The signs are all there for a flourishing New Zealand economy and it appears we are living up to our “rock star economy” status for 2014 as forecasted by Paul Bloxham from the HSBC earlier in the year. Predictions for Auckland are a cause for real optimism as are the various signs we have observed in both the media and from our own market indications. For example;
- Auckland Council’s Chief Economist Geoff Cooper released his latest economic quarterly update recently showing that AucklandCity’s growth projections were the best they have been since before the 2008 global financial crisis.
- Several worldwide surveys rate Auckland as one of the best cities in the world to live in.
- The ICT sector in Auckland has grown by almost 30% in the last year.
- Technology exporting is third only to dairy and tourism in this country and is poised for further growth.
- New Zealand is ranked in the world’s top 10 for ICT workforce employment.
- Nationally, ICT is the most buoyant sector for employment with more than 40 per cent of companies intending to increase staff based mainly on increasing demand and the adoption of new technologies.
- Net migration has increased in New Zealand to the highest level to date and was at an eleven year high in March 2014.
This all has a flow on effect and we are finding that strong candidates with the appropriate knowledge and skills are not sticking around in the market for long, often being snapped up within a few days. As confidence is higher than it has been for several years we would suggest that now is the time to increase IT staff numbers if you have the justification to do so. However, we still see a certain reluctance by organisations to add to full time equivalent (FTE) numbers for various reasons.
As mentioned, good people are hard to find – so once you have found the right person for the job, the key is to move quickly so you don’t miss out. If you are concerned about making the wrong decision, don’t forget the 90 day probation period although this is only as good as the processes you follow to make use of it.
One way to move quickly to hire and also to combat any concerns, is to engage the potential employee initially through an hourly paid contract. In this respect, MTR offers an option that can benefit both employer and employee. By hiring a candidate on a contract basis – for say three months – both sides can effectively see whether they are a match for each other. Furthermore, the contract can be turned into a permanent situation any time that both parties agree. For example, once the sign-off to hire the FTE is given and a permanent offer and contract is handed to the candidate, they can effectively cease working as a contractor one day and commence as a permanent employee of yours the next.
As an additional benefit of working with MTR, we will count the accumulated margin paid to MTR for the contractor towards the permanent fee. As long as the transition occurs within the first three months we will deduct the margin received so far from the total fee. Please note this does not include the hourly rate paid to the contractor for his or her work.
Using this model, you may reduce your risk and, at no extra cost, assess first hand how the contractor fits into your organisation and team prior to offering them permanent employment.
To find out more about this option please feel free to contact any of us at MTR.