February 6 2007 - A report from specialist recruiter Hays anticipates that the 2007 New Zealand recruitment market will be characterized by tighter conditions, customization of careers to suit individual employees and a more positive attitude towards mature candidates.
Jason Walker, regional director of Hays said:
"The employers who will be most successful at retention in 2007 will be those that recognize a retention plan cannot be approached with a 'one size fits all' mentality. It is therefore important to understand staff and address their needs when feasible and practical, while both short-term and long-term strategies need to be established and applied equally and fairly. For example, flexibility of employment and practices to address work/life balance issues should not be exclusively for employees with a family. Many other employees enjoy flexible working practices to pursue hobbies or other interests."
The report suggests that customization of careers is an emerging trend; not all staff are engaged by the same factors. Reasons for staying with an employer can lead others to seek a new role. With various options available, employers should analyse key strengths and needs of an employee and customize their career to match.
Jason Walker continued:
"Flexibility of a different kind should be considered when examining a candidate's sector experience. Employer expectations regarding specific sector experience remain high and this limits the number of potential suitable candidates. A candidate who has the desired 'fit', attributes and skills but lacks experience within a certain sector is still more than capable of fulfilling a job function."
The report promotes an efficient recruitment process to cope with a market in which able candidates have a choice of employment opportunities. Similarly, it suggests that international recruiters have a distinct advantage. It anticipates a more positive response to mature candidates who are described as an under-utilized resource; many traditionally being placed in temporary or contract work. Conversely, young recruits represent the future skills base, and the report urges businesses to consider how this generation differs from the rest of the workforce.
Jason Walker commented:
"Many of the old rules of recruiting will not work for Generation Y and employers need to understand how to manage, motivate and retain these candidates to compete for them in the future."
The report predicts that counter offers will become more common as employers cannot afford to ignore loss of company knowledge and higher replacement costs. However, the original motivation for looking for another role must be addressed.
Jason Walker concluded:
"We expect candidates in demand to become far more selective - as is already occurring. As employers attempt to attract candidates, salaries at this level are being pushed higher. With an increased focus on staff retention, satisfaction and bonuses such as shares or performance-related pay, overall salary packages for roles in demand will still remain competitive with employers negotiating on a person by person basis. However salaries in all other areas of the market will remain stable following previous increases, particularly on a permanent basis, with employers prepared to utilize temporary skills until a suitable, permanent candidate content with the offered salary is sourced."