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Competition fierce for construction skills, but office types not doing so badly

Competition fierce for construction skills, but office types not doing so badly
While the Christchurch rebuild effort has seen demand for engineering, property and architecture experts soar, job-seekers with accountancy and contact centre skills have pretty good prospects too, according to recruiting company Hays.

While the Christchurch rebuild effort has seen demand for engineering, property and architecture experts soar, job-seekers with accountancy and contact centre skills have pretty good prospects too, according to recruiting company Hays.

Construction skills are in hot demandPhoto / Flickr user laffy4k

And of course, a new financial year means new budgets, new projects and restructuring, creating a need for plenty of administrative and coordinative staff.

The latest Hays Quarterly Report for July-September shows Canterbury's earthquakes have reignited New Zealand’s construction skills shortage. Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand, says this shortage never weakened, but was masked in part by the GFC.

“The construction market in Auckland is quiet by comparison and many companies are pursuing opportunities in Christchurch. This means employees need to be prepared to relocate or at least travel on a regular basis to Christchurch, where there will be strong demand for construction workers throughout the rebuilding and initial reconstruction stage."

Unsurprisingly, the massive influx of claims has led to demand for insurance employees ranging from processing staff to senior assessors, while analysts and underwriters continue to be sought after in Auckland and Wellington.

“We’re also seeing a big demand for accountancy talent. More favourable economic conditions and strong year-on-year growth has led to an increase in finance headcount and new vacancies are being created across accountancy support functions.”

Candidates with experience in BAS and Audit can take their pick across all levels. As a result of the earthquakes, tax deadlines were pushed back, and according to Hays, the number of people working is increasing daily—all of whom have paperwork to complete.

Walker believes employers are starting to broaden their search parameters when recruiting in these areas.

“When the market was candidate rich, employers could be very selective over who they hired,” he says. “But as we head into a candidate short-market, companies are becoming more flexible in who they hire.

“Another example can be seen in the architecture market, where many companies have started to recruit candidates who have no or limited experience on Revit and will invest time and training to get them up to speed on the package. Insurance claims is another area where flexibility is being shown, with employers training up less experienced internal staff and taking on candidates that may not possess the skills previously sought.”

Hot industries for the July-September quarter:

• Accountancy & Finance

• Architecture

• Construction

• Contact Centres

• Energy

• Engineering

• Facilities Management

• Human Resources

• Information Technology

• Insurance

• Office Support

• Property

• Resources & Mining