A big leap in the number of people applying for advertised jobs means some locals may be finding it harder to find employment, according to the latest data from Trade Me Jobs.
But a local business leader says the growth is a good sign for Rotorua and struggling job seekers should consider how they can upskill to make their applications stand out from the crowd.
The figures, analysing listings on the job site from October to December, showed Rotorua job listings were up slightly compared with the same quarter in 2014 with a 0.7 per cent increase. However, the average number of applications per job advertised leapt 34 per cent during the same period.
The averaged advertised salary for Rotorua in the three months to December was $53,388, down 1.5 per cent from 2014.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said the figures were promising and showed Rotorua was prospering.
"I think the fact listings went up in December, a time when businesses do not typically advertise positions, is encouraging.
The increase in applications per job show there is a demand for the jobs available."
Mr Walsh said high business confidence in Rotorua and a well-tracking economy were factors in the increases.
"Businesses are growing and with that come more job opportunities. We are seeing more people relocate to Rotorua as the economy continues to improve and that will be contributing to the increased number of applications received per job."
Mr Walsh said job seekers struggling to secure a position should go back and see what skill sets they needed.
"At long last, jobs are becoming available and some people will be seeing this as an opportunity without considering their qualifications. If someone does find they are continuing to be overlooked, they should take steps to ensure they acquire the skills they need before applying."
Millennium Hotel Rotorua sales manager Michele Weston said there was a false perception that more applications per job always meant employers got the cream of the crop.
"While we may get 20 applications for a job, 15 of those do not have the necessary skills for the job. So in the end we are actually left with the five good applications we would normally get.
"In my role I am mainly employing for entry level positions and that has been my experience, but that's not to say it would be the same for higher level job applications."
She said the high number of international students in Rotorua could be a contributing factor to the rise in applications per job listing.
"Waiariki Institute of Technology has a strong intake of international students and we often get their CVs for our entry level hospitality positions."
Ms Weston said there were a few key ways to make sure a job seeker's application stood out in a pile of others.
"Make sure you have direct or relatable experience for the job you are applying for and make sure the grammar and layout of your CV is correct and specific to the position you want.
"Things like big gaps between employment, without reasonable cause, or jumping between jobs every few months are factors that ring alarm bells and could cut your application short."
Talent ID Recruitment director Kellie Hamlett said this year had started on a positive note with advertisements for jobs.
Job availabilities included administration, accounting and sales roles as well as communications, operational and information systems positions.
"Really quite wide and varied, which is good. It's really good. I think what it shows is real growth because it's not just necessarily industry or sector specific. It's across the board which I think is an indication that the region is growing as a whole."
Trade Me Jobs head Peter Osborne said nationally job advertising had slowed overall compared to the "giddy heights" of early last year and the year prior, and with high demand for new roles "the ball is now firmly in the employers' court".
"The clearest indicator that the market has moved in favour of employers has been the huge increase in job applications we're seeing on Trade Me Jobs. During the final quarter of last year the average number of applications received per listing was up 12 per cent on the previous quarter."
Mr Osborne said if the trend continued he expected the time it took to find a job would increase, so people looking for a new role should generally anticipate a longer search and need to put more effort into the process.
"Whenever you apply for a new job you need to research, prepare and practice, but it's now more important that you do that leg work to help you stand out from the crowd. Candidates who take their time to understand the business they want to work for and who nail the application process will find a role in a more competitive job market."