The latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends shows that while New Zealanders are working longer and harder than ever, most (59.1%) of New Zealand employers are reluctant to increase their staffing levels.
Hudson’s report indicated that more than a quarter (26.2%) of respondents felt like they were working longer hours than this time last year, and an astounding 72.1% believed that their workloads had significantly increased.
While Hudson’s Executive General Manager, Roman Rogers discussed the increasing workload, working hours and the lead up to “burnout” in organisations, it is clear that employers are not looking to increase permanent staff levels to resolve this issue.
“Too much is being asked of permanent employees”, says Tony Wai, managing director of contracting specialists, Crackerjacks. “There are constant time pressures on top of a heavy workload. Businesses and staff are beginning to feel that permanent employment doesn’t offer them what it used to”, he says.
While some organisations aim to keep staffing levels consistent, the remainder (31.3%) intend to employ more people due to a large increase in project-based work. “Organisations are still finding that there is economic uncertainty around their future and therefore keeping fixed costs down so that they can weather any down-turns. Businesses will use contractors to resource and bridge the gap if there is growth”, says Wai.
Contracting has seen a rapid increase in the administration, finance and project management industries, particularly in Canterbury, where there is an urgency for specialised skills to lead the rebuild in construction projects. “The devastation in Christchurch has attracted contractors from across New Zealand to this area. Although they want to help our country, the attraction to the area is emphasised by the high remuneration that comes with the demand for contractors”, says Wai.
In comparison to this, Aucklanders are gradually becoming regulars in the contracting scene, particularly in the IT industry. With greater desires to balance work and life, Aucklander’s envisage contracting as a “lifestyle”, entering into an organisation for a set period of time, working at a flexible rate while earning an impressive, fixed-term salary.
Project-based commitments are commonly fixed term which can mean that contractors are logging more hours and effort, but for greater work opportunities. “People look to contracting because there is ‘down time’ once the contract is complete”, says Wai.
People that are assigned these specific projects often have particular or specialised skill sets.
However, to find these people requires successful advertisement and recruitment, because contractors need to be a “perfect fit” in terms of understanding their role and the expectations of them in their demanding environment.
Employers want to maximise their return by using the right contractor to complete their projects and Wai believes that full market visibility using an online platform is the answer to this frustration.
“In essence, we’ve created a platform that offers contractors the ability to search and apply for roles. Businesses and recruiters are also encouraged to engage in ‘shoulder tapping’ whilst having full visibility of the contract talent”, he says.
With increasing technological developments, it could be predicted that the contracting hiring expectations will continue to rise.