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NZ’s top recruitment trends for 2018

NZ’s top recruitment trends for 2018

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The New Year is looming and it’s shaping up to be one where employers, HR experts and recruiters will need to adapt to the possibilities presented by new technology, reduced net migration, calls for pay equity, policy changes and the demands presented by planned infrastructure works.

That’s a long list that requires innovative new ideas to the challenges raised and will transform New Zealand’s recruitment landscape.

To keep you ahead of the trends, here are our insights on what you’ll need to look out for in 2018.

Recruitment will be remodelled

Top of the list is the remodelling of recruitment, which will occur in response to technology, the dynamics of the digital world, data science and artificial intelligence. This will see the historic and conventional ‘Advertise & Apply’ model (where active jobseekers at that point in time apply to advertised vacancies) superseded by what we call a ‘Find & Engage’ approach.

The ‘Find’ element of the equation involves using digital technology and data science analytics to reach deep into candidate pools and examine large amounts of data to prepare shortlists of the most suitable people (which span far wider than the community of active jobseekers), extrapolate meaningful patters and gauge how open to new job opportunities a potential candidate is.

The ‘Engage’ element puts the relationship back at the heart of recruitment to understand a candidate’s personal priorities and aspirations for a successful outcome. It’s a game-changing transformation for employers and external agencies alike.

Upskilling a priority

The government has promised to reduce net migration by between 20,000-30,000 people. However unfortunately those available in the domestic labour market do not always possess the skills employers need, meaning this reduction could add to the talent mismatch. Our Hays Global Skills Index confirms that despite an existing pool of labour employers in high-skill industries still find it difficult to fill jobs that require highly-skilled professionals.

Consequently, we expect employers to look at investing in more apprenticeships and entry-level staff who they will train up into roles.

We also expect to see savvy employers using upskilling as a benefit to attract and retain top talent. Given the current rate of technological change, knowledge and skills have a shorter use-by date. The top talent therefore look for roles offering upskilling and development, whether that’s through extra responsibilities, working on projects outside their original scope, mentoring or time to attend conferences or webinars. For employers, promoting your upskilling of staff can be a key benefit that will differentiate you from other organisations in the year ahead.

Gender pay gap in the spotlight

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has set a target of achieving equal pay for women in the public service by 2021. She wants to make the public service a catalyst for pay equity in the private sector, which will put the issue back on the agenda for CEs and HR departments in the year ahead.

In turn, this will see employers examine more widely why their diversity initiatives have not been working and consider strategies to improve gender diversity in the workplace, such as how they can get the best from blind recruitment.

Employers to prepare for policy change

Employers will need to stay abreast of policy reforms, prepare for changes that are coming and be ready to quickly accommodate any additional changes that are announced. An increased minimum wage and trial period changes could be just the start of the reforms employers must be aware of.

Policy professionals needed

As the government introduces new policies, we will see staff movement and vacancy activity for policy, communications, administration and finance specialists in 2018.

AI, robotics and chatbots replace repetitive jobs

An increase in the minimum wage may prompt employers, particularly larger organisations, to fast-track their technology investment in artificial intelligence, robotics and chatbots in order to reduce their requirement to hire minimum wage employees for jobs that involve routine, repetitive tasks.

Civil jobs to boom

With more than $125bn of planned infrastructure works across the country, civil jobs will boom and demand for suitably skilled construction workers will outweigh supply. However the civil sector is already experiencing substantial labour shortages, including for Civil Engineers, Land Surveyors, Bridges and Civil Structures Engineers, Transport Engineers and Planners, Drafters with Civil 12d, Civil 3D or Revit experience and candidates with large-scale project experience.

In response, the construction industry is working with the government to attract construction professionals from overseas to New Zealand. This will see construction sites benefit from diversity of thought and new innovative ideas.

Digital technology experts in demand

Data analysts, cloud computing software developers and cyber security specialists will be in growing demand in 2018 as more organisations move their data to the cloud, invest in ways to more effectively utilise information to drive revenue and efficiencies and keep at bay constantly evolving cyber threats.

Digital marketing professionals in demand too

The marketing and digital recruitment market will be active this year, driven by new technologies and the need to show a measurable return on marketing investment. In particular, digital marketing specialists will be in greater demand to drive revenue generation through the effective use of digital marketing channels.

Engagement and retention come to the fore

Given the active jobs market, the engagement and retention of staff will be higher priorities for employers in 2018. But with employees now wanting to work with organisations not for them, employers will need to shift their mindset and communicate the organisation’s objectives, explain how each employee’s role helps achieve these objectives, and ensure employees have a sense of value.

Giving an employee a voice is another engagement and retention factor to consider in 2018; employees want to feel that differences are valued and opinions can be shared and respected. This makes diversity of thought a valuable concept in employee engagement terms.

From all of us at Hays, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2018.

This blog first appeared on The Global Recruiter.