- Companies expect the shortage of skilled candidates to hamper growth in 2017
- Recruiters need to ensure that staff engagement and retention is a high priority
Companies are being urged to put in place strong retention strategies to capture skilled professionals and ensure the growth of their businesses, following the findings of a survey by leading specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters.
The annual Global Salary Survey, which covers a range of professions and is based on real placements made by Robert Walters’ consultants, found that many businesses have highlighted the persisting shortage of skilled candidates as a barrier to growth in 2017.
Head of Robert Walters New Zealand, Shay Peters says the job market is highly competitive, and is set to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
“Given the skills shortage has become increasingly apparent in the last 24 months, it is really starting to impact company’s and their ability to grow at the rate they feel they could if they had the right resources on board.
“We urge hiring managers to make employee engagement and retention a high priority, offering extra benefits, such as flexible working conditions and health and wellbeing programmes to attract premium candidates. Make sure you clearly articulate why a candidate should join your business, why it will benefit them professionally and what you can offer them in terms of a working environment,” he says.
As salaries go up, employers need to ensure their employee salaries are in line with the market, says Peters.
“The survey shows that 61% of professionals will look to move jobs this year so a proactive approach to retention is key, and will prevent the need to make counter-offers in order to retain skilled employees.” he says.
While the job market is expected to remain buoyant, there may be some uncertainty towards the end of the year due to the general election.
The survey highlighted that skilled professionals will be highly sought after in accounting and finance, banking and financial services, business transformation, human resources, information technology, legal, procurement and supply chain, property and facilities management, sales and marketing, and business support.
As superannuation funds continue to grow, Robert Walters anticipates higher demand for professionals with fund management and fund administration expertise.
Digital transformation is at the forefront of business strategy and will continue to drive hiring demand, in the public and private sectors.
However, the general election will likely impact recruitment of public sector contractors in the second and third quarters of the year, with permanent recruitment also likely to slow in the second half of 2017.
The top five professions in New Zealand for 2017 are sales and marketing, commercial finance, IT (cloud, mobile, digital, e-commerce, cyber security), risk and compliance finance specialists, and in-house legal staff.
As businesses reshape to become digitally-savvy, these emerging and relatively new professions are becoming a vital part of operations: digital designers, data scientists, information security specialists, and commercial managers.
Peters says that due to the persisting pressure of a shortage of candidates, salaries will increase for many professionals, leaving some in a powerful position to negotiate with the employers.
“In most professions, salaries went up in 2016, and we expect to see moderate increases again in 2017. Those professionals with skills in particularly high demand will receive substantial increase,” he says.