How we’re driving inclusive hiring in Aotearoa

How we’re driving inclusive hiring in Aotearoa

Posted May 21, 2024

In many workplaces, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) are often just treated as buzzwords. But we think it’s time for a little less conversation and a little more action. Here at Talent, our values guide everything we do including ensuring that we are walking the talk when it comes to diversity. We have a responsibility to educate our clients on best practices when it comes to hiring, because let’s face it, diversity and inclusion must begin at the hiring stage. We’ve even created a DEI Hiring Toolkit to help hiring managers in this process.

DEI can’t just be words on a poster, and we know we need to walk the talk. Here at Talent New Zealand 20% of our Talent New Zealand staff whakapapa Māori and to the Kiwis of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Porou.  Our Country Manager, Kara Smith and Managing Director of our consultancy arm, Avec, Sam Collins whakapapa Māori, actively champion conversations and strategies about increasing Māori representation with clients across both the recruitment and technology industries. There’s no denying, representation ensures a safe and welcoming environment for Māori and Pasifika candidates here in Aotearoa.

“Talent is unique in that we are a local Aotearoa business made up with a diverse team on the ground in Auckland and Wellington, but with the resources and network of a strong global-market leader. We believe that this combination allows us to provide our clients and candidates with the best of both worlds – a deep understanding of the local talent market coupled with the reach and expertise of an international company. Our values come to life through our commitment to young rangatahi, supporting aspiring female leaders, fostering a diverse team and encouraging Māori and Pasifika talent in both the recruitment and technology industries.” Kara Smith, Country Manager, Talent New Zealand.

Diversity with Māori and Pasifika

Experience is everything and we are proud to work closely with different organisations across New Zealand to support them in their commitment to Te Tiriti to achieve better recruitment outcomes for Māori and Pasifika. We tailor end-to-end recruitment processes to ensure cultural considerations. All of these we know will ensure better overall outcomes in achieving diverse hiring.

Our Senior Recruiters / Account Directors all have/continue to upskill to ensure DEI practices are maintained. This training includes:

  • Inclusive job advertising ensuring job ads are tailored to attract more Māori and Pasifika applications.
  • Defining more inclusive interview processes ensuring a commitment to Te Tiriti
  • Educating and challenging Hiring Managers on their own recruitment practices to drive change.

Looking to one of our consultants as an example, Adeline Le Bris, Account Director, Talent Wellington, is committed to drive change to make a tangible difference to better outcomes for all Māori and Pasifika. Some of the courses she has taken part in include:

  • Unconscious Bias and mitigation
  • Understanding Te Tiriti O Waitangi (Groundwork)
  • Rainbow community Training
  • Neurodivergence workshops
  • Te Reo Course – Level 2

“We understand the importance of improving diversity outcomes especially in a New Zealand context to honor Te Tiriti O Waitangi. We are working closely with many organisations facing diversity and inclusion challenges and advise and provide tangible solutions to change the status quo. Mitigating unconscious bias is something that all of us here at Talent are trained on. We also know the importance of building trust and tailor our communication when we engage with Māori and Pasifika Candidates.” Adeline Le Bris said.

Providing pathways for rangatahi

In 2018, we launched our charitable foundation, Talent RISE in Aotearoa. RISE focuses on decreasing youth unemployment in the community, in particular Māori and Pasifika young people.  We also educate our clients on the importance of hiring young people into roles with regular insights, reports and in our regular catch ups with them. In the past six years we have assisted 105 rangatahi/ young people into meaningful employment. Our kaupapa (purpose) is empowering rangatahi and one way we achieve this, is by delivering our employability skills strength-based readiness to work program – Rangatahi Mahere Whakapakari Mahi utilising Te Kotahitanga (Effective Teaching Profile). We create opportunities for our rangatahi to actively participate and engage in their learning to encourage positive youth development outcomes.

Anthony Logologo, a rangatahi that Talent RISE placed at NZ Post said, “I was really proud, I still am, of how I have gone through this journey and set myself to achieve more in my future. I got so much support from the first day, even before the course started. The trainers and other classmates supported me and gave me confidence to join the workforce, improved my people skills and helped me to apply those skills to get into the workforce.”

Supporting the neurodiverse community

Diversity isn’t just ethnicity. When it comes to working with neurodiverse candidates, Georgia Hynes, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Talent Wellington, operates from her own experience. “I’ve changed my LinkedIn title to highlight that I’m neurodiverse myself which caused an influx of candidates reaching out to share their experiences.”

Georgia shares that education and awareness is the best way to get an understanding of how to be inclusive. “A lot of people are aware of our rainbow communities and using the right pronouns etc., but not many people understand the needs of people with ADHD or autism for example. If I know someone is neurodiverse, I’ll educate my client on using clear and concise language in JD’s or adverts.  Having flexible interview formats.  Maybe making it video based instead of face to face.  Sending the candidate the interview structure up front can also help.”

Final thoughts

We understand that the DEI landscape is constantly evolving, and we’re passionate about improving our own policies and development here at Talent. DEI is a journey we’re all on together, and we pledge to continue evolving our development within this space – and deliver utmost support to our teams. You can find out more about our team at Talent here.

Leading the way with Jennifer Jarvis

Leading the way with Jennifer Jarvis

Posted April 15, 2024

In this instalment of Leading the way, we hand the mic over to our female-identifying contractors, giving them the stage to discuss the challenges and triumphs they face within the tech industry. As part of the ongoing conversation off of International Women’s Day, we want to give our contractor community the opportunity to speak about their experiences. Today we’re joined by Auckland-based contractor, Jennifer Jarvis.

Tell us about your current role and career background.

I’ve been a tester, usually a test lead or test manager, for 26 years. I’m currently taking a couple months off to renovate my house to put it on the market because that’s an interesting skill set to have as well.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your role?

Being a “career contractor”, the repeated and frequent high learning curve as you move from role to role is perhaps the most difficult, but also the most interesting! It means I’ve had the chance to work across numerous industries, all of which cross-improve my ability to do my job.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I love the creativity necessary to understand what needs to be done for a project and to craft the necessary testing outcomes to prove the solution to be delivered. The mind gets to work in a multi-disciplinary way, pulling together timeframes, resources, impact on upstream and downstream projects, and most of all: what needs to be done to winkle out the issues!

What has your experience been like as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

I’ve never found there to be a difference, at least in my industry. I don’t see my colleagues in terms of male or female, they’re all just colleagues and friends.

In terms of pay, at least in my industry, I believe it is true women get paid less, but it is my pet theory that it’s because they don’t ask for as much as men do. The friends I have that ask for what they want, typically get it, and those rates are 100% on par with their male counterparts (or above).

Do you have a role model who has inspired you?

I hate to say it, but my earliest role model was a guy! My first manager Brian was calm, patient, and very kind. Every time I start to get a bit flustered from time and project pressures, I try to channel his “calm in the face of the storm” energy.

There aren’t a lot of senior women in IT – project managers and BAs, yes, but not testers, programmers, etc. I’ve worked with many amazing female colleagues in my time who inspire me daily, but a role model tends to be a higher position than oneself, I think.

What advice would you give your younger self/someone who wants to enter the industry?

I’d say if you have an analytical and creative mind and don’t mind things being a bit repetitive (although there is a lot of change, too), go for it! It’s a brilliant career that even AI won’t derail, at least not in the near future. Most companies’ IT sectors are very understanding of work-life balance which is important for everyone but especially women juggling the roles they do.

At Talent, we’re proud to represent and support a global network of over 5,000 active contractors. Helping professionals unleash their potential has been the foundation of our business for over 25 years, and we’re not stopping yet. Learn more about the contractor community at Talent and how we can help you build your dream career here.

The top 10 highest paying tech roles in NZ in 2024

The top 10 highest paying tech roles in NZ in 2024

Posted March 18, 2024

Which tech roles dominate the list when it comes to New Zealand’s highest paying jobs in 2024? From BI Architects through to Cybersecurity Managers, we look into the top 10 highest paying positions for the year ahead.

10. Data & Analytics Manager

The Data & Analytics Manager specialises in collecting, analysing, and reporting on data to make informed business decisions. With data-driven decision-making being a key priority for businesses across the globe, the need for professionals with data skillsets is only growing. So much so, that Data Analysis topped the list of in-demand skills for 2024 in our More Than Money Salary Guide, seeing those who are proficient in this space raking in the big bucks as demand soars.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $170k per year

Contract – $133 per hour

 

9. Business Intelligence Architect

The Business Intelligence Architect plays an integral role in company success, leveraging data to obtain new customer insights, improve processes, and guide business decision-making. With data dominating the list of fastest growing skillsets in 2024 according to LinkedIn Talent Insights – think a 56% growth in professionals with Microsoft Power BI skills since 2023, and a 50% growth in Microsoft Azure – it’s clear that data is a large focus area in the market. As a result, the Business Intelligence Architect makes the cut as one of the highest paying tech positions this year.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $170k per year

Contract – $138 per hour

 

8. Solutions Architect

Responsible for aligning a company’s IT strategy with business goals, the Solutions Architect is tasked with identifying business needs and leveraging infrastructure, software, and systems to best meet these requirements. They should also possess strong communication skills to best implement new plans, all the while bringing other departments along for the journey. Alongside these interpersonal skills, Solutions Architects in NZ are quickly skilling up in Data Analytics, seeing a 38% growth in uptake in the last 12 months, followed by DevOps at 18%, and Microsoft Azure at 15%.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $171k per year

Contract – $149 per hour

 

7. Agile Coach

As agile methodologies continue to permeate the market, driven by businesses prioritising efficiencies, the role of the Agile Coach becomes increasingly important. Tasked with helping organisations, teams, and individuals adopt agile practices and methods, they are responsible for embedding these values throughout the business. The industries in NZ that are after this talent most? IT Services and IT Consulting, Airlines and Aviation, Government, Telecommunications, and Banking are the top employers of Agile Coaches across the country according to LinkedIn Talent Insights.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $175k per year

Contract – $125 per hour

 

6. Development Manager

The Development Manager is responsible for developing growth strategies and plans for the business, and is the point of contact between customers and management, working to marry customer needs with business strengths. However, success in this position doesn’t only come through possessing technical know-how. Talent Auckland recruitment expert, Shweta Chopra, shares that leadership skills are just as important, “In our current market, there is a strong emphasis on softer skills, with someone that can inspire and help bring teams closer together”.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $180k per year

Contract – $135 per hour

 

5. Programme Manager

Responsible for overseeing designated projects for their company, the Programme Manager is tasked with planning and developing strategy, including defining the goals and timeline for the projects they supervise. According to Talent Wellington Managing Director, Nik-King Turner, “To be a successful Programme Manager you need to be experienced in both leading complex teams and projects and be adaptable to constant change.” Possess this business expertise and you’ll be one step closer to success in this position.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $180k per year

Contract – $150 per hour

 

4. Cybersecurity Architect

Increasingly necessary to an organisation in the years ahead are Security Architects, management-level professionals who oversee the security of an organisation’s network. Talent Wellington Managing Director, Nik King-Turner delves into the growing demand of those with security skillsets in Wellington, “The security field has been in strong demand due to the fact that many teams are working in hybrid setups and are potentially vulnerable to security issues. We are seeing a lot of security architecture roles that need cloud experience and system experience, mainly for highly regulated and complex organisations that deal with a lot of personal customer data”.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $185k per year

Contract – $145 per hour

 

3. Cybersecurity Manager

The Cybersecurity Manager is responsible for developing and implementing security strategies, managing a company’s security operations, ensuring regulatory compliance, and leading incident response efforts. Talent cybersecurity recruitment expert, Elliott Howard, notes that demand for cybersecurity professionals is only on the up, “There have been supply and demand issues for cyber resources for a number of years, and recent high-profile cyber incidents have further exacerbated this. Demand has definitely increased as employers look to build up their existing cyber teams and defences.”

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $185k per year

Contract – $150 per hour

 

2. Enterprise Architect

A technology agnostic mindset is key for the second highest paying tech job on this list – the Enterprise Architect. Tasked with ideating strategies in response to emerging technologies and their impact on the industry, Enterprise Architects need to be at the top of their game when it comes to being aware of the latest trends in tech. Hiring demand is strong for professionals in this space, with LinkedIn data revealing that in NZ, Enterprise Architects are most sought after by employers in the industries of IT Services and IT Consulting, Government, Airlines and Aviation, and Education.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $185k per year

Contract – $155 per hour

 

1. Technical Architect

The Technical Architect is tasked with utilising their knowledge of current business problems and future technological goals, to assist in the build, maintenance and implementation of new technology systems needed by the company. Talent Auckland recruitment expert, Shweta Chopra, shares that demand for architects is on the rise, “There have been recent mergers and acquisitions that resulted in large pieces of work consolidating and migrating data where architects play a key role.” This has seen demand – and salaries – for Technical Architects soar.

Expect to earn (NZ average):

Permanent – $185k per year

Contract – $158 per hour

 

Interested in the average salary for your role and how you can get ahead in the current market? Check out our More Than Money Salary Guide 2024. Looking for your next role? Visit our job search for hundreds of opportunities in tech, transformation and beyond.

 

*Excluding C-Suite roles

– Permanent salaries are exclusive of Kiwisaver

The future is here: Leveraging generative AI at Talent

The future is here: Leveraging generative AI at Talent

Posted March 5, 2024

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the role of AI in shaping the future of business cannot be overstated. At Talent, we firmly believe that success lies in embracing transformative technologies, rather than shying away from them. It is with this vision in mind that we have developed our own generative AI technology through our project delivery brand, Avec.

Named “Hello Sumo” after its developer Anthony Tockar’s (Practice Lead Data/AI) beloved dog, who is a regular guest in our Sydney office, this technology provides our people with a private and secure alternative to other open source AI tools. Built on Talent’s ecosystem, Hello Sumo’s security infrastructure enables us to securely input and store company information, empowering employees to leverage valuable data while safeguarding our cyber assets.

Hello Sumo represents the culmination of our commitment to delivering tangible value in the AI space. It stands as a testament to our dedication not only to embracing AI but also to doing so responsibly, with a keen focus on data security and privacy.

It’s natural to feel apprehensive about new technology – I recall a time when people were concerned about LinkedIn replacing recruiters! However, as we learned from that example, technology has the potential to enhance productivity for those who are forward-thinking enough to embrace it.

Our journey with Hello Sumo is just one of the many exciting AI streams we are working on, each aimed at helping organisations to “get s#!t done, better” – to reference Avec’s mission statement.

We’re thrilled to offer Hello Sumo to our clients who understand the benefits that generative AI can provide to employees but are concerned about privacy and security. Reach out to the team if you’re interested in how it could work for you.

Let’s not just embrace the future; let’s shape it together.

And yes, Hello Sumo helped me proofread this article. He’s a good boy.

What you should know about permanent and contract hiring

What you should know about permanent and contract hiring

Posted March 4, 2024

What’s the latest when it comes to the permanent and contract hiring markets across Australia and New Zealand? With a slowing market as a result of an economic downturn, the hiring landscape is shifting. We explore the latest trends in hiring across both groups, providing you with an exclusive look into what to expect for the year ahead.

A preference for perm

As a sense of uncertainty permeates the market, jobseekers are looking for greater stability in their roles, with many seeking out permanent or fixed term positions for greater job security. In fact, in a 2023 Talent survey, 34% of contractors cited that they were open to future permanent opportunities.

Katie Kemp, Talent Wellington recruitment expert sheds light on how this is playing out in New Zealand, “With cost-of-living pressures and post-election flow on, there’s an element of uncertainty for people and an increased focus on security in their work. The last six months or so has seen hesitation in the market coupled with work programme cancellation and an increase in the number of people available for this work. This combined with the pre-election dialogue on contractors and consultants saw some movement toward permanent roles for this sector and downward pressure on contractor rates”.

Stefanie Mortimer, Talent Auckland recruitment expert, also observes that jobseekers are seeking out greater stability in work and are opting for roles with longer tenure, “Stability and security continue to be important to candidates and longer-term contracting opportunities are much preferred.” In Australia, there’s a similar trend amongst contractors, with Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung predicting that, “Career contractors will look at permanent opportunities for security.” This desire for stability has seen a shift towards a preference for longer term or permanent working arrangements, particularly with rising cost of living pressures and an uncertain market.

 

Cuts to contractor spend

Looking at the contracting market, contractor spending cuts are occurring across a number of our regions. In NZ in particular, the government has announced plans to cut contractor spending over the next 4 years, with the goal of reducing current spend by 18%. Resultantly, the contractor market is starting to slow, seeing greater demand for permanent candidates instead. Looking at Talent’s hiring data from October 2022 to October 2023, federal and state government layoffs and hiring freezes across Australia have resulted in a 16% decline in contract hiring in this sector.

Talent Sydney Managing Director Matthew Munson comments on where spending cuts are occurring and the impact this is having on the local market, “The NSW Government continues to look to make savings through contingent workforce cuts. Some Government agencies have looked to make savings by implementing a max two-year tenure rule although this isn’t working too well as they struggle to backfill the IP with permanent employees or fixed term engagements.”

In New Zealand, it’s a similar story, with Georgia Hynes, Talent Wellington recruitment expert noting the effect of these cost-cuts and how organisations are attempting to keep their best people on board, “Demand for candidates is down and many contractors are not being extended. Government departments are also working on reducing contractor spend. Employers understand that career contractors are likely to want to go back to contracting once things pick up, so they’re more likely to come out with fixed term roles to prevent a sudden loss of IP.”

 

Looking ahead: what to expect from the employment market

What can we expect in the hiring market for the year ahead? Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung, observes that, “Employers, grappling with the need to curtail contractor expenditures and adhere to budget constraints, will encounter challenges in securing the necessary talent and expertise. As a response, some employers are transitioning contractors into permanent roles, although this may introduce retention issues as candidate rates fluctuate.”

The market however, looks to be recovering, with Talent Sydney Managing Director, Matthew Munson, noting that, “There are some positive signs the economy is finally improving, suggesting that investment and hiring will begin to recover in 2024”. What does this mean for both the permanent and contract hiring landscape? It’s anticipated that economic improvements will have a positive impact, seeing a steadying of both markets.

If you’re looking for top contract or permanent talent to join your team in 2024, we can help. Working with professionals in tech, transformation and beyond for more than 25 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what they want. Get in touch to uncover how we can help you build world class teams.

Employment trends in Australia and New Zealand 2024

Employment trends in Australia and New Zealand 2024

Posted February 25, 2024

Are you looking to hire in 2024? Here’s all you need to know to navigate the complex employment landscape across Australia and New Zealand. Our recruitment experts share their insights and predictions to equip you with the knowledge you need to get ahead.

2024 recruitment trends

1. The scales of power are tipping

Is it an employer’s market or a jobseeker’s market? Well, it depends. Across ANZ, the tech hiring market is slowing down due to an economic downturn, which is seeing a number of companies cut costs and tighten their budgets – a stark contrast to the fast-paced, candidate-driven market of 2021-22. As a result, recruitment is slowing down across certain job families – especially Project Services – resulting in more candidates in the market than jobs on offer. Talent Sydney recruitment expert, Shane Hodgins notes “Where there has been a slowdown in the market is in the project services space – many companies are putting their projects on hold as budgets for IT projects are being cut. Generalist IT project managers are most affected by this.” In this space, we’re therefore seeing the scales of power start to tip in favour of the employer.

This doesn’t mean hiring managers hold all the cards though. For in-demand skillsets, such as cybersecurity, data, and artificial intelligence, candidates remain firmly in the driver’s seat as companies increasingly recognise the importance of securing their systems, leveraging data, and adopting AI. With more choice available for these jobseekers, Talent Sydney Managing Director, Matthew Munson, notes that while “we have seen the cooling of salaries across many job families, hard to find niche talent will always test the top end of what the market has to offer.”

2. In-demand roles are demanding dollars

With the market shifting in 2024, remuneration is also experiencing movement. According to Talent NZ Country Manager, Kara Smith, “cost of living and inflation increasing will continue well into 2024 and beyond. Candidates are seeking higher salaries to compensate for this, yet organisations are driving cost-conscious decisions.” Resultantly, many job families are seeing a slowdown in salary growth. In the domain of Project Services, salaries and contract rates have dipped by as much as 15-25% due to many companies placing their projects on pause in a bid to cut costs. However, this isn’t the case across all job families and positions.

The roles commanding the highest pay? Those in Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and Cloud Solutions. Our Talent More Than Money Salary Guide 2024, highlights that Cybersecurity salaries have increased 25-35% since 2023 and Data Analytics 12-23%. When it comes to contract work, Cybersecurity rates are up 15-30%, Data Analytics 18-25%, and Cloud Solutions 10-25%. Talent Sydney recruitment expert, Shane Hodgins, comments on this trend “cybersecurity professionals are still in high demand. Hands-on technical roles such as penetration testers and security engineers, are highly sought after, and we’re seeing more roles in the market than candidates available. Resultantly, salaries have remained high at post-COVID levels for these candidates.”

3. Sourcing beyond borders is on the rise

In 2024, many companies are looking beyond national borders for candidates to fill their vacancies, particularly in tech and transformation. In Australia, our Talent recruitment experts note that large companies have increased their offshoring by an estimated 10-40%. Talent Sydney Managing Director, Matthew Munson, comments “a conservative estimate would say about 30,000 Australian companies offshore technical skills. It has accelerated over the last 12 months and the signs are that it will continue, because local salaries are very high, there is a skills shortage, and this move to remote work is making it a lot more appealing to hire people offshore.” In New Zealand, Talent Wellington recruitment expert, Georgia Hynes, also comments on the impact of remote work in enabling the sourcing of candidates from beyond national borders, “many organisations from the US and Australia are still dipping into the NZ candidate market for remote working, particularly in the developer space”.

4. Unemployment is up

In late 2023, both Australia and New Zealand’s unemployment rates increased to 3.9%, up from 3.8% and 3.6% respectively. With an uncertain economy, company layoffs, and growing cost of living pressures, there are more candidates on the market than before, seeing a stabilisation of salaries and contract rates in comparison to the candidate-driven market of previous years. Talent Wellington recruitment expert, Katie Kemp, observes that “COVID and the shortage of talent in the market saw people look to negotiate or secure higher salaries, however there is a level of market correction coming into play now, combined with organisations looking at their expenditure and relativities more closely”. Is this a trend that’s likely to continue? Our recruitment experts predict that…

5. The market will recover

It’s not all doom and gloom in the employment space. In fact, it’s anticipated that things will start to pick up when it comes to hiring. According to LinkedIn data, while the LinkedIn Hiring Rate in Australia decreased by 7.2% from January-June 2023, as of December 2023, it increased by 1.7%. Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung, predicts that over 2024, hiring will be on the up. “Looking ahead, the IT job market is anticipated to experience growth, fueled by the adoption of advanced technologies like AI, cybersecurity, and blockchain by Australian tech firms. The demand for skilled professionals in cloud computing, data science, and software development is poised to rise as businesses prioritise digital transformation.” In New Zealand, Talent NZ Country Manager, Kara Smith, also observes a shift in the market “As we enter 2024 the market is feeling more optimistic than the last few months of 2023”. She cautions “just like we saw post-COVID, businesses can only halt projects, investments, initiatives for so long. In a world where cybersecurity is a top priority, investing in tech teams is a worthwhile long-term strategy.”

Need a hand navigating this hiring landscape?

We can help. At Talent, we’ve been working with top candidates in tech, transformation and beyond, since the birth of Javascript. For over 25 years, we’ve placed thousands of professionals across almost every sector to the world’s leading companies. Let us help you get ahead in the recruitment market and connect you with a world of leading tech and transformation experts to boost your teams. Get in touch today.

Tech hiring: Who really has the upper hand, employers or candidates?

Tech hiring: Who really has the upper hand, employers or candidates?

Posted December 6, 2023

The tech hiring market is shifting, seeing the scales of power continuing to tip between candidates and employers. So, who holds all the power, and does it only belong to one group? With exclusive insights from our recruiters across Australia and New Zealand, we dive into current tech hiring market trends to uncover who really has the upper hand. Let’s get into it.

What does the current market look like?

While the current tech hiring market is characterised by a greater sense of caution and conservatism – a stark contrast to the frenzied, candidate-driven hiring market of 2021 and 2022 – it doesn’t mean that demand for top tech skills is out the window. While the scales have started to tip in favour of the employer, with an influx of candidates in the market due to recent layoffs, there is more to the debate than this. Our recruitment experts share both sides, uncovering the nuances of this evolving market landscape.

An employer’s world

Throughout 2023, the market has experienced almost 250,000 layoffs across over 1,100 tech companies globally, resulting in a significant influx of talent to the market and more candidates available than roles on offer. Employers have subsequently found themselves holding the power across numerous roles, seeing a slowdown in the unprecedented salary rises of 2021 and 2022.

This particularly holds true for those in project services positions – think, your Project Managers and Business Analysts – where we are seeing slowed demand as companies cut costs and press pause on their projects.

Shane Hodgins, Senior Account Manager at Talent Sydney observes, “Where there has been a slowdown in the market is in the project services space – many companies are putting their projects on hold as budgets for IT projects are being cut. Generalist IT project managers are most affected by this. Where they have been let go and previously would have been picked up within weeks, many are taking longer to secure their next role as there aren’t as many project services functions available for them to work in.”

In New Zealand, 2023 has been a year of flux – something the tech hiring market was not immune to. JP Browne, Talent Auckland Practice Lead notes, “Auckland’s serious weather events at the start of the year caused a lot of organisations to put projects on hold. Inflation then hit and there was uncertainty around the economy. Put an election in that mix and we saw a lot of employers holding on to see what was going to happen. The demand for Project Services talent therefore remains low.”

Talent Wellington Managing Director, Nik King-Turner also weighs in, “2023 saw a huge increase in supply of amazing talent onto the market with many struggling to secure work as there were fewer roles to go around. With candidate supply high and job demand only slowly increasing, organisations are in the driver’s seat to have more control over rates and salaries that are paid.”

So, while it appears to be an employer’s market, is this really the case across all tech roles?

A case for the candidate

Despite layoffs and the flood of candidates in the market, the tech skills shortage remains and is only growing. With businesses seeking to leverage the power of AI, secure their cyber defences, and harness the capability of data, the demand for tech professionals to lead these programs of work has only grown. This has seen top AI, cyber, and data experts remain in high demand, with employers competing to secure this talent for their teams. With a shortage of qualified tech professionals on the market, top candidates who possess these skillsets are finding themselves in the driver’s seat, with more choice on offer and the ability to command those higher salaries.

Shane Hodgins notes, “Cybersecurity professionals are still in high demand. Hands-on technical roles such as penetration testers and security engineers, are highly sought after, and we’re still seeing more roles in the market than candidates available. Resultantly, salaries have remained high at post-COVID levels for these candidates.”

Talent Sydney Practice Manager, Alan Dowdall also observes that, “The market is in an interesting place currently. In certain job categories, mainly Project Services & Change, we see applications increasing tenfold from 18 months ago, with applicants getting a response to less than 10% of roles applied for.” Despite this, Alan notes that certain positions aren’t seeing this increased candidate competition, and instead, are experiencing the opposite. “Accomplished mid-level Software Engineering, Cyber, and DevOps professionals are still highly sought after. In these professions, demand outstrips supply, and the expectation of passive candidates to consider a move remains strong.”

The final verdict

There is no singular way to characterise the current tech hiring market. While project roles are down and employers hold the power in this sector, cyber, data, and AI roles are on the up and candidates are in control. It’s both an employer and candidate’s market. So, what can we expect for the next 12 months?

Looking ahead

Moving into 2024 and beyond, we know that the tech shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. As tech only evolves, and with it, presents new opportunities and risks, the right tech professionals are needed at the helm to guide companies forward.

Joelle Beaton, Talent Melbourne Practice Lead comments that, “Although there is malaise surrounding the broader economic climate, in the tech sector, analysis from Deloitte shows that 1.8 million new tech skills will be needed by 2030, an increase of 1.3 million on today’s levels. At a minimum, Australia will need 445,000 more technology skilled workers by 2030 to keep pace with international economies. With demand at these levels, I feel this sector will continue to see steady employment opportunities for both permanent and contract workers throughout 2024. Much of the demand will be in security, data and AI-related disciplines.”

Are you looking to recruit top tech professionals for your cybersecurity and data teams? Or are you a tech professional ready for your next opportunity? Check out our job search or get in touch with us to discover how we can help.

Leading the way with Richard Adams

Leading the way with Richard Adams

Posted November 22, 2023

Welcome to another instalment of Leading the Way. Today we’re joined by Richard Adams, CEO of CCL in New Zealand. Richard shares his leadership insights and thoughts on the NZ IT services industry. Discover his approach to talent acquisition, company culture, and staying ahead in this exclusive conversation with a tech industry innovator.

Tell us a bit about your role as CEO of CCL – what does a typical day look like for you?

We are lucky at CCL to have a really diverse range of customers so a typical day can involve a wide variety of topics. I try to balance my day so that I am looking at how we keep providing service for our customers in the short term, whilst looking out to the medium/long term to ensure we are investing in the right areas to set ourselves up for success.  To be able to achieve any of that we need to provide a strong culture for our people and opportunities to progress in their careers, so a lot of our time is focused on trying to provide that environment.

How does your background in sales and business development shape your leadership style and decision-making as CEO?

I feel very fortunate to have spent a lot of time in roles that have been focused on growth and it has definitely shaped my leadership style. Sustainable growth provides you more freedom as a Leader to invest in your people and customers. I find that many people feel uncomfortable to talk about the need to grow and be profitable, however it is essential so we need to get better as a country to feel comfortable to talk about this. Also, from a company culture perspective, being part of a company that is growing is usually a much more positive environment, so selling more is always going to underpin those outcomes.

What challenges or opportunities do you see for the IT services industry in New Zealand in the coming years, and how will you address them? 

Finding and retaining talent will continue to be the biggest challenge. That’s a macro challenge across most sectors in NZ and its no different in the Technology sector.  In terms of opportunity, NZ already punches about our weight globally and I believe that to maintain that position we must embrace new technologies to give us a sustainable competitive advantage.

What do you look for when it comes to hiring talent?

Hiring for culture first and then capability/craft is really important to me. We are working hard to keep improving the environment we provide for our people and customers so prioritising the cultural fit when you hire talent is critical. We also have a clearly stated ambition within Spark Group to improve our Diversity and Inclusion position so we take this into consideration when we get the opportunity to bring someone new into the team.

What advice would you give to an aspiring leader or someone who is starting out in your field?

If you can find a company whose values align with your personal purpose, plus you are interested in the outcomes they provide, then you have a great foundation to build from.

Talent acquires Wellington based recruitment agency People&Co

Talent acquires Wellington based recruitment agency People&Co

Posted November 1, 2023

Talent has announced it has acquired Wellington based recruitment agency, People&Co, effective immediately. The acquisition comes off the back of a highly successful financial year for Talent with the business cracking $100 million in gross margin and boosting EBITDA by more than 10% to $27.5 million.

This acquisition reinforces Talent’s commitment to the New Zealand market, and supports the expansion of Talent’s core recruitment business, as well as establishing a platform for it to build out its project delivery, automation and data consultancy business, Avec.

Speaking on the acquisition, Mark Nielsen, Global CEO, Talent, touched on the strong business and cultural alignment between the two companies. “When the opportunity to acquire People&Co arose, we believed it would be great fit for Talent. In addition to significant growth potential, we recognised a strong affinity in terms of culture and vision between the two organisations, and our shared commitment to the New Zealand market.”

Sam Collins, Managing Director, People&Co, will be joining the Talent Group as part of the acquisition will be responsible for scaling Avec’s business in New Zealand. “It’s a new era for the People&Co brand and for me personally. We are excited about the opportunities Talent and Avec will deliver for our sales team and our customers, candidates and contractors. Our culture that we have built is aligned with Talent’s which was a non-negotiable, and we resonated with the growth mindset of the leaders and their teams,” Sam said.

Kara Smith, Country Manager, Talent New Zealand commented. “We are incredibly excited about the acquisition of People&Co. Talent’s commitment to further expanding and investing in Aotearoa is an exciting time for all our team members, clients, candidates and contractors, and this growth begins a new chapter for us.”

Sam and Kara will work closely with Talent Wellington’s Managing Director, Nik King-Turner, Talent’s Global CEO, Mark Nielsen, and the wider Talent team, focusing on the growth of the New Zealand company.

People&Co is a proud Māori-owned organisation, and a member of the All-of-Government (AoG) External Recruitment and Consultancy panels. Through co.star they offer OD, HR and business consulting to individuals and organisations looking to drive change or results.

NZ’s top 5 in-demand tech skills for 2023

NZ’s top 5 in-demand tech skills for 2023

Posted April 28, 2023

​The tech hiring market is changing. With the cost of living reaching new heights and big tech companies making significant layoffs, candidates and employers are starting to adopt a more cautious approach when navigating the hiring market. This has seen the intense salary growth of the past few years and rapid pace of hiring begin to plateau.

As a job seeker in this changing market, it may be time to run a skills update to level up and put the best version of yourself forward to employers. Here are 5 of New Zealand’s most in-demand tech skills which hold the greatest opportunities for 2023:

 

1. Cybersecurity

Data breaches and cyber hacks are on the up, placing cybersecurity at the top of companies’ priority lists for 2023. However, with a global cybersecurity skills shortage of 3.4 million people, accessing talent with the right skillsets isn’t easy.

In New Zealand, demand for these professionals is clear and only set to increase, with Talent Wellington recruitment expert, Josephine Kempson, highlighting that, “demand for cyber is increasing significantly within New Zealand, and will only grow and grow from here.”

What’s driving this demand?

“Recent cyber-attacks in the public sector in New Zealand, remote/hybrid working becoming the norm, and cybercrime getting more and more sophisticated on the daily. Because of this, there is a strong need for organisations to ensure they are protected against any attacks or breaches and in order to do this, they need talent which isn’t there in the quantity needed.”

This shortage of candidates is driving companies to invest in nurturing and strengthening talent pools, meaning there are growing opportunities for professionals with security skillsets. Talent NZ Country Manager, Kara Smith, explains that, “Due to the forecasted demand and shortfall in these talent pool areas across New Zealand, we are seeing organisations invest in early talent. Organisations have realised they must commit to increasing the available talent pools themselves and therefore grad programs, internships and bootcamps continue to increase.”

So, if you can build a hacker-proof firewall and execute a robust defence-in-depth strategy to protect against those cyber pirates, employers will want you on board in 2023.

2. Cloud Computing

Forecasted global spending on cloud services is estimated to reach over $591 billion in 2023, up 20.7% since last year, meaning the need for professionals with Cloud Computing skillsets is higher than ever.

This demand is placing those with the right skillsets in the driver’s seat and seeing salaries increase despite a slowing market. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, this is a strong growth area, with NZ tech professionals who are skilled in Microsoft Azure growing by 41% since 2022.

Whether SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS is more your speed, harness your skills in this space and you’ll be in a good spot for the year ahead.

3. Business Analysis & Business Intelligence

As companies plan for the year ahead and continue to prioritise data-driven decision-making, Business Intelligence and Business Analysis skills are only growing in demand. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, tech professionals with Microsoft Power BI skills have grown by 41% since last year in NZ.

Talent NZ Country Manager, Kara Smith, comments on the growth of these skillsets and increasing demand in the NZ tech hiring market, “The market is fiercely competitive for BI developers”, and although the “Business Analysis market has been quieter in the beginning of the year, we are now seeing that increase as organisations kick off programs of work again”.

This demand is ultimately driving salaries up, with Business Intelligence roles in particular, seeing 17% average global salary growth in the past 12 months. So, if you possess a strategic mindset and know your SQL from your HTML, this is a great space to set your sights in 2023.

4. Software Development

Professionals with skills in software development are highly sought after in NZ this year, however, supply of this talent is running low. Talent Wellington Managing Director, Nik King-Turner, observes that, “Mobile developers and developers in general are still hard to find”. Which places you in a good position if you’re a Python professional and live and breathe data. Strong competition for these skillsets has also seen salaries for software roles increase by 15% since 2022. With growing opportunities in this sphere, it’s a great area to upskill in in 2023.

5. Artificial Intelligence

The popularity of ChatGPT has emphasised just how prevalent AI technologies are set to become. Those with skills in AI and Machine Learning are only going to grow in demand as investment in this tech reaches new heights – it’s forecasted that global AI spend will reach $500 billion in 2023.

According to Talent Wellington recruitment expert, Josephine Kempson, “With the emergence of new AI technologies and influx of better data management tools in the market, organisations are now better placed to utilise this improved data to provide better solutions to their customers. These new tools and technologies still need to be driven and maintained, leading a strong increase in demand right across the data space especially here in Wellington. This includes roles from Data Visualisation, through to Data Engineers, Data Platform Leads and Data Architects.”

Alongside this, the benefits of AI adoption are clear. According to the AI Forum of New Zealand, AI is projected to increase New Zealand GDP by up to $54 billion by 2035, while 82% of all business decision-makers in ANZ, according to another study, believe that AI and Machine Learning will be integral to strengthening their tech security framework in the near future.

The robots can’t do everything though. People power is essential. There is immense opportunity in this space, and if you possess the right skills, companies will want you on their teams quick stat.

Interested in uncovering more insights on the New Zealand and global tech hiring market? Check out our More Than Money Salary Guide 2023.

For tech and digital opportunities suited to you, check out our jobs board.

Talent New Zealand announces team expansion

Talent New Zealand announces team expansion

Posted January 11, 2023

Bianca Jones, Country Manager, Talent New Zealand, will be transitioning into a newly created role of Managing Director, Projects New Zealand. In her new role, Bianca will be responsible for implementing new revenue streams across NZ, as well as growing the Talent RISE and Avec brands in market.

Kara Smith, Managing Director, Talent Auckland, will be stepping into to the role of Country Manager, Talent New Zealand. In this role, she will be overseeing all day-to-day operations for both the Auckland and Wellington Talent branches.

Nik King-Turner, Senior Consultant, Talent Wellington, will be transitioning into the role of Managing Director, Talent Wellington. In this new role, he will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations for the Wellington branch.

Bianca, Kara and Nik will work closely with Talent’s Global CEO, Mark Nielsen, and the wider Talent team, focusing on the growth of the New Zealand company.

On the announce, Bianca Jones, Managing Director, Projects New Zealand, said, “It is an absolute privilege to watch Kara and Nik transition to the next phase of their careers. They are both incredibly passionate about what they do and work hard every day to make Talent Aotearoa an awe-inspiring business. I am confident under their leadership the recruitment business will continue to grow and thrive. As I pivot into a new phase of my career, I look forward to working closely with them both as we tackle some exciting and ambitious growth initiatives in 2023 and beyond.”

On the transition, Kara Smith, Country Manager, Talent New Zealand commented, “I’m thrilled to be taking my next step with Talent! I’m very passionate about creating safe and inspiring spaces where our diverse team can be challenged, achieve their dreams and of course have loads of fun along the way. In this role I have the privilege of building on our amazing foundation and helping to take our Aotearoa business to the next level – harnessing success for our colleagues, clients, contractors and community.”

Nik King-Turner, Managing Director, Wellington, said, “I am super excited to be leading the Wellington team. We have an awesome group of people with amazing skills and potential. Our business has a great platform to launch from with amazing clients and contractors. I am really looking forward to watching it grow and being part of the team’s successes and triumphs.”

Leading the way with Jamaine Naicker

Leading the way with Jamaine Naicker

Posted September 15, 2021

Welcome to another instalment of Leading the way. Today we are joined by Jamaine Naicker, Digital Engineering Manager at Watercare Services Limited NZ, who talks us through her career journey, the biggest shifts that the technology industry has gone through, and the importance of mentorship. Let’s get into it.

Tell us a bit about how you started your career in tech and the journey that led you to your current role.

I started my career as an analyst programmer and worked my way through a lot of different roles in IT. I always had a passion for software delivery but as my career grew, I realised my real strength was leadership.  I enjoyed growing and mentoring people.  My thirst for continuous improvement and growing high performing teams was a key contributor to my career success.

What does a day in the life look like for you?

No two days are the same. I find my day filled with context switching, problem solving and mostly helping technical people focus on delivering strategic outcomes that offer customer value. The diversity of my role really energises me and allows me to bring alignment across the key pillars of delivery.

You have been in the tech and digital sector for quite a few years. What do you feel has been the biggest shift in that industry?

Having the right people with the right attitude in my team, is way more beneficial and successful.  Early on the focus was mainly hiring based on skillset. These days, having a culture of continuous improvement and challenging the norm with a growth mindset are invaluable.

Do you have any mentors? If so, why would you recommend having one?

Yes, I have had a few mentors over the years and would highly recommend it.  As you go through your career you always have people you aspire to become, who seem perfect and far out of your reach.  Having a mentor reminds you that everyone has challenges, and the people that succeed have only done so because of their resilience and tenacity to overcome their obstacles.

What is your biggest learning that you would want to tell someone starting out in your industry?

Self-doubt or imposter syndrome.  Too often the high expectations we set for ourselves, are the very thing that trips us up.  Failure is all part of growing as an individual. Set small achievable goals and never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something. In fact, for me it is the very trigger that motivates me. The more I am told I can’t do something, the more I want to prove them wrong.  It has made me stronger and in the process a lot more confident.

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