How has COVID-19 affected IT in NZ?

Key Findings:

  1. Just under a quarter of Christchurch respondents and nearly half of Auckland respondents said they were previously happy in their work, but since the pandemic have become unhappy.
  2. Slightly more Aucklanders are still on reduced pay or were made redundant because of COVID-19.
  3. Not only did most Kiwis work from home due to the pandemic, but a clear majority enjoyed the experience.


For 63% of Christchurch workers, COVID-19 still hasn’t changed their opinion about their job. On top of that, most (56%) have had no changes to their working life due to the continued pandemic, a similar result to our prior report, and 23% have lost a sense of happiness in their role. Auckland fared a little worse, with 46% saying they were previously happy in their job but now arent, leaving just a third to say their attitude hasn’t changed. More Aucklanders (24%) than Christchurch workers (16%) saw changes occur in their role because of COVID-19 which have since returned to normal, and more Aucklanders are still on reduced

pay (2% more) and were made redundant (4% more).


Most Kiwis moved to a work from home (WFH) model for the lockdowns last year, and still have a lot of flexibility in their role as a result. 42% (Christchurch) and 38% (Auckland) worked from home in the lockdowns, and about a third from each location still have that flexibility.

Quite a lot more Aucklanders (17%) than Christchurch workers (6%) have moved to WFH for the foreseeable future, leaving just 12% (Christchurch) and 10% (Auckland) who did not WFH at all.

This period of WFH has been enjoyable, too. Most Christchurch workers (39%) and Aucklanders (58%) always thought they would enjoy it and it worked out well for them, and a further 10% (Christchurch) and 7% (Auckland) hadn’t wanted to WFH, but then enjoyed the experience. But, some Kiwis didn’t enjoy it – 15% of those in Christchurch, and 17% of those in Auckland. We also asked employers the same question, and the majority (47%) agreed it worked out well, compared with 11% who thought it didn’t.



NZ IT Workers in Focus

Key Findings:

  1. More respondents indicated they were unemployed this year than last – rising from 5.5% of IT workers to 22%.
  2. The length of time for which people have been unemployed also increased; 61% have been out of work for more than four months.
  3. Workers in small companies were nearly 20 percentage points more likely to say that their salary is too low than those in large companies.

Employment has only gotten worse for some IT workers. We saw an increase in the number of people saying they are

unemployed (5.5% to 22%), which could be a sign of a turbulent employment market, or simply an increase in responses generally from this category of people. Plus, those who have been unemployed for longer than four months increased from 54.5% to 61%, in addition to 14% who have been unemployed for one to four months. In Christchurch, most respondents felt their struggle was due to their being overqualified for the available roles (33%), whereas in Auckland most felt it was because they did not have

enough experience (47.5%). Visa issues, an oversaturated market and perceived ‘ageism’ were also key trends.

Salary has gained a bit more importance since our September report mostly in Auckland. We asked respondents to rank the importance of salary in their choosing to stay or leave a job on a scale of one to five, with one meaning ‘Very Important’ and five meaning ‘Not Very Important’. Last year, 32.5% of Christchurch workers said it was two out of five, and an almost identical amount said

 the same this year. However in Auckland, September’s majority (29.5%) said three out of five, while this report most respondents answered two out of five (29.5%). Results were similar when comparing respondents from small or large enterprises (both ranking two out of five), although those in the latter group felt more strongly.

But do these salaries meet people’s expectations? While the majority of IT workers said yes, their salary is fair, those in small companies were nearly 20 percentage points more likely to say that it wasn’t fair than was. 37.5% say their salary is lower than expected, compared to 23.5% of those larger organisations.







Recruitment Trends in the ‘The New Normal’

Key Findings:

  1. Hiring activity is bouncing back, with most recruiters hiring one to five employees in the past six months.
  2. 75% of recruiters intend to hire more staff in the coming six months.
  3. Recruitment agencies coupled with external promotion contributed to the most hiring success.

As we proceed into 2021 full steam ahead, it looks like hiring activity is once again picking up. Back in March 2020, 85% of recruiters said they had hired one to two employees in the six months prior. Then in September, right after the second lockdown, that had dropped to 36%. Now, hiring activity is returning to normal – a third of recruiters hired three to five employees in the past six months while another quarter hired one to two.

Hiring is getting easier again, too. Looking at September 2020, only 44.5% of recruiters had found success hiring three or more candidates, which itself was down from 60% the

 report prior. Now in March 2021, that’s bumped to 73%, potentially a result of strong supply due to high unemployment levels. Even better, three quarters of respondents plan to hire even more staff in the coming six months, showing that this recruitment fervor can be expected to continue.

So where is this success coming from? Most successful recruiters (73%) are using a recruitment agency coupled with advertising and external promotion. This is followed by just over half who are using their professional networks to source right-fit candidates, and finally just over a third who are promoting people from within.

Top Most In-Demand Roles





Your Comments





New Zealand did not entirely escape the pandemic but fared a lot better than other nations. Our March Sourced Report reflects some of that relative stability – few IT workers saw a real change to their working lives in terms of hours and pay in both the last six months and the six months before that, and the vast majority have since gone back to normal.

The positive news out of this report is that hiring activity is bouncing back. We’re almost back to pre-2020 levels and employers are expecting to continue this way for at least half a year. This could not be better timed, as increased demand may help some of those unemployed IT workers who have been out of work for over four months get back into the workplace.

Thank you again to everybody who participated in the survey and contributed to the important findings of this Sourced Report. As we look past COVID-19 to whatever is ahead, it’s vital we stay on top of the trends affecting Christchurch and Auckland’s IT sectors so we can properly prepare ourselves. Given the positivity we’re seeing this report, we’re very much looking forward to speaking with you all again come September 2021.

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the Sourced Report.


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