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Industry Research : Contact Centre Skills Among Most Needed this Financial Year: Hays
Construction, accountancy and contact centre skills top the list of those in demand in the first quarter of the new financial year, says recruiting experts Hays.
In their latest Hays Quarterly Report, for the July-September quarter, the recruiter reveals that the Christchurch rebuild has re-ignited New Zealand's construction skills shortage.
"The rebuild of Christchurch and the staggering demand for qualified and experienced construction candidates has unmasked the skills shortage that was always present in New Zealand's construction industry, but had been hidden by the recession," said Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.
"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.
"The Canterbury earthquakes have also led to dramatically increased demand for customer service staff within the insurance sector. The demand for customer service skills is also growing now that more companies are recruiting to replace staff lost during the recession.
"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."
According to Hays, employers are now starting to broaden their search parameters when recruiting in these areas. Some are also becoming more flexible in regards to candidate experience. "When the market was candidate rich, employers could be very selective over who they hired," says Jason. "But as we head into a candidate short market, companies are becoming more flexible in who they hire.
"For example when recruiting for a Credit Control vacancy, an employer is now more willing to consider candidates who have diverse skill sets as opposed to direct Credit Control experience.
"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."
According to the Hays Quarterly Report, the skills in most demand for the July-September quarter include:
Accountancy & Finance: Credit Controllers and Payroll Clerks with two to three years experience, preferably with some gained in New Zealand, are in high demand. Also sought are newly qualified Financial Accountants and Management Accountants, Business and Financial Analysts, Internal Auditors, Compliance and Risk Management specialists and Assistant Accountants who have commercial experience and are studying towards their professional qualifications.
Accountancy & Finance - professional practice: Candidates with experience in BAS and Audit are in demand across all levels. As a result of the Christchurch earthquake tax deadlines were pushed back and with the number of people working now increasing daily, they all need to complete their paperwork.
Architecture: There has been a high demand for skilled Structural?and Architectural CAD Draughters to assist with inspecting earthquake damage in Christchurch.? Companies have also been willing to consider Architectural Draughters for structural draughting roles if they are proficient in the relevant CAD software.
Construction: There is high demand for intermediate to senior Quantity Surveyors. Qualifications and local experience are most desirable; however demand has outstripped supply causing employers to consider candidates with the right attitude and cultural fit. Contact Centres: Customer service staff at all levels, from entry through to senior Customer Service Representatives, as well as solid telesales candidates are in demand. Contact centres in the insurance space have also been impacted by the Canterbury earthquakes as large volumes of claimants make enquiries relating to lodging claims.
Energy: New Zealand continues to see demand for Senior Transmission Line Engineers and intermediate to senior Protection Engineers, Substation Designers and Project Managers for the transmission & distribution and power generation areas. Experienced and qualified Live Line Mechanics and Transmission Line Mechanics are also sought, particularly in the North Island.
Engineering: Candidates with structural engineering experience are in high demand, fuelled by the Christchurch earthquake. This is leaving gaps nationwide as more and more Engineers head to the South Island for temporary and permanent appointments. Transportation Designers using MX design software, Intermediate and Senior Structural Engineers, Structural Design Engineers, Transportation Design Engineers and Geotechnical Engineers are also needed.
Facilities Management: Facilities Managers with direct Building Management System experience are needed given the high demand to improve the energy efficiency and functionality of buildings.
Human Resources: There has been an increased demand across the board, from HR Advisors and HR Managers through to Internal Recruiters for both fixed-term and permanent placements.
Information Technology: Renewed activity in the IT sector has created demand for Systems Engineers, Support Engineers Oracle, MIS, ERP Architects, Microsoft Developers, Business Intelligence and Data-warehousing specialists.
Insurance: The Christchurch earthquake has led to a massive influx of claims. With each successively larger quake, demand arises for fixed-term and permanent claims candidates, from administration and processing staff to senior technical Claims Consultants, Assessors and Negotiators. Demand for Product Development and Pricing Analysts has also risen and Life Underwriters continue to be in demand both in the Auckland and Wellington markets.
Office Support: The new financial year has seen a pickup in market activity as new budgets are allocated and projects that were put on hold during the GFC are revisited. Companies are also restructuring their business, which has created a need for skilled staff at the administration and coordinator levels, such as Project Coordinators, Senior Administrators, Customer Service and Personal/Team Assistants.
Property: The Christchurch earthquake and its damaging effect on the majority of residential and commercial buildings is driving demand for Building Surveyors. Project Quantity Surveyors are also finding themselves in demand driven by a skills short market. Property Managers, Commercial Real Estate Agents and Property Managers are also needed.
Resources & Mining: With significant mining activity in New Zealand, there is demand for senior technical staff to support operations including Engineers, Geologists and Mine Mangers, along with Heavy Diesel Mechanical staff.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, July 6, 2011