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Dear Candidate, Your Salary is Zero

Dear Candidate, Your Salary Is Zero Featured 1

Published Date: 26th June 2023.

Your rate/salary is zero if you don’t have a job. Is there truth in that? Maybe. We’re noticing some changes happening in the market that doesn’t seem to be candidate-led anymore. Understanding these market trends is vital if you have big changes coming in your role. As a contractor, this may mean that your contract is coming to an end or has ended and you are on the hunt. If you are in a permanent role, and your organisation is looking to restructure, you might want to read on!

While we don’t want you to be alarmed, we do need to share some really important information that will hopefully help you land that role you are after.

The Reality

At the beginning of 2023, we were experiencing the largest talent shortage since 1957 when we started tracking. This meant that candidates were able to determine or have more influence over their rate/salary and working conditions.

Contractor rates and salaries were reaching an all-time high. Candidates were also able to have more influence on their working conditions, for example, how many days they worked from home.

This, however, has changed. Restructures – namely job cuts – at major local and global organisations such as Microsoft (10,000 jobs Jan 23), Xero (800 jobs Mar 23), some local vendors, organisations that sold directly to the American markets, Auckland Council (160 jobs May 23), as well as the centralisation of education and health organisations, such as Te Whatu Ora has resulted in a lot of highly skilled talent back into the market.

Adding to this, the New Zealand government approved more visas and we are on a two year high for net migration. Add that to an election year, and a recession and you can see where there is the potential for uncertainty in the market.

What This Means

For those of you who are in between jobs, your current rate/salary is zero if you don’t have any work. The positive is that there is only up from here. The question is, is it better to take a role that is available or wait for the right role and salary to present itself? It's difficult to say. Each person's financial situation is different. For contractors, if you want to wait, make sure you have 6 months’ salary banked. Overall, be prepared to sharpen your pencil on all aspects.

As a job seeker, you need to remain flexible If you are a contractor, this may mean dropping your rate and travelling more frequently.

As a permanent employee, it may mean keeping your salary expectations the same rather than striving for a raise. As more businesses ask teams to come back to the office, it might be the best option if remote options are no longer as forthcoming as they used to be.

Offering to go back into the office up to 5 days a week could also put your CV ahead of the rest. It’s probably not what most people want to hear after being comfortable working from home, but we are finding that these are what employers seek. In this instance, it could be in your best interest to look at working with a recruiter to narrow down the jobs that would suit your needs best.

Tips for Working with Recruiters

If you choose to work with a recruitment agency for your next step, it can help understand how to make this new relationship work for you. These tips can help:

  • Keep your CV in Word format and keep the format simple. It’s easier to work with as a recruiter, meaning we have more time in the day to put your CV forward to multiple places.

  • Keep a spreadsheet of where you applied for jobs. You should include to whom your CV went, which company received it, and with which recruiter you applied through. That way you can easily track your feedback and let recruiters know if you have been submitted to particular roles already. Keep a record of up to six months prior.

  • Book a 15-minute appointment with a recruiter. Have your top 5 technical and soft skills ready to discuss and a polished CV you can send over immediately.

  • Have a list of companies you would like to work for and/or some jobs you have found online ready. We likely have relationships with the hiring managers and might be able to put you forward.

  • ALWAYS look on the Beyond Recruitment website for new jobs! We have jobs coming in multiple times a day, all day.

That’s Not to Say – Unicorns Aren’t Needed.

Understanding your worth in a tricky market is always tough, especially when things may not be shifting in your favour. Always ask multiple recruiters what they think your skillset is worth in the market. This will help you gain a rough idea of what people are paying for what you can do. Being a “multi-discipline” candidate can work for you or against you, it all depends on the position. It’s therefore important to tailor your CV to match the role you are going for. Use the skill requirements in the job ad to do this!

Where to next? First step: the Beyond Recruitment Website. With hundreds of Permanent jobs and a good flow of contracting jobs all over New Zealand reaching out is the first step. Reach out to a recruiter if you haven’t already. Stay in touch with us regularly to update us on your story. It means you will be top of mind for any opportunities.

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