It’s been a really interesting quarter, with the same questions coming up over and over again, which we have addressed below in this update for Winter 2023:1. How much of an impact is the impending change of government and recession having on recruitment activities?The one thing to consider is that recruitment in the Tech sector is never really quiet; it just ebbs and flows with varying levels of ‘busy’. Additionally, contract recruitment increases when permanent recruitment is down and vice versa.So, to answer concisely, we would say that both have had an effect, but we’re seeing this translate into a more buoyant contractor’s market and more candidates in permanent roles staying put. On the latter, we had always expected this after last year’s unprecedented permanent market growth.2. Are salaries/market rates still ‘out of control’?Rates have stabilised following last year’s upward trajectory and have not experienced a decline, nor do we anticipate any significant dip in the short to medium term future. The escalation of these rates was primarily a result of a perfect storm, fueled by a combination of high demand and the leveling off or reduction of salaries and contractor rates due to the impact of Covid-19 and even preceding it.3. Is it still hard to find candidates/where are they coming from? In much the same way that the tech recruitment sector is never quiet, it’s never ‘easy’ to find great talent, especially when you’re going for the perfect candidate/company/culture fit.With last year being predominantly a local merry-go-round with border restrictions still in place, we are now seeing more and more employers becoming accredited under the Immigration NZ Accreditation programme, which means more candidates are coming in from offshore on a mix of working holiday visas, open work visas, and partnership work visas. Candidates seem to have a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels and we are finding that visa processing times have improved. We also continue to see many ex-pats coming home from overseas and/or relocating from the North Island to Canterbury for a better work-life balance.As we arrived into the new year, we were really interested to see whether the pace of 2022 would continue and if this was even possible. 2022 as we all know, was an unprecedented year for both growth and staff turnover, so it was with some trepidation that we kicked into 2023. We’ll cover this in detail through this report, but on the whole, the market has continued with pace, just not at the same level as last year. In general, this quarter has seen demand clearly favouring the contractor market, with many BA, PM, Programme Management, and Programme Coordination roles. These requirements have responded to new or ongoing project work, which tends to be driven by the need to improve business processes and systems and modernise existing technology investments. We had seen a slight lift in demand for contractors in early Q1 which then dipped but has well and truly returned.As we commented last quarter, we saw a significant shift in the CIO space towards the end of 2022 up to the beginning of Winter 2023. This has also driven project activity/contracts, allowing immediate issues to be remediated while longer-term planning begins.Hot JobsJunior Level Level 2 Support Engineer – This is a great opportunity for a Level 1/2 support specialist to take the next step in their career and join a small family-oriented MSP boasting a very engaged client base and excellent working conditions. $70k+ permanent. Intermediate Level Exploratory Tester – Join our client’s team as an intermediate Exploratory Tester, drive innovative testing efforts, and contribute to critical product development. Work in a high-performing team in Christchurch and apply diverse test methodologies. 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This award is very dear to our hearts and recognises all the good work our team put into ensuring we’re genuinely adding value to our clients’ businesses.We are flying up to Auckland as a team in late June to attend the awards and look forward to a rare occasion to pull out evening gowns and heels (not Jason) and enjoy a night out.With winter upon us, 60% of the Sourced office is also booked in to make the most of Northern Hemisphere summers, with Japan, Europe and Malaysia on the radar. Everybody we talk to seems to have travelled this year or has plans to travel after a long hiatus through Covid.We are busy planning further contractor get-togethers which we tend to do quarterly to keep our large base of contractors well networked and engaged plus check in on how things are looking in their worlds. Otherwise, we are busy as usual with recruitment across Canterbury, South Canterbury and Auckland.Who’s in Demand?As covered above, this quarter has clearly favoured contractors, with many BA, PM, Programme Management, and Programme Coordination roles coming to market. These Project Delivery skills are also highly sought after in the Fixed Term contract space, where clients prefer fixed-term, longer-term engagements to cover large programmes/implementations.Programme Coordinators continue to be both a real pain point from a resourcing point of view and a high-demand area, and it’s great to see this often overlooked skill set so in demand.Development and Test have been comparatively quiet over the past quarter, as has Infrastructure, with the exception of Cloud Specialists. Cloud Engineers and Architects have been in high demand from an Infrastructure and Software Development/Applications perspective. Salaries, particularly in the Architecture space, are high due to large international companies hiring local talent to work remotely, which puts significant pressure on the local market to keep up. General Round-UpContract recruitment continues to dominate, while permanent recruitment ticks away in the background. Anybody in the Professional Services space right now should see plenty of options available to them, with rates and salaries at a level we would expect will hold through to the end of the year at least.Clients continue to work on business improvement activities which continues to drive recruitment.