The New Zealand IT and telecommunications sector has been prone to staff shortages, but new research has revealed the industry has an opportunity to recruit new talent with a surge in interest.
The research, by recruitment and HR services company Randstad, indicates more employees may be willing to enter an industry that has previously struggled to attract top talent.
The Randstad Award employer branding research shows that the attractiveness of the IT and telecommunications sector increased from 28.19% last year to 31.33% in 2015, making it the third most attractive sector in New Zealand, behind education and training services and professional services.
Brien Keegan, country manager of Randstad New Zealand, says if the IT and telecommunications sector continues to grow without addressing staff shortages, there will be consequences for the industry.
“We know that the IT and telecommunications sector is strong and expects growth in 2015, especially following central Government’s announced intention to move a number of functions for businesses and households online,” he says.
“For many years the sector has struggled to fill staff shortages, and as the sector continues to grow, so will the need to recruit employees,” says Keegan. “If the current trend continues, whereby the industry grows and the staff shortages increase, there will be serious implications for the sector.”
The research also found that the IT and telecommunications sector has reasonably high name awareness. This year 67% of potential employees recognised one or more companies operating within the sector. The result is on par with last year’s findings, but a massive increase from 2012 and 2013’s results of 45% and 53%, respectively.
“The IT and telecommunications sector is in the midst of a boom and there is a huge demand for staff to fill the existing and future shortages,” explains Keegan. “What this year’s results also make clear, is that the industry is in a good position to recruit talent with potential employees indicating they are attracted to the sector and recognise companies within the sector.”
Keegan continues, “The challenge for IT firms is to take advantage of the fact that potential employees want to enter the industry. In order to recruit and retain the top talent firms who both specialise in IT or require an IT specialist need to ensure that they have strong recruitment measures in place and take advantage of research, such as the Randstad Award employer branding research, to understand what potential employees want from an employer.”
Five years since the first Randstad employer survey was undertaken, the most important criteria for New Zealanders when choosing an employer continues to be salary and employee benefits, according to 21% of respondents. This was followed by pleasant working atmosphere (10%), good work-life balance (10%), long-term job security (12%) and interesting job content (11%).
The IT and telecommunications sector scored highly when it came to salary and employee benefits, career progression opportunities and good work-life balance.
The sector was the most attractive sector for men and those aged between 25 to 44 years. The research also revealed that North Islanders are more interested in the IT and telecommunications sector than their South Island counterparts.