Top talent trends for NZ in 2014

Skills shortages, multilevel knowledge, big data and staff retention are being touted as talent trends in the employment market for the year ahead.

Top talent trends for NZ in 2014
New Zealand’s 2014 recruitment landscape will be shaped by 10 key talent trends including skill shortages, the need for candidates with hybrid skills and a focus on retention, according to recruitment specialist company Hays.

Hays Managing Director in New Zealand, Jason Walker, stated that towards the end of 2013 business confidence started to rise and it was anticipated that would feed through into the labour market in the first few months of 2014.

“New Zealand’s economy is maintaining momentum and employment is increasing. Employers are becoming more confident, with some recruiting permanent staff initially rather than brining someone on board in a temporary capacity first. This bodes well for 2014,” he said.

According to Hays, a big area of growth for this year will be crossover roles.

“As the technology, marketing and finance worlds merge it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, with multilevel knowledge,” Walker explained.

“Also the ability to harness the whole notion of social media will be important, to the point where it is not an add-on but is seamlessly incorporated into the main game.”

Hays’ 10 talent trends for 2014:

1. Christchurch commercial rebuild: Walker stated that as the Christchurch rebuild kicks off “the construction of commercial projects will significantly increase and this will fuel a very active jobs market for all related professionals.”

2. Skills shortage catch-22: Alongside the Christchurch rebuild, major infrastructure projects scheduled for Auckland and Wellington will further deplete the country’s candidate pool. While a reduction in the unemployment rate and increased demand for specialised talent will result from growing confidence in New Zealand’s economy according to Hays. However, the availability of candidates is decreasing while the need for strong, experienced and skilled professionals is rising. “Thus in 2014 expect high-level skilled professionals to be in short supply,” Walker said.

3. Ultra-fast broadband jobs boon: Hays anticipates an active job market will follow the roll out of ultra-fast broadband.

“Already hundreds of professionals have been employed to lay thousands of kilometres of fibre, and many more are set to work on this mammoth project in 2014 and beyond. As fibre is delivered to residential streets, businesses that deliver services capitalising on its introduction will recruit skilled professionals, from salespeople to sell broadband plans to customers, to technicians to support these customers,” Walker stated.

4. Resurgence of the residential market: Hays expects a busier real estate market which along with improved business confidence will fuel new hiring, while property professionals will see demand for their skills rise in 2014.

5. Big Data dilemma: This year will see increased demand for IT Project Managers and Business Analysts who are involved in data manipulation projects according to Hays.

“‘Data Scientists’ will also be in increasing demand; the Harvard Business Review named the role ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ since these professionals can recognise patterns in data from multiple sources and then make observations and predictions, which is crucial to business success.” Walker added.

6. Mobile App Development: The rise of tablet-based applications is driving demand for strong JavaScript Developers, particularly those with HTML5 and CSS3 skills for web development. However, with few candidates having this complete skill a skills shortage will become a pressing concern this year according to Hays.
7. Crossover roles: As technology and marketing, and technology and finance functions merge it has created a need for people who can move across sectors with multilevel knowledge. Therefore, Hays predicts this year will see technology departments merge with both marketing and finance and as a result, marketing and finance professionals will need to enhance their technology skills to remain competitive in the jobs market.

8. Responsible social media usage: With confidence returning to the jobs market, the candidate is again ‘king’ however most organisations are yet to embrace social media effectively when it comes to recruitment according to Hays.

“The expectation is that a presence and activity such as posting a job is enough, but the commitment and resources that are really needed to build effective relationships is vastly underestimated by most. Without that commitment it is very difficult to attract and engage with the right talent at the right time,” Walker said.

9. Staff retention: Hays expects that as employees become more confident and start to explore their options in the jobs market, employers will really need to turn their focus back to retention.”

10. Borderless: With a global economy the world is becoming borderless and according to Hays as a result in order to achieve career development people are willing to change countries more readily. Therefore the ability to speak another language will become an increasingly important business skill.

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