Our expert HR recruiter Kym Farnham gives us some insight on the job market for HR roles right now:
1. How has Covid-19 and our lockdown affected the job market in HR?
Covid-19 has given HR a seat at the table and made companies realise that it is one of the most important roles in their business. HR teams have been relied on heavily to navigate making tough decisions, advising and also planning for the future, which of course is great for the job market in this space moving forward (ensuring that businesses have experienced people in place). As we entered level 2, we could see new roles popping up daily and I am positive that this will continue.
2. What are employers doing or planning to do in response?
Unfortunately, HR experts are doing two things right now: loads of restructures (a tough task, but it's important that organisations do this well); and lots of H&S work with social distancing restrictions. The silver lining, however, is many companies are adopting new ways of working (flexible working) and fast-tracking automation so more can be done online.
3. Have you seen more candidates than normal?
I wouldn't say more than normal, but I would say more experienced, higher calibre candidates than normal - specifically from industries that have been gravely impacted, such as tourism and hospitality.
4. Have you seen more Kiwis returning from overseas (or inquiring about returning?)
Not a lot in comparison to normal - this makes sense as businesses who already have strong / experienced HR professionals will be doing everything to keep them.
5. What is happening with contract vs permanent roles?
There is definitely a big shift to contract work. With the amount of uncertainty ahead, clients are not comfortable committing to an offer of permanent work at this stage.
6. What opportunities are you seeing for employers right now?
This is a perfect opportunity for businesses to reflect, resolve, reach out, re-imagine and redefine their future.
7. What opportunities are you seeing for job seekers right now?
There is strong demand in the ER / Change Management & Advisory space. Obviously managing the H&S space has brought contract demand. There is also continuing demand in the payroll area, which is talent short and very tricky right now with wage subsidies etc.
8. What advice do you for job seekers?
Take the time to perfect your CV and LinkedIn profile, but most importantly remain positive, especially when speaking to a potential employer as resilience and an upbeat attitude will set you apart.
9. Which skills continue to be highly sought after by employers in the current conditions?
Adaptability, high EQ and critical thinking. Commercial viewpoint is also paramount.
10. Despite it all, what have you learnt or developed through lockdown and how will it help you move forward?
I've learnt that you cannot control what you cannot control and therefore put your efforts into the things that you can. Stay curious and relevant by knowing what the trends in your specialisation are and most of all remain optimistic!
If you have experience in HR and are looking for your next role, some advice on what to do in your current position, or if you are an employer that needs extra support in the HR space, get in touch with Kym Farnham for a confidential chat.
+64 9 410 7235