As of March 2021, online advertising for job vacancies in New Zealand have still not returned to pre-covid levels, according to MBIE. However, these statistics only source “four internet job boards — Seek, Trade Me Jobs, Education Gazette and Kiwi Health Jobs.” Yet, increasingly we see jobs advertised on other online sources – and living in a global workplace could mean more Kiwi’s working remotely for overseas companies.
So, are we really waiting for Seek and Trade Me Jobs to show us the health of the NZ job market? Or is MBIE slow in matching the rise of alternative vacancy sources with a decrease from sites that were popular five years ago? After all, we no longer expect our newspapers to be considered a primary source of employment vacancies in New Zealand.
This discrepancy is what some of the team at the online marketplace newcomer, Shopless, noticed... They noticed that job listings on the free platform were increasing by 52 % per month, even though MBIE reported a decrease in online vacancies. Maybe the number of online vacancies isn’t decreasing in New Zealand, but employers are using other platforms.
Transparency In The NZ Job Market
We are lucky in New Zealand. Our government agencies do try to provide a high degree of transparency. Because of this, we can retrieve the information used to provide many of the statistics that hit the headlines.
For example, MBIE released information that says, “over the past two years to March 2021, online vacancies decreased by 11.6 per cent.” Yet, the fees associated with the commonly known online job seeker sites may be a reason why companies are turning to alternative sources.
The Growth Of Alternative Job Sites
Obtaining local figures for trends in job advertising from Facebook and LinkedIn can be difficult. However, a quick search shows a significant range of vacancies advertised on both platforms. To compare, in Mid-July 2021, there were over 14,000 current vacancies listed on LinkedIn and just under 30,000 jobs listed on Seek. At the same time, trend data from Shopless job listings show a sustained increase in the number of job vacancies across sectors.
In addition, the global pandemic and rolling lockdowns around the world in 2020 saw a rise in awareness of online job sites such as Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr. While sites like Upwork are still firmly geared towards an international market, businesses in New Zealand currently account for over 1,000 of the advertised jobs. The fast hiring process means many positions are filled within 24 hours.
Providing transparent data makes it easier for HR and recruitment agencies to see where they should be advertising vacancies. So, yes, while Seek is still a key player for recruitment, it may not be the prime resource for monitoring a decline in employment advertising.
The changing way we advertise jobs is not only a New Zealand issue. While specific local trends from Linkedin data is hard to establish, the platform states that globally, three people are hired every minute using their platform. LinkedIn has also posted that they have seen a growth of job vacancies advertised, with US postings increasing by 6x from March to December 2020.
Of course, Facebook recognises that people are looking for alternatives when looking for employees. If this weren’t the case, they wouldn’t have added the focused “Jobs” section. After all, the publicly listed company is well known for implementing changes that have far-reaching effects. However, this seems to be primarily for employers looking for casual or minimum wage employees. Facebook allows employers to use word of mouth to find the right employees, particularly for roles with traditionally high turnover.
Why Might Employers Change Job Advertising Strategy?
When hiring someone, an employer obviously wants to make sure that they are getting the best person they can find. So, part of that strategy is advertising where potential employees are looking. This is one of the reasons for seeing an increase in alternative approaches for localised and seasonal or contract work heading to Facebook – it has become the modern version of putting a “help wanted” sign in a window.
For more stable employment, Seek and TradeMe jobs have been the more popular options. However, employers may look for more cost-efficient options, and follow where potential employees are looking.
In New Zealand, Facebook and Shopless both offer free job listings and have shown steady growth in situations of vacant traffic. The number of vacancies listed and the number of people looking for work using these sites has increased. Duplication of some listings across multiple platforms is likely, more so in positions where the roles need several staff. But, the implication is that employers are looking at other options to advertise their positions.
The Changing Face Of Job Hunting
Where you look for jobs is going to determine what sort of jobs you see. As the different online options fight it out for dominance in the job market, job seekers should take advantage of customised email notifications.
The ultimate platform will likely combine cost advantage to employers and easy recruitment for employees. We are in the early days of the changing recruitment market. Signing up for new vacancy alerts on the major players will ensure that you find out about the job you want wherever it turns up.