The last three months can be summed up with one word - change!
Change has dominated politics - both in New Zealand and abroad (Trump, Brexit, etc). Change has hit our much-talked-about property market, and change has begun to hit the accounting and finance sector.
The accounting and finance market has remained relatively buoyant - with employers keen to hire the best talent. In terms of the number of vacancies, this is fairly consistent - however, we are seeing a change in the demand for specific roles and the attributes required by employers searching for talent.
Traditional back-office accounting & finance roles are in lower demand. These are being replaced with demand towards future fit finance professionals. We’ve had significant demand in the analytics space from some of our best companies who are looking for people who:
- are skilled working with big data,
- who can interpret data from a commercial perspective, and importantly
- have the soft skills to influence decision-makers to implement change.
Industries particularly FMCG, Retail, Construction and Energy are investing in future-focused initiatives. This, in turn, is attracting some of the best talent who are keen to develop their skill base.
Many employers are looking at their current Finance team structure and considering how they can ensure they are adapting to future business demands for skills.
From a talent pipeline perspective (and unlike a ‘normal’ year), we had a huge influx of great candidates returning from the UK - which has made many of our clients very happy! Many of these candidates have worked on large scale change projects and their experience is, as always, highly sought after and relevant for the changing NZ environment.
NZ based candidates are confident to consider their next career move. The best talent continues to be attracted to companies who are investing in technology and requiring social and commercial interaction.
Let’s discuss the accounting, finance and banking market on both the permanent and temporary sides of recruitment.
There are a couple of distinctive factors that make the permanent market interesting this quarter.
We have had a disproportionate amount of strong UK returners register with us and who are actively looking for roles in Auckland. Typically, these candidates return to New Zealand towards the end of the year in time for summer and holidays with their families/friends and will look to start a role in the new year. This year, probably due to Brexit, but also due to our ability to access the UK returners market - we have had a strong influx of these candidates.
The job flow has been consistent through a time of uncertainty that an election brings.
Overall, confidence levels are still high in businesses, and most companies are making money (the insolvency firms are not busy which is always a sign of a healthy market). However, after the usual slower 'mid-winter lull and election excitement' we have not seen the market kick back into full swing (yet).
The overall result is that right now, we have an outstanding bunch of quality candidates to take to our clients at virtually all levels (this, of course, won’t last but will result in some great hires for some companies).
Similar to the permanent market, temporary and contract recruitment was slow over the last weeks of September during election time and October school holidays. Already, it has picked up again coming into Christmas as employers typically carry out a contract process to delay permanent hires until the new year.
A trend this quarter has been that many of our top contractors are receiving multiple job offers.
In line with general trends towards a changing finance team - we continue to see a lot of transactional roles automated, meaning less demand for permanent transactional staff (Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable); which in turn, means increased demand for temporary workers in these roles. Currently, the demand for good temporary transactional level staff exceeds supply and pay rates are increasing as a result.
Many companies are looking for good contract Business or Commercial Analysts and Business Partners. Again, technology is allowing finance teams to automate more, so there is a real demand for contractors who can analyse large data sets and communicate the numbers effectively. There is high demand for contractors possessing both soft skills and strong technical skills. Those contractors that do possess these skills are able to increase their pay rate expectations and to enjoy consistent workflow demand. Many of our Consult VIP contractors are booked through the next few months.
For job seekers, it depends on your level of experience but if you have "Analyst" or "Payroll" in your job title, then there is plenty to choose from. Contractors who are well-networked, have a good reputation in the market and strong relationships with the right agencies don't spend long between assignments at all. For temporary and contract staff - location and hour flexibility are big motivators for choosing one role over another (and the reality is - they have the choice of roles right now).
If you are needing to hire a temporary or contract resource in the next while consider:
Moving quickly - the best contractors have multiple roles to choose from.
Advice your favourite recruiter early. (We are pre-booking some of our VIP contractors in advance and this can help you secure top talent).
Make sure you are working with good recruiters. We are a bit scared to hear that some agencies no longer meet candidates they represent to clients. Don’t assume that all processes are the same across all recruitment companies.
Consider how you can appeal more to potential contractors - are you able to offer hour flexibility? This may help you snag a great contractor!
All in all - it’s been a strange old time - which is completely consistent with the world right now!
We are currently working through the pre-Christmas recruitment rush and are looking forward to some good weather, some real BBQs and helping some cool companies hire some amazing people - including those returning from the UK! Check out our latest jobs here if you fancy a change before Christmas.