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Jobs Report Cons NZ - Jul to Dec 2018


July – December 2018

Hotspots of skills in demand

Over half (53 per cent) of employers in New Zealand expect to increase permanent staff levels in the next 12 months, exceeding the 8 per cent who say they’ll decrease. According to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, 18 per cent also expect to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, exceeding the 11 per cent who anticipate decreasing in this area. Meanwhile, 21 per cent now employ temporary and contract staff on a regular ongoing basis, with another 41 per cent employing them for special projects or workloads.

Vacancy activity differs around the country as follows.

Experienced construction professionals are highly sought after in Wellington, with Project Managers, Site Managers and Estimators in greatest demand due to the sheer volume of demolition and earthquake strengthening work underway.

Senior Quantity Surveyors with estimation experience are required too due to the strong project pipeline in Wellington.

Civil Project Managers with experience working on the tools are needed. The Transmission Gully project has added to vacancy activity, with various main and sub-contractors requiring these candidates.

Commercial Estimators are in high demand in Christchurch, where the commercial pre-contractor space is extremely competitive. Civil Estimators are also sought since the civil market is active.

Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors are in demand in the Otago region, where activity is high.

Civil Project Managers are needed too for various upcoming projects in Christchurch.

Commercial Quantity Surveyors at the intermediate to senior level are needed in Christchurch, with post-contract work driving demand. Quantity Surveyors are also needed in sub-trades since building services is active on the completion stage of projects.

Quantity Surveyors are sought in Queenstown too, an area that remains busy.

Christchurch City Council Approved Drainage Forepersons are in demand as projects increasingly require CCC Approved candidates.

Operating Forepersons are also sought as employers look to make crews smaller and so therefore require multi-skilled candidates.

Forepersons are also sought in Twizel.

Traffic Signal Technicians are an area of growing demand.

Commercial Project Managers are sought in Auckland given the large number of new commercial builds underway as more companies move to Auckland. For the same reason, Commercial Site Managers are in demand.

Demand is also evident for trade qualified Site Managers and Structural Project Managers to work on large upcoming projects.

Experienced Residential Quantity Surveyors are required in response to the continued housing shortage and demand for new builds. In addition, Commercial Quantity Surveyors remain in ongoing demand. The large number of new commercial builds is only adding to the skill shortage.

Commercial Estimators are sought in response to an increase in competition, which is forcing companies to submit more tenders.

Working Forepersons are also sought, however there is a shortage of strong reliable candidates.

Finally, Asbestos Assessors are in short supply.

Salary trends

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of employers will give skilled professionals a pay rise of less than 3 per cent in their next review while 8 per cent will not increase salaries at all. According to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, a further 22 per cent will give staff an increase of 3 to 6 per cent. Just 6 per cent will increase by 6 per cent or more.

Employees however have higher expectations for a salary increase. Over two-thirds (69 per cent) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. 26 per cent expect an increase of 6 per cent or more. A further 22 per cent expect an increase of between 3 to 6 per cent. At the other end of the scale, 19 per cent do not expect any increase and 33 per cent expect less than 3 per cent.

For more, see our Hays Salary Guide

Jobseeker advice

Develop your soft skills in communication, presentation and relationship management. With clients more involved in the development of their projects, these skills are crucial to maintaining an organisation’s values and reputation in the market.

It is also advisable to develop your management skills if you want to move off the tools.

On your CV, include the project name, type and value of each project you worked on. Also mention if the project was completed on time and on budget. Then use bullet points to provide details of your key responsibilities.

In addition, upskilling has become a constant requirement to remain employable in today’s rapidly changing world of work. After all, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and rapidly gaining ground.

Research from management consulting firm McKinsey suggests about 60% of occupations could see at least a third of their job tasks automated. Meanwhile, a report published by Deloitte claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years.

To find out how to stay relevant and employable in the face of all this rapid change, see our upskilling advice here.