It was interesting to read SEEK's latest press release about the number of job applicants increasing in the first quarter of 2011. It was also referenced in the latest Bay of Plenty Times where I was asked to comment: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/have-your-say/news/more-people-apply-for-sought-after-jobs/3949719/?ref=nzh
Looking at our applicant numbers for the first quarter of 2011, they have increased as well. Across all of the job vacancies that we have advertised for in the first quarter of 2011, the average number of applicants per job has risen to 20.8. This is an increase of 27% since December but this is not really unexpected. January is always a big month in terms of jobseekers re-evaluating their future. December is usually a quiet month as people focus on Christmas parties and planning their holidays. During a harsh economic times like we have been through recently, a lot of people are looking for a change after sticking at the same job, having to do more work to cover for staff reductions without any significant pay rise. They are feeling unappreciated. Especially in the mid to lower level vacancies. Hence the rise in job applications.
The other half of the employment market in New Zealand is completely different though. We are at the tipping point of an ever changing recruitment market. Employers have held the power since 2008 but global demands for skilled staff are now impacting New Zealand. Industries such as IT and engineering have global shortages and recruiters are searching globally for talent. For example, there is a need for over 5,000 IT and telecom staff for the 2012 London Olympics. Australian recruitment firms are again coming to New Zealand holding recruitment fairs to try and lure New Zealanders over there with higher salaries. Infrastucture projects started by the New Zealand government and the recent Christchurch earthquake has caused a surge in demand for skilled staff in these areas. The number of applicants in these fields have decreased as skill shortages hit. It is only going to get worse. We are entering the worst period of global skill shortages that the world has ever seen. Are you ready for it?