Nearly half of New Zealand employers are facing an ongoing talent shortage, with 44 per cent reporting they can’t find the skills they need to fill vacant roles and 64 per cent now recruiting outside their talent pools in response to this widening skills gap.
These are the results from the ManpowerGroup 2018 Talent Shortage Survey, which asked 39,195 employers around the world – including more than 650 in New Zealand – about the extent to which a skills shortage was impacting hiring intentions, which skills are the most difficult to find, and the strategies being adopted to attract and retain skilled labour.
Lack of available applicants (25 per cent) was cited as the top reason New Zealand employers are having difficulty filling roles, followed by lack of experience (22 per cent ) and lack of hard skills (21 per cent ).
This is creating a barrier to jobs growth with recent research from the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) revealing that New Zealand employers are reporting the weakest hiring intentions in more than eight years for the third quarter of 2018.
This impediment to jobs growth can be seen in New Zealand’s Mining & Construction sector, where employers also reported the weakest employment forecast for this sector in more than eight years.
It is no surprise then, according to the Talent Shortage Survey results, that New Zealand employers said Skilled Trades is the most difficult role to currently fill, followed by Sales Representatives and Engineers.
In addition to training and up-skilling of current staff as well as exploring alternative forms of work (contract, freelance, or part-time), 64 per cent of New Zealand employers cited recruiting from outside traditional talent pools as a top strategy currently being used to overcome this ongoing shortage of skills.
This follows the recent announcement of the ‘KiwiBuild Visa’, a new Skills Shortage List created to help fix a 30,000 worker gap in the New Zealand construction industry by making it easier for employers to hire overseas workers, including plumbers, electricians, engineers, builders and project managers.
ManpowerGroup New Zealand general manager Paul Robinson believes this combination of research solidifies the intensity of New Zealand’s current talent shortage and says now is the time for employers to take new approaches to building and retaining talent.
“Nearly half of New Zealand employers are reporting they can’t find the skills they need to fill vacant roles,” says Mr Robinson.
“And with more than half saying they are now recruiting outside of traditional talent pools to find in-demand skills, it is clear that New Zealand organisations are doubting their ability to find and acquire the right talent within the New Zealand market,” says Mr Robinson.
“This is most apparent in New Zealand’s construction industry, where immigration changes are in motion to provide employers with an easier, streamlined process to hire overseas talent and begin filling a 30,000 worker gap.”
“This means it is time for a new approach to attracting, recruiting and retaining talent in response to this widening skills gap,” added Mr Robinson.
“Organisation’s will need to buy skills where necessary, borrow from external sources and help people with adjacent skills bridge from one role to another.”
“New Zealand employers need to become builders of talent in order to create the jobs and skills of the future.”