Big demand for skills of pay clerks

By Natalie Akoorie

Workers with skills and experience in demand, but new graduates and trainees may still find going tough.

Dozens of the specialists in Wellington were helping correct the troubled teachers' pay system. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Dozens of the specialists in Wellington were helping correct the troubled teachers' pay system. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Payroll clerks have joined tradesmen as the most sought-after workers in the country because of the Novopay crisis, an international recruiting agency says.

A report by Hays into the country's workforce for the first quarter showed senior payroll consultants as well as tradesmen were the most sought-after employees in New Zealand.

Hays New Zealand managing director Jason Walker said payroll professionals with experience were in high demand because dozens of the specialists in Wellington were helping correct the troubled teachers' pay system.

"Basically there was an SOS call out for all payrollers in Wellington to come out and help and put the fix in, to basically do a lot of the payroll processing work," Mr Walker said.

"It was very difficult and still is to find experienced payroll experts in Wellington for love or money. It's a major project, quite a significant piece of work."

The shortage had been apparent for the past four months, he said.

Other recruiting agencies including Robert Walters, Adecco and Frog Recruitment also had job listings for payroll professionals.

A senior payroll clerk can earn between $55,000 and $65,000 and often made the transition from payroll to human resources, Mr Walker said.

The other in-demand workers were tradesmen, according to Hays' latest quarterly report.

Shortages in the trades and labour market were a result of continuing work on the Christchurch rebuild, Mr Walker said.

"As the Christchurch residential repair and rebuild programme gathers pace the demand for carpenters, painters, plasterers, tilers and scaffolders is increasing.

"The number of staff required on site at any one time has been impacted due to the majority of the work being smaller projects spread across multiple sites.

"This will continue to be an area of high demand as new build and commercial work commences."

Hays has up to 900 permanent jobs advertised at any one time and filled 700 temporary jobs in the past month.

Mr Walker said the company was back to record levels of recruitment not seen since before the global financial crisis, and he said the upturn showed a demand for highly skilled specialists as well as semi-skilled workers.

He expected the upturn would translate into increased salaries in the next 12 months.

- NZ Herald

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