularly from Auckland, which previously had offered a great channel of talent into the city. We are still seeing a smaller trickle of candidates from Otago towards Christchurch chasing better work opportunities, this tending to be mid-level candidates with fewer family ties and seeking promotion opportunities.

Succeeding in the current market

We really feel for our clients, having weathered COVID-19 and now this talent storm. Many are having to reimagine what teams and talent look like, taking a much more flexible approach and considering remote working, flexible work arrangements and other incentives to ensure the ability to secure talent. Most have now engaged a recruitment agency partner to ensure they are first to new talent coming to market, and that their brands are presented as favourably as possible. While online advertising still has its place, it’s that ability to get to candidates before they hit the open market that has really become key to success.

So, is it all doom and gloom from an employment perspective? No. Now that the heat is off slightly, we hope to see those international candidates becoming more viable, local candidates coming to market disappearing less rapidly, and with a little bit more time to breathe through the recruiting process.

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