As recruiters we have a number of tools at our disposal – a database of job seekers; a library of questions to ask during preliminary interviews; recruitment checks; and an ongoing commitment to positioning excellence. But one thing we don’t have is a crystal ball.
However, if we did, we’re not sure even a crystal ball could have told us what the Waikato job market would be like 12+ months on from COVID. Today, we’re recruiting in a market with a record low unemployment rate, minimal applicant movement, and a market that is crying out for migrant workers to fill some of New Zealand’s most essential roles.
Carmel Strange, Asset Recruitment’s Manager and Temporary & Contract Recruitment Specialist, said a combination of booming industries and labour shortages has created a recruitment market no one could have predicted 12 months ago.
“There are so many factors contributing to this market,” explains Carmel.
“The construction industry is extremely busy and creating a number of jobs, the horticultural industry has faced a continued shortage of migrant workers coming into the country, and the hospitality sector is in dire need of experienced staff. The shortage is right across the board; no industry is exempt.”
Changing times in the labour force
Recruiting in such a market requires employers to think outside the box. “Until everyone is vaccinated and the New Zealand Government allows more people into the country, I think this situation is going to continue,” says Carmel. “It is a challenging recruitment market but not an impossible one. We just have to approach job vacancies differently.”
For starters, Carmel says employers need to prioritise the attributes they’re seeking in a candidate. “We’re not going to be able to tick every single box, so we’re working with clients to determine what are non-negotiables in either a role or a candidate,” she says. “For example, if a candidate has the right attitude and personality and will be a good fit for a company’s culture, systems and processes can be placed around them to develop the necessary skills.”
Carmel is also urging employers to really look after their staff. “Some companies do this better than others but there’s always room for improvement. It really is a candidates’ market out there so we’re advising our clients to go the extra mile to keep their staff because, if they leave, it will be tough to find a replacement.”
Candidates content to stay
Another contributing factor to the current recruitment market is the underlying element of uncertainty that is seeing fewer people change roles. “People aren’t looking for new roles like they used to be,” says Carmel. “They’re stable in their jobs and would prefer to have that perceived security, rather than move elsewhere. This reduces the number of candidates in the market even further.”
There has been some respite for industries with the extension of working holiday visas, but for now, the tough recruitment market is set to stay, so seeking expert help to fill vacancies is essential.
Carmel and the Asset Recruitment team continue to position excellence in roles across different industries and sectors, working with both candidates and clients to secure the right fit for temporary, permanent and contract positions.
If you’re seeking candidates to join your organisation, give the Asset Recruitment team a call today.