Employment outlook for 2012: Randstad 14 Dec 2011
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As we put 2011 behind us and look towards the New Year, Paul Robinson, Director of Randstad New Zealand, says 2012 is looking set to be busier for organisations and their employees and jobseekers will see an increasing number of job opportunities, yet the tightening of the candidate market is likely to continue across all industries.
Mr Robinson believes that after being in a state of flux pre-election, momentum will gradually start to build and businesses will begin to see some positivity in 2012.
“What is exciting is that business confidence looks set to improve in 2012 to a level that is higher than it has been for the last two years. One of the primary factors influencing this confidence is the success of the Rugby World Cup. This event did wonders for New Zealand in creating positive news, a boost in morale across the nation, and masking most of the negativity around the world economies.
“And with New Zealand now working more closely than ever with the growing economies in Asia, this could be a motivating factor for businesses confidence.”
“For those who are specialists in their field, with technical expertise and knowledge, in the areas of engineering, construction, IT and financial services in particular, next year will most likely be a good year. The current skills shortage has been highlighted by the recent election campaign, and while moves will be made to get this in check for the future, I don’t believe we’ll see any real traction in 2012. This means certain people - for those difficult to fill roles - will be in high demand, with the ability to command great salary and benefits packages from their employer.”
Robinson continues to say that earlier in 2011 there were more candidates available in the market and employers were tending to wait until they felt they had the absolute perfect fit before hiring. “Now, with the increasing skills shortage, employers are becoming more open to looking leftfield at candidates who may not have 100% job fit, but rather someone who can be moulded into the role. The organisations that are more flexible in terms of job fit and who are faster in making hiring decisions over their competitors, will, I believe, beat them to the chase.”
“We also may start seeing in the first quarter of 2012, those businesses which couldn’t hire new staff or replace turnover during downturn, may find themselves in a position where they can begin rebuilding their talent,” he continues.
Robinson warns however we shouldn’t expect to see a market saturated with jobs.
“Businesses who are not looking to employ staff early next year need to ensure they re-engage with their current employees”, says Mr Robinson.
“Right now, it’s more important than ever, to ensure your people are happy and engaged in their role. Business leaders at all levels need to ensure they are taking regular ‘temperature checks’ of their employees in weekly meetings and a minimum of bi-annual performance reviews.
“It is also recommended that a salary review is provided each year and employees expect to have this conversation annually. Knowing that businesses are likely to feel hesitant about increasing salaries for 2012, Robinson says to be careful, as this mindset could pose a threat.
“While the cost of living continues to increase across the board, we haven’t seen a significant uplift in salaries for employees in the past two years. This could mean employees begin to look elsewhere for promotions or new opportunities once economic conditions, business and consumer confidence improves. It’s vital that business leaders have very open and honest conversations around business performance and productivity, and set clear expectations for employees around how to achieve a payrise if they will not be receiving one for 2011 or at least the first half of 2012.
“Strong leadership will be at the core of business success in 2012”, adds Robinson. “Results of Randstad’s World of Work Report 2011/12 reveals over half of New Zealand employees rate the ability to motivate and inspire others as the most important attribute of a successful leader. It is important then, that team leaders and managers ensure they are stepping up to the plate in this regard as staff retention in 2012 will be reliant on these abilities.”
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