SEEK Employment Trends New Zealand: spotlight on the information and communications technology industry

As digital transformation continues to sweep across New Zealand, growth in key roles within the information and communications technology (ICT) sector seems like a natural consequence. The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows a number of areas in hot demand.

Alistair Shorten, Director and Principal Consultant with New Zealand recruitment firm Halo Consulting, says that while many small-to-medium enterprises have already boosted their digital capabilities, big business is now stepping up to the plate.

“Digital transformation is now happening more in large enterprises,” he says. “Many big corporates are investing a lot of money in their digital capabilities, whether that be the customer-facing channels or digitising their back office in a move toward a paperless environment and more streamlined processes.”


Signs of demand

While data from SEEK Employment Trends saw a 4% year-on-year dip in job ads for the ICT sector, there were clear signs of demand in classifications, such as computer operators, with the number of SEEK job ads doubling compared to the same time last year. Product management and development roles were also in good demand, growing 59% year-on-year, while SEEK job ads for developers and programmers also grew by 10% year-on-year.

Ian Scott, New Zealand National Manager at Randstad Technologies, a division of recruitment firm Randstad, describes the country’s ICT sector as strong but that demand is greater across some industries than in others.

“We have seen a number of organisations holding ground and not growing as rapidly as this time last year,” he says. “This has been particularly noticeable in government sectors, particularly local government in Auckland. This is due to some pressure to reduce cost and manage headcount.”

The average advertised salary for the ICT industry in February 2016 was $92,213 and candidate availability in the sector is high and has been increasing over the past four months, signaling a greater pool of candidates for employers to choose from.



‘Insourcing’, a growing trend

While ‘outsourcing’ has been a common term in the ICT sector, ‘insourcing’ now appears to be growing in popularity, particularly in the area of help desk and IT support. Demand within the classification grew by 12% year-on-year in February 2016.

We have seen a trend towards insourcing customer centric roles,” says Scott. “This may be due to a desire to increase security and compliance and to keep control local. It may also be about the desire to win the battle of the customer, particularly in the telecommunications area.”

Demand for telecommunications roles within New Zealand’s ICT sector also received a boost in February 2016, with SEEK jobs ads increasing by 74% compared to the same time last year.

Shorten describes telecommunications as a fast-moving area. “It has also gone through quite a bit of pricing or revenue pressure in the last few years. There’s been a lot of work internally with telcos to create efficiencies so they can do things more effectively.”



Demand slips for security

Although data security is an essential requirement across most businesses, demand for security roles declined by 19% year-on-year in February 2016. Shorten says this does not indicate a downward trend for such roles. “There was a rush on last year in the security space,” he says. “Maybe that demand just couldn’t continue in the early stages of this year or perhaps projects that were starting last year are now well underway. Last year, salaries for security roles shot up unbelievably. If a candidate had any security experience, they could just about name their price.”

Other areas of ICT with lower year-on-year demand in February 2016 included testing and quality assurance, which dropped by 51%, and consultants, which saw 8% fewer SEEK job ads than the same time last year.



Wellington in the spotlight

Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury comprise around 93% of New Zealand’s ICT advertising market; however, while year-on-year declines in demand were registered in Auckland and Canterbury, Wellington experienced a 2% growth.

“Wellington had a quietish time last year, but there seems to be a bit of chatter now,” notes Shorten. “Analysis roles seem to be picking up again there, which is a good sign because business analysis means that people are figuring out what they are going to spend money on in terms of new projects.”

As more companies continue to enhance their digital capabilities, demand within key areas of ICT may also receive a boost. We’ll be watching closely for the emerging trends throughout 2016.



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