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Published 25 July 2023 | 2 min read
Economic downturn in NZ has taken a toll on the job market
The economic downturn in New Zealand has taken a toll on the job market, leading to a significant decline in online job postings. According to the Jobs Report released by the Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association (RCSA), online job postings plummeted by a massive 10.8% in the June quarter. This decline has been felt across various sectors, with advertisements for flexible work being hit particularly hard. As the country faces an official recession, businesses are grappling with the challenges posed by reduced job ads and a dearth of talent.
The decline in job postings has been alarming, and it highlights the severity of the economic challenges New Zealand is currently facing. Sectors such as Accommodation and Food Services, Technology Professionals, Service and Community Workers, and Education and Training have experienced substantial drops in job advertisements. Even major industries like Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Mining have not been spared from the decline.
Giving up on job boards
While the only sector to record growth was Public Administration, registering a modest 1.6% increase, it's essential to address the factors that have contributed to the downturn. The report indicates that businesses may have given up on using job boards due to the scarcity of skilled talent in the country. With natural disasters, economic uncertainties, and a looming election adding to the challenges, employers may be hesitant to invest in recruitment efforts. As a result, the lack of flexible work opportunities is surprising, considering the usual increase in demand during economic instability.
The decline in job postings and flexible work opportunities is a clear indicator of the severity of the skills shortage in New Zealand. Employers are facing a tough time finding suitable candidates, leading to a reluctance to post new job vacancies. This situation is further compounded by the economic downturn, natural disasters, and political uncertainty that has left businesses in a state of caution.
Proactive strategies for attracting and retaining talent
To combat this issue, businesses must take proactive measures to attract and retain talent. While the immediate future may seem uncertain, organisations can focus on offering competitive salary packages, providing opportunities for professional growth, and enhancing work-life balance. Emphasizing flexible work arrangements can be a strategic move to retain employees in a talent-poor environment.
New Zealand managers and leaders need to reevaluate their hiring strategies and consider tapping into alternative talent pools, such as recent graduates, individuals seeking career shifts, or upskilling current employees to meet new demands. Additionally, fostering a positive work culture and employer brand can attract potential candidates even during challenging times.
The decline in online job postings and flexible work opportunities in New Zealand has been a significant cause for concern among businesses and job seekers alike. The country's economic downturn, coupled with the acute skills shortage, has created an atmosphere of caution among employers. However, it is essential to stay optimistic and proactive in these trying times.
While the job market may seem uncertain, New Zealand managers and leaders can strategise and adapt to the current situation. By focusing on talent retention and emphasizing flexible work arrangements, businesses can weather the storm and ensure a stronger position when the economy improves. Additionally, exploring alternative talent sources and maintaining a positive work culture will be crucial in attracting the right candidates in the future.
As the RCSA report points out, the next quarter will be pivotal in understanding the duration of this downturn. Despite the challenges, there is hope in the resilience of New Zealand's job market. By remaining vigilant and adaptable, businesses can pave the way for a more balanced and promising job market in the future.
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