Increased optimism amongst Kiwis

Monday 11 February 2013, 3:44PM
By PPR New Zealand

The latest Randstad Workmonitor Report shows New Zealand workers are increasingly optimistic about the country’s economic situation, with more than three quarters (77%) stating their organisation is performing well financially.

The report also shows 74% of Kiwi employees expect this to improve even further this year, compared with 2012.

New Zealanders are also more confident than most workers around the world, with 72% of workers globally saying their employer is performing well financially and only 66% expect further improvement in 2013.

People from Brazil (86%), India (92%) and Hong Kong (91%) expect positive developments this year, while those from Greece (32%), Luxembourg (38%) and Japan (39%) are far more reserved in their expectations. Australians share New Zealander’s optimism with 77% also believing their organisation is performing well financially, and 72% expecting this to further improve.

Paul Robinson, New Zealand Director of recruitment & HR services specialists Randstad, says these results show a definite shift in people’s perception of the current Kiwi job market.

“It’s promising to see New Zealanders becoming more confident of our local economic environment. This renewed optimism also stems from employers’ consistent efforts to place their company in a position of growth. Following a difficult few years and a volatile global economy, businesses have been working harder than ever to get through the tougher times, and it’s certainly paying off,” says Robinson.

While the renewed optimism amongst workers is a healthy sign for the New Zealand economy, it’s also a sign that businesses will have to continue investing in their people if they want to hold on to their brightest talent.

“With confidence on the rise, businesses need to consider the strategies they will implement to keep their best talent from looking elsewhere. Employers need to focus on their employer brand, on the factors which make their business an attractive place to work,” adds Robinson.

“Consider the benefits which your employees really want, and think beyond simple remuneration packages. Extra annual leave days or flexible working options, with the ability to work out of the office can be a significant drawcard for many employees, and can have a positive impact on your overall employer brand.”

Robinson says the general sentiment for businesses is that 2013 looks set to be a positive year.

“We can expect to see a lot of movement in the job market this year, with employees looking to progress their careers. Employers should aim to up skill their top talent to ensure they remain engaged, challenged and productive and don’t look for opportunities elsewhere.”

Workload and work-life balance

Seventy three percent of employees around the world indicate their workload increased last year, and the New Zealand workforce was on a similar footing at 78%. India (87%), Hong Kong and Malaysia (both 83%) rank at the high end. Eighty percent of employees globally would like to improve their work-life balance in 2013. Compared to 2010, Norwegian employees show the biggest increase in their wish for a better balance: from 47% in 2010 to 70% in 2012. Eighty percent of New Zealanders wish to improve the balance, where one year ago it was found over half of Kiwi employees’ private and work life was intertwined.

Reward expectations

Sixty four percent globally, and 69% of New Zealand workers expect a pay rise in 2013. This percentage is even higher in Hong Kong (95%), Argentina (94.5%), Malaysia (94%) and India (93%). In some countries the expectation to receive a pay rise has significantly increased compared to 2010 - examples are the UK (36% in 2010 vs. 61% in 2012), the US (39% vs. 69%) and Australia (52% vs. 75%). Germany on the other hand has lower expectations regarding a pay rise than two years ago: 77% in 2010 vs. 57% now.

Based on their achievements in 2012, 76% of people globally feel they deserve a financial reward or one-off bonus. Yet only 53% expect to actually receive such a reward. This gap is especially high in Hungary (85% feel they deserve it vs. 31% expecting one) and Greece (68% vs. 15%). New Zealand also sees a substantial gap with 71% feeling they deserve a financial reward and only 38% expecting to receive it.

New Year’s resolutions

Around half the employees around the world make New Year’s resolutions (51%). This tradition is most common in Mexico, India and Argentina (between 80-87%) and less so in Denmark, Sweden and Norway (between 14-24%). Thirty one percent of Kiwi workers make New Year’s resolutions, with 29% making resolutions specifically focused on their career. This is down on the global figure at 44%.

Mobility Index up to its highest point: 108

The global Randstad Mobility Index has climbed to 108, the highest position to date, which means more employees are expecting to be employed elsewhere in the next six months than in previous quarters. Mobility has increased in Belgium, Poland, Denmark, Hungary and Chile. Mobility declined in New Zealand (-6) and China (-7). Globally, 11% are actively looking for a new job, which is 1% lower than in Q3 2012. In Hungary more people are actively looking for a new job (+6%).

Employee confidence slightly down

Confidence in finding a different job decreased from 69% in Q3 to 67% in Q4. Confidence in finding a comparable job slightly decreased to 63%, back to the level of Q2 2012. The level of confidence is the lowest in Japan (36%) and the highest in India (90%). In New Zealand confidence has decreased by 9%. Significant fear of job loss has increased in the UK, Canada, and China and declined in Belgium, Denmark, and Brazil.

Job satisfaction

Countries with the highest job satisfaction are India (84%), Mexico (81%), Norway (78%), Denmark & Malaysia (76%), and Sweden (75%). Sweden even saw a 10% increase in satisfaction compared to last quarter. In New Zealand, job satisfaction is relatively high with 69% of employees satisfied with working for their current employer. In Denmark employees are less satisfied (-7%) than in Q3 but the Danish can still be considered some of the most satisfied employees in Europe. Japan had the smallest proportion of satisfied employees.

Personal motivation

In Europe, employees in France (-4%) and Switzerland (-8%) are less focused on getting a promotion compared to last quarter. Employees in Hungary (+8%) are more focused on getting a promotion than a quarter ago. Despite a decrease compared to Q3, Mexico (-5%) maintains the strongest focus on promotion outside Europe, together with India. Fifty seven percent of New Zealanders are focused on getting a promotion.

The complete set of findings is available in the global press report at http://www.randstad.com/press-room/research-reports.

The Randstad Workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in 2003, and now covers 32 countries around the world, encompassing Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility regularly visible over time.


The Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures expectations surrounding the likelihood of changing employers within a six month time frame, provides a comprehensive understanding of job market sentiments and employee trends. In addition to measuring mobility, also employee satisfaction and personal motivation, as well as a rotating set of themed questions are part of the survey.


The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International. Research for the fourth wave in 2012 was conducted from October 18 to November 6, 2012.