Employers preparing for upturn

October 14, 2009

Employers are intending to hire more staff, with a greater variety of skills in demand than earlier in the year, a new survey shows. Jason Walker, managing director of Hays Recruitment in New Zealand, said employers were turning their focus to preparing for an expected upturn in business activity. "Caution remains, but confidence is returning. They are recruiting staff to drive revenue, minimise risk and improve processes as well as rebuilding teams which have been coping with an increase in workload due to past redundancies," Mr Walker said. Headcount approval was attained far more easily and some headcount freezes were lifting, most obviously in increased vacancy activity for short and long-term temporary staff to help with new projects and clear backlogs. "As a result, there are areas that are feeling either a general, or in some cases acute, level of skills shortages, despite the unemployment rate," Mr Walker said. Previously during the year, the pockets of demand that had existed often centred on managing the effects of the financial crisis. For example, credit controllers, insolvency accountants and litigation lawyers had all been wanted. Among the sought after skills identified in the latest Hays quarterly report, published today, were qualified accountants with three to four years experience, internal auditors at all levels, experienced company accountants, tax consultants, credit controllers and payroll clerks.Accounting firms were considering their succession plan and creating high-level opportunities with quick progression to partnership for senior BAS managers, Hays said. Shortages of senior architects with good business development skills and local contacts and urban designers were noted, while construction managers for work in remote and small South Island locations, quantity surveyors and estimators were wanted.Contact centres were looking for customer service staff, telesales and account managers to bring in more business and retain clients.In the engineering sector senior engineers with business development skills and existing clients, transport planners and traffic engineers were wanted. Skills shortages were being seen among high-level senior human resources advisors and principals. In information technology a shortage of business analysts (process and SDLC) was noted. "This is a positive sign as such skills are a precursor to additional project work. In another positive sign, project management roles are becoming available once more," Hays said. Trade-qualified painters, decorators and carpenters were wanted, with employers also recruiting gardeners and mowers for parks maintenance, and labourers. Office support staff being sought included all-rounders who could adapt quickly to a changing environment and additional duties, such as mid-level administrators with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and MYOB skills. For similar reasons, office managers who could take on a range of skills were sought. New Zealand is certainly way ahead of the UK in terms of economic recovery. Contact The Emigration Group today for details of our discounted Assessment & Consultation service, just £45 until 31st October. Call 0845 230 4390.