Changes and challenges facing Waikato’s recruitment market

Posted by : Cara Armstrong on February 11, 2022 2:04 pm

COVID-19 may have brought most things to a standstill; most that is but for the recruitment industry. Today, Waikato’s recruitment market has more positions open than ever before. Asset Recruitment’s Executive Recruitment and Business Development Manager, Judy Davison, looks at the changes and challenges of recruitment in 2022.

As many of us have discovered these past two years, working from home in our slippers is anything but slow-paced and relaxing. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, our industry has experienced a level of previously unimaginable demand. Closed borders and restricted immigration, alongside the growth of sectors such as technology, construction, marketing and those deemed essential, have seen the recruitment industry play a pivotal role in our economy’s growth.

What’s more, 2022 looks to be no different.

Recruitment demands in Waikato reflect the region’s growing reputation as a preferred destination for both business and lifestyle. There’s a marked increase in the number of temporary positions becoming permanent amongst our commercial and industrial clients. We’re recruiting for roles that have been newly created due to COVID-19 demands – healthcare and social assistance, education and training, finance and insurance, communications and marketing. Then there’s the boom experienced by the construction and building-related industries.

Things are different from what they were two years ago. The way we recruit is more fast-paced and proactive. When we meet a good candidate, we make the introduction with our clients. If there’s a good fit, our clients will create an opportunity.

We’re also supporting our clients to adapt to the constantly changing recruitment landscape. That will continue in the months ahead as we navigate the borders reopening, Kiwis returning to New Zealand and a new wave of immigrants looking to make New Zealand home.

So, what are the changes and challenges we can expect to face in 2022?

The changes

  • Kiwis returning: with the New Zealand borders set to reopen at the end of February allowing Kiwis from around the globe to return and self-isolate at home, we’re expecting an influx of those returning permanently. Waikato will be a viable proposition for many of these candidates who would previously have settled in Auckland.
  • Immigration increasing: another welcome change for the recruitment industry is the expected increase in those emigrating to New Zealand. The majority of immigrants take up roles in the agricultural, horticultural, healthcare and industrial sectors – industries which are desperately in need of staff.
  • Increased costs: with interest rates and living costs on the rise, we expect candidates, particularly those returning from overseas, to have high salary expectations. Workplace culture, professional development and personal wellbeing will also be priorities.

The challenges

  • Retaining top talent: already a challenge for employers, this will continue throughout 2022. We’re encouraging clients to review their staff packages and ensure the environment they’re providing team members is fair and meets expectations. Now is a good time to review staff benefits and what can be offered outside of base salaries, such as flexible working arrangements.
  • Competition: it has been, and continues to be, a candidate-short market. There’s competition for good candidates and although the pool is likely to increase with borders reopening, candidates seeking work are savvy and know what they want. Employers will need to put their best offer forward from the start.
  • Candidate requirements: dubbed the ‘great resignation’, millions of Americans have quit their jobs over the past six months, and new data has shown more than half of New Zealanders are thinking of doing the same. This poses challenges for both recruiters and employers to find and retain talent.

Responding to change

As we all know, change has been the only constant these past two years, but it can be managed with a well-documented recruitment strategy. The new year is always a great time to review your organisation’s recruitment processes and policies, and to partner with experienced recruiters.

Judy Davison has more than 25 years of experience recruiting in Waikato’s employment market. As Executive Recruitment Consultant and Business Development Manager for Asset Recruitment, Judy is responsible for securing senior level roles and working with clients on their recruitment strategies.


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