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​Buoyant IT industry allows skilled Kiwi workers to “job-hop”

More than fifty percent of New Zealanders working in technology and digital jobs are planning to change jobs within the next 12 months.
Dave Newick - Director, Global Attract New Zealand

Dave Newick - Director, Global Attract New Zealand

More than fifty percent of New Zealanders working in technology and digital jobs are planning to change jobs within the next 12 months, as skilled Kiwi workers take advantage of buoyant local ICT industry.

The research shows that, on average, 60 percent of workers across five key job fields; DevOps and Infrastructure, Financial Services, IT Executive, Software Development, Testing and QA, and Project Management, intend to look for a new role in the next year.

The Guide, released by specialist technology and digital recruitment company Global Attract, claims that in New Zealand, “demand for talent is still outstripping supply”.

“New Zealand is a breeding ground for innovation and skilled workers have confidence in the local tech industry and are willing to change roles frequently,” says Dave Newick, Director, Global Attract New Zealand.

“The main reasons for job-hopping include a lack of training and a lack of flexible benefits. The desire for more annual leave, flexible working arrangements and an enticing annual bonus scheme are also factors behind the movement.

“Employers need to be smarter about training, recruitment and retention strategies for contractors and permanent staff to avoid and fill voids as skilled workers move around from one job to another.”

The report also indicates that, on average, 22 percent of those surveyed have not undergone any formal training relating to their role.

Meanwhile, those most likely to look for another role work in Project Management; 73 percent of that talent intend to change jobs in the next year.

Newick says “high demand and lack of supply” of skilled workers in this sector are driving contractor growth and mobility.

“We are seeing a significant shortage of project managers and business analysts with Cloud and Digital experience,” he adds.

“Forecast growth in this field and skill shortages will push contracting rates and salaries up, forcing employers to look offshore to fill roles.”

Newick says the DevOps and Infrastructure arena also remains buoyant, with 59 percent of those surveyed indicating they intend to change jobs in the next year.

While this is a growing industry, 27 percent of candidates have never undergone formal training related to their role.

In the Software Development, Testing and QA space, sentiment is similar; 56 percent of professionals intend to change jobs within the next 12 months.

Delving deeper, in the IT Executive sector, 69 percent of respondents are either “very” or “fairly” satisfied in their roles, and 54 percent will be looking to change jobs in the next 12 months.

Big changes are afoot in the IT Executive field as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role evolves from traditional technology manager to key innovator.

Newick says some 39 percent of respondents believe the biggest change to role of the CIO is a stronger business focus - a further 17 percent say CIOs are required to show how and where they add value, 14 percent think the role is more customer centric and 12 percent say it’s more marketing/digital focused.

The report points to a decrease in the demand for Digital Strategy and Execution experts, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Product Officers as Digital Marketing teams are increasingly built on product, marketing and digital development expertise.

“Marketing and IT now sit hand in hand,” Newick adds. “Senior IT executives must keep ahead of digital transformation trends, UX design and areas where customer interaction is key.

“The need for staff with experience in e-commerce and Bitcoin is also set to increase.”

Meanwhile, the biggest challenge for the Financial Services IT sector is attracting permanent IT professionals to deliver digital initiatives, with the survey showing that 18 percent of IT workers in Financial Services have never had any training relating to their role.

“Large organisations are competing with smaller, more agile digital businesses that offer a greater range of flexibility on benefit and projects,” he adds.

“The key to securing the best candidates in Financial Services is to look at what workers consider important benefits - training, annual bonus and flexible working.”