The New Zealand job market is at a six year high with 92.5 per cent of employers indicating they intend on hiring more staff or maintaining current employee levels.
The Hudson Report monitors hiring intentions across New Zealand and found 29 per cent of employers intended to hire staff for the first half of 2016, an increase of ten percentage points from 2010, when the net hiring intention was at 19.6 per cent.
Roman Rogers, executive general manager of Hudson New Zealand, said growth has been muted in many industries for the past six years.
"What we're seeing is other sectors starting to pull their weight including manufacturing, transport, tourism, financial services and, chiefly, IT has regained momentum."
Employers in the IT industry were most likely to be increasing staff, with a net 40.7 per cent looking to increase or maintain permanent headcount in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
"There is a lack of tolerance for organisations that are antiquated with their technology. We are seeing a real groundswell to keep pace with that demand, with organisations recognising the need to invest in IT in order to stay relevant," Rogers said.
Workers bored in their current position were most likely to be searching for the next opportunity, the report said.
There is an expectation that employers will open their wallets in 2016.
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Lack of career progression and feeling disappointed with a salary were the next most common factors behind workers looking for a new role.
The right salary and and work-life balance were the two leading aspects that employees were looking for while job-hunting.
Career progression, the culture of the workplace and a respected manager were the next most important parts of the role.
"There is an expectation that employers will open their wallets in 2016. In the past few years, employees have anticipated increased remuneration, but those expectations haven't been met," Rogers said.
"There is a sense this is changing, and if an organisation is willing to pay above market value for a role, that could be quite compelling, especially among the younger workforce."
Meanwhile, New Zealand workers became more optimistic about their job prospects in the December quarter, with employees feeling more secure and expecting future pay rises.
The Westpac-McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 2.2 points to 101.5 in December, gaining from the three-year low it reached in the September quarter. A reading above 100 indicates optimists outweigh pessimists. The present conditions index rose to 94.2 from 92.9 and the employment expectations index advanced to 106.4 from 103.6.
Westpac Bank senior economist Anne Boniface warned against getting carried away, saying overall confidence levels are still "well down from what we saw in 2014, indicating that workers have not entirely stopped fretting about employment conditions".
The survey's measure of current job opportunities remained firmly pessimistic about job availability, improving only slightly to a net negative 33.3 per cent from a net negative 33.5 per cent in the September survey.