Government’s infrastructure spending drives employment confidence: Michael Page New Zealand


With a reported $11 billion dollars to be spent on strengthening infrastructure over the next four years, the New Zealand government’s pledged funding has fostered strong confidence among the domestic workforce.

In a survey conducted by global recruitment specialist, Michael Page, professionals in New Zealand rated the fourth highest in employment confidence within Asia Pacific. The Michael Page Job Applicant Confidence Index Q2 2017, evaluated the responses of mid to senior-level employees across industries and revealed New Zealand ranked 72 on the confidence index, above the Asia Pacific average of 64.

“The government is investing in infrastructure on the back of the population growth. This has created new job opportunities for professionals in the building sector including those skilled in civil engineering, residential property as well as commercial construction. This is where we are seeing the largest demand for talent right now,” observes Pete Macauley, Regional Director, Michael Page New Zealand.

Most notably, the record numbers of immigration to New Zealand has also driven growth in the construction, retail, manufacturing, consumer products and professional services industries. In view of the country’s hiring demand for professionals outstripping the supply, 79% of job seekers say that they are confident of securing a job in less than three months. In addition, 48% responded with optimism stating they see good employment opportunities in their areas of expertise and 68% of job seekers are confident the job market will get better in the next six months.

“We have seen organisations focus on promotion prospects for existing employees in the recent years which has resulted in strong optimism among professionals. However this has led to a highly candidate-driven employment landscape as professionals who can see a succession plan for themselves in their companies are unlikely to leave,” Pete Macauley shares his insights.

On attracting top tier candidates in New Zealand, Pete Macauley continues, “Companies are doing a very good job of retaining their best talent. A lot of human resources strategising has gone into ensuring learning and development as well as personal progression are well integrated into every employee’s career. Professionals in New Zealand are most concerned with selecting employers who can prove that they will progress on performance and continually invest in internal growth opportunities.”

Respondents to the Michael Page Job Applicant Confidence Index Q2 2017 also listed developing new skills (42%) and achieving better work-life balance (36%) as the top two reasons why they are most likely to switch jobs.

On top of investing heavily in organisational growth to enhance skills development, companies have also harnessed the latest technologies to allow employees their desired work-life balance. As more hiring managers recognise that flexibility as a talent attraction tool, efforts have also gone towards enabling professionals to do their job outside of the office and promoting dynamic working.

In New Zealand’s current hiring market, the strongest talent are aware of their position to demand the best compensation packages. Employers who can fulfill all their requirements for salary, career development and work-life balance will be best placed to secure top tier candidates for further business growth.

Editor’s note: The Michael Page Job Applicant Confidence Index Q2 2017 is a measure of how optimistic job applicants are about the current job market. The responses are based on those that applied for a job published on our Michael Page website in Q2 2017

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