Upskill pressures add to job hunters

By Val Leveson

The number of staff wanting new jobs is up 20 per cent this year.
The number of staff wanting new jobs is up 20 per cent this year.

It's estimated that more than three-quarters of Kiwis are not satisfied with their current jobs and are hunting for a new one, according to the latest Hudson employment report.

Hudson New Zealand Regional General Manager Roman Rogers says the high number is "a sign of confidence in one respect - employees feel the job market is healthy enough for them to seek out greener pastures".

However, he says this trend may also indicate a feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction.

"Although salary is one thing, a lack of career progression and boredom are among the biggest factors pushing employees towards the door.

"Employers need to take a more active role in developing their people and providing them with opportunities where they are warranted."

Rogers says he thinks the mid-year surge of job seekers is because, "People take time over the holiday break to sit on the beach and reassess their career".

"If they're considering a move, they either pull the pin straight away or stick it out and see how things go. If they get to the half-year mark and nothing's changed, then they look to move on."

He says that since the previous survey, in the first half of the year, the number of employees seeking new roles is up more than 20 per cent.

"We've been noticing this uplift for a number of months now, with people feeling more pressure to upskill and stay relevant in what is a dynamic and changing work environment. If they're not being afforded these opportunities in their current jobs, they are naturally looking elsewhere".

Meanwhile, hiring intentions have remained steady, with net hiring sentiment unchanged since the first half of the year at 29 per cent. This continues consecutive quarters of growth.

"We are seeing consistent rhetoric from employers around the need for adaptability, problem solving and resilience in new talent," says Rogers.

"Business leaders know that in today's world, staying still means falling behind. Organisations are looking to gain a competitive advantage through innovation and the use of cutting-edge technologies," he says.

Employees are echoing that sentiment, with 98 per cent saying they believe it is important or extremely important that their next employer encourages innovation. However, there is room for improvement in the way organisations encourage a culture of innovation, Rogers says.

As far as organisations meeting employees needs at present, Rogers says: "Our survey shows that one in two employees don't feel supported by their manager to improve their existing skills.

Employers need to walk the walk if they want to drive a culture of innovation.

"There is also a mismatch in that 97 per cent of employers say they're cultivating innovation but just 23 per cent of employees believe that is true.

"Employers need to walk the walk if they want to drive a culture of innovation and they need to consider investing in developing the soft skills of their people."

He says that without developing the right skills, businesses could be moving forward with significant gaps in their talent arsenal, leaving them vulnerable to future risks and unable to take advantage of opportunities.

"If employers get this right however, it could give them great competitive advantage and help with talent retention which, in the long run, can save time and money."

Interestingly, compared to two years ago, 60 per cent of employees feel more pressure now to learn new skills and/or improve existing skills. However, less than half feel they have adequate support from their manager or organisation.

"Only one in two feel their employer is a true partner in meeting their skills needs. This should sound alarm bells for employers, given the high proportion of people planning to leave their jobs," Rogers says.

His advice to those people looking for new jobs is: "Be patient and consider exactly what it is that you want out of your job.

"Do your research on prospective employers and whether the role would meet your needs culturally, financially and in terms of your own professional development.

"It's important now for job seekers to be future-focused and to think about how their role might change in the years to come. Employers that are willing to develop their staff to suit evolving technology and processes will be highly attractive to job seekers."

Rogers says there's evidence that the Christchurch rebuild is part of what's driving confidence.

The South Island showed the biggest increase in intention to hire, with 49 per cent of employers planning to employ more between now and December, up almost nine percentage points on the first half of the year, compared to decreases in both the upper and lower North Island.

The telecos sector recorded the highest permanent hiring intentions at 54 per cent, with IT second at 48 per cent, followed by construction at 46 per cent.

- NZ Herald

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