Almost two-thirds of the New Zealand workforce is looking for a new job in 2013.
The latest Randstad World of Work Report says Kiwi workers are among the Asia Pacific region's most eager to change roles in the New Year, with 61 per cent planning to leave their job this year - twice as many as last year.
The report, for recruitment and HR specialists Randstad, also shows that Kiwis are feeling increasingly insecure in their roles, with 27 per cent admitting to feeling less secure than a year ago (21 per cent). This figure is comparatively high for the region.
Randstad New Zealand director Paul Robinson says the data shows 2013 will be a competitive year for those looking to make a career move.
"With almost two-thirds of the local labour force intending to leave their current position over the next 12 months, which is almost twice the amount than last year, at 33 per cent, it's important for people to be fully prepared in their job search and spend time researching the roles they wish to apply for," says Robinson.
"If people are considering a career change, now is the ideal time to make sure your CV is up to date, to brush up on your interview techniques, and let your personal network know about your intentions to move. This includes friends, family and specialist recruiters.
"Employees are considerably more optimistic about the opportunities 2013 will bring, due to the economy hitting a number of speed bumps. When the economy shows signs of instability, we generally see reduced worker mobility and it's natural in times of uncertainty for workers to tread a cautious path and stick with what they know.
"Additionally, the research highlights from the younger Generation Y through to baby boomers are all keen to progress their careers in 2013. With this creating a more competitive market, it will be those individuals who are ready to apply for roles and take advantage of opportunities as they arise that will be most successful," says Robinson.
Young workers are by far the most assured in their current positions, with only 21 per cent of Gen Y feeling less secure than they did in 2011. Mature workers aren't as confident, however, with almost double (40 per cent) admitting to feeling more vulnerable in their job.
The report also reveals the main reasons why workers plan to leave their jobs, with 40 per cent citing an inability to grow professionally. An uncompetitive salary (16 per cent), not being well matched to the job (8 per cent), having a poor relationship with their direct manager (8 per cent) and broken recruitment promises are other key factors.
Robinson says the results show New Zealanders are clear on the qualities they value in an employer, but it's important people make sure any new job fulfils these promises.
"If the ability to grow professionally is important to you and is the primary reason you are changing roles, don't be swayed by a slightly higher salary. If you are, then you may be once again looking for another job in 2014, or sooner.
"Evaluate the key criteria that are important to you and find a way for this to be incorporated into your job, whether it's with your current employer or a different organisation."
The report also shows that organisations are concerned about their ability to meet a complex range of HR challenges, such as performance, productivity and keeping talent.
The report says the biggest human capital challenge for New Zealand organisations this year will be increasing workforce performance and productivity, according to 26 per cent of employers. This figure is unchanged.
Other key challenges are keeping top performers, managing internal change and attracting new talent for the next phase of business growth.
Despite these concerns, the report suggests companies are not spending enough time on workforce planning.
Half the organisations spend 10 per cent (or less) of their strategic planning time on their future workforce, almost half don't plan a year in advance, and only 10 per cent plan two years ahead. Robinson says considering the nature of today's human capital challenges, the workforce planning horizon is alarmingly short.
A more robust, inclusive and long-term approach is needed to achieve productivity and performance improvements.
"The positive work that organisations are doing around talent management needs to be supported by, and integrated with, future planning to ensure employers are armed with talent to meet both short and long-term needs," Robinson says.