Overall it has been a very steady start to the year - right from early January we have had requests for long term contractors to fill ever increasing workloads, as well as numerous new permanent positions coming in daily.
Roles are ranging from the office junior right through to management positions; it’s busy - incredibly busy. It’s very much a candidate market. Short listing of roles and re-short listing at times is taking place due to the market moving so rapidly.
Good candidates just will not last and are getting multiple offers. We have noticed a decline in part time positions, with the majority of clients needing full time employees.
Will this type of market continue so strongly? From all reports it looks like it will - for the next couple of quarters anyway. Businesses are positive and have no hesitation counter-offering a candidate when they are the right fit for them, so salaries have increased due to supply and demand.
History tells us that the unemployment rate tends to jump around, and while statistics are showing that the unemployment rate has increased for this quarter, this is seasonal.
Students who had worked during their university break are now resigning from their roles to return to their studies and are therefore reapplying for the unemployment benefit.
We have also noticed an increase in people from abroad coming back into the NZ employment market. On occasion they do get placed before arrival into the country; these are more likely to be specialty roles.
Teams are being built up again and it’s been noted that areas such as Sales, Finance and HR are expanding, if not with permanent candidates then with a well qualified long term contractor.
Project and planning teams within various businesses are being put together, generally with a mix of current permanent and contract staff and contracts are normally extended. These are all good signs.
The short term temporary assignment has made a come back. Where previously companies would make do, we are now filling short term assignments to ensure smooth flow of workloads.
Rates have increased slightly and the longer the assignment, we find the rate is higher. This is generally because of the permanent market; most temps or contractors are ideally seeking full time positions and we need to ensure assignments are completed to the full length, so slightly higher hourly rates secure and commit the candidate.
Businesses are still rate conscious but we have noticed a slight loosening of the purse strings. Knowing the state of the market, clients with an immediate need really don’t have time to wait - time is money.
So, overall we couldn’t have asked for a better start to what I feel will be a great 2011
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