We have now closed out the first half of 2021 and it’s hard to believe we are a year on from the original lockdowns. It is fair to say that this has been a busy period for many people across the country, with some exceptional swings affecting Human Resources recruitment over the last 12 months as shortages of both jobs and candidates have arisen at different times. Now, it feels like the HR market has gone into overdrive!
Here at Beyond Recruitment, we are in a unique position to observe market shifts and the impact on employers across industries. To help you navigate this changing landscape and secure the talent you need, I have put together some key insights on current and future market conditions within HR, as well as my advice on how to attract the best people.
2020 was a challenging year both nationally and globally, and this resulted in serious pressure on organisations to reduce operating expenditure.
Once we began to see the beginnings of recovery, recruitment activity appeared to be returning to some degree of normalcy towards the end of the year. After a quiet January, the impacts of reduced migration into the market became apparent, combined with the notable absence of the “Brain Gain” we were promised.
The Current HR Market
There has been strong recruitment activity across all industries as the demand for talent has begun to outstrip supply. Since the start of 2021, we have seen increasing demand across the country, largely in the operational levels of Human Resources.
At the senior level, roles are still thin on the ground, although there is more movement in 2021 and there have been more roles available compared to 2020.
We have seen a fast start to the year across permanent roles and fixed term contracts, however, by May this year, the demand for fixed term contracts and contractors soared, with less availability of permanent roles.
Candidates, meanwhile, are looking for stability and security, with the candidate market being largely permanent focused. The majority of skilled people are in permanent roles and don’t have the risk appetite to move for a fixed term or hourly rate contract.
This has put huge pressure on candidate availability, as we are now operating in a short skilled market. Nevertheless, many employers are somewhat short-sighted, and are not meeting candidates’ desires for permanent and long-term opportunities. The truth is that if employers want access to the best talent, they need to be offering stability and security.
The next 12 months
Moving forward, we can see no respite from this demand on the horizon. We are now going through a perceived economic recovery which will continue to drive demand. Major infrastructure projects are continuing at a rapid pace, housing availability remains low (particularly in Auckland) and the international supply chains are still facing major challenges.
These issues, combined with the restriction of migration into the market and the possible “Brain Drain” of New Zealanders moving to Australia and other countries once borders open, all spell a famine on the candidate availability front.
Growth within transformation
In this ever-changing business landscape, we have seen unprecedented demand across transformation as organisations look to realign their operation to meet the current market conditions – whether it be a more efficient supply chain, innovative technology or improved digital security. This, in turn, is creating a new industry from an emerging talent pool of candidates with cross-functional experience and exposure to multiple industries.
Strategies for Securing Top HR Talent
Through all these challenges, some key trends are beginning to emerge in the war for talent.
These factors are top of mind when candidates are considering opportunities in the market. The hiring dynamic has now become more focused on location, culture and benefits and less on salary than it has ever been, and clients need to put their best foot forward to attract top talent.
The recommendation for securing talent in this market is to move quickly to present job offers, as skilled people will have multiple opportunities to choose from and employers who move too slowly will lose the talent to other offers. To make your offer compelling, it’s a good idea to make roles as long term as possible, and to provide a good benefits package and WFH options.
Additionally, keep in mind that placing ads on job boards will no longer deliver a plethora of suitable candidates – the talent is passive and they need to be approached, so deep networks are key. You can find additional tips about how to attract high performers within a competitive market in this blog.
If you’d like more advice on how to find the talent you need in the current landscape, feel free to get in touch – I look forward to assisting with your recruitment needs.