17
Jun
2016
article

SEEK Employment Trends: CEO and general management roles led the pack in May 2016

Leadership roles led the way for new SEEK job ads in May 2016. The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows positive results for the majority of sectors across New Zealand and experts say business activity is on the rise.

Job ads increased on SEEK by 8.9% year-on-year and the market has been described as buoyant. “If you spoke to most businesses across most industries, they would tell you that they’re busier than they have been and they need more people,” says Lee Tyrrell, Managing Consultant for recruitment firm Franklin Smith. “It feels buoyant, but of course some industries are stronger than others.”

A view across the sectors

Leadership was firmly on the agenda in May 2016 with SEEK job ads for CEO and general management roles up by 38% year-on-year.

Tyrell says this may be the result of company growth. “I’m working with a number of companies at the moment and their staffing numbers have just exploded,” he says. “That creates a need at the top to find those leaders to steer the growing teams.”

Government and defence roles were also up in May 2016, growing by 20% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $78,021. Jason Walker, NZ Managing Director of recruitment from Hays, says the increase in job ads may be due to greater turnover of employees. “They may be advertising more roles but we’re not seeing significant growth,” he says. “I think the growth in ads is more about churn rather than growth in government departments.”

New Zealand’s hospitality and tourism sector also experienced a growth in job ads in May 2016. Job ads were up by 30% and the average advertised salary was $50,524. “There’s been a lot of press lately about the importance of our hospitality and tourism industry and how much it’s grown,” says Tyrell. “We’re a reasonably safe country, we’re clean and green, and we have great scenery, so tourism is always a strong industry in New Zealand.”

Construction roles on the rise

New Zealand’s construction boom is continuing to have a positive impact on SEEK job ads across related sectors.

Job ads for the construction sector were up by 34% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $94,878. The design and architecture sector saw an increase of 18%, compared to the same time last year, and the average advertised salary was $78,142. Meanwhile, SEEK job ads for the trades and services sector were up by 31% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $59,299.

SEEK New Zealand General Manager, Janet Faulding, says that it’s no surprise that construction and related industries are continuing to drive job ad growth in Auckland. “Across the city there are a number of major construction projects underway, including the new rail link build and the fit out of the Waterview Connection twin tunnels. Plus there is an increase in multi-story residential developments being undertaken.”

Tyrell says the growth in construction activity in key regions, such as Auckland, is also having an impact on a range of other industries. “It creates a knock-on effect because when a construction company is busy, their accountants are busy and their lawyers are busy, so the positive effect spreads wider than you may expect.”

This sentiment is matched by the latest SEEK data, which shows that accounting new job ads were up by 12% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $77,318. Meanwhile, job ads in the legal sector were up by 31% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $79,425.

A slip for some sectors

Not all sectors shared the good news in May 2016. Job ads for retail and consumer spending were down by 6% and the average advertised salary was $52,575. The information and communications technology sector also declined by 11% and the average advertised salary was $93,061. Meanwhile, SEEK job ads for the insurance and superannuation sector were down by 3% and the average advertised salary was $75,943. “There has been a lot of restructure in insurance and we’ve definitely seen a reduction in roles coming through because of that,” says Walker. “A lot of the big work that was coming through to support the claims process following the earthquake has started to drop off.”

Job ads for the banking and financial services sector also experienced a decline of 15% in May 2016 compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $80,813. Walker adds that there has been little movement in salaries for this sector. “There has not been significant salary increases within financial services for the past six years,” he says.

Spotlight on the regions

The advertising of roles on SEEK in Wellington dipped by 1.2% in May 2016; however, this is a partial reversing of the sharp 9.3% rise experienced in April 2016. In Auckland, SEEK job ads continue to be strong and have been increasing over the past four months. Meanwhile, job ads in Canterbury have been easing in recent months.

While SEEK data shows a stable level of candidate availability across the Canterbury region, Walker predicts a tightening in the market. “If you look at Christchurch and don’t factor in the rebuild, they have a huge issue with the number of people retiring over the next 15 years,” explains Walker.

“Retirees over this period are going to account for about 79,000 individuals and that’s going to create skills shortages in certain sectors right across that region. These people tend to be executives and senior managers who are going to be moving out of employment and leaving a massive gap that needs to be filled,” he says.

Some sectors and regions may be experiencing challenges; however the overall news in May 2016 was positive for the New Zealand job market.

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