Welcome to 2018! Looking Back on the Year That Was
24 Jan 18 by Michelle Bishop
First up, a very Happy New Year to you all. While no doubt there is still a longing to return to the long and lazy days of Christmas, at Sourced we are already forming plans and really ramping up for the new year with energy and optimism. We are now all back on deck and have had a busier than usual return to the year with both contract and permanent recruitment well underway.
In this quarter update, we look at the whole of 2017, bringing you a view of the year that was, and a sneak peak of what to look out for this year. We hope you enjoy it! You will see a Sourced report coming to you also in early 2018 but we encourage you to make contact with us if you're looking for any specific market intelligence, salary surveys, role positioning or similar. We're in a really unique position to watch the market as it evolves, and always happy to share these insights.
2017 really was a busy busy year, with little of the peaks and troughs we will often encounter across the four quarters. It was a market driven by both contract and permanent requirements, all within a quieter than usual local candidate market. This meant our candidate pools were tending to come from offshore, the regions (with a noted pickup of relocations from Auckland), and expats returning home to Christchurch.
While permanent recruitment continued at pace across most areas of IT in 2017, there was a definite focus on growth in highly specific/targeted areas, and with a spike towards the end of 2017 (and into early 2018) of newly created, more generalist roles, aimed at ramping up internal capability for our technology clients. Business confidence appears to be remaining high with the majority of new roles coming into the market for 2018 being new, and again responding to a need to tool up for upcoming projects and product releases. This is also driving contract market activity with contract roles coming to market earlier than we would typically see for this time of year, and in greater volume.
In terms of staff retention, it was a repeat of 2016, with very little movement in the local market, and candidates predominantly coming from outside of Canterbury. Where they are looking, local candidates are tending to be looking for stability first and foremost, interesting project challenges, the opportunity to work with new technologies, work/life balance, and professional growth opportunities.
In terms of staff retention, it was a repeat of 2016, with very little movement in the local market, and candidates predominantly coming from outside of Canterbury.
From a contract perspective, there was buoyancy across the year, with a particularly strong demand for Business Analysts, followed by Test Analysts and finally Project Managers. In 2016, coming off the back off of a BAU year, we were predicting 2017 to be a busy one for the Fixed Term and Contract market, and we have certainly seen this. This has been driven both by reasonably significant system implementation projects coming online, and generally holding the fort while plans were developed for longer term recruits.
As mentioned above, we are continuing to draw heavily on international and expat candidate markets, with active movement within the Canterbury region down. We have seen this right through 2016 and 2017, with those choosing to move within the Christchurch market tending to be moving for hands on/mid-senior level roles, or roles for which they have been specifically headhunted by clients for their skills and capability. There is a definite desire at the Senior/Management end of the market for change, and many are looking to new opportunities in the market. However, the market has offered very little in return, with minimal recruitment in this space across the year.
MCS Build & Test Engineer - Outstanding opportunity to join Trimble Navigation, specialising in Android manufacturing software technologies, on a 12 month fixed term contract managing build and test environments. Trimble are a leading global specialist in the navigation technology space, with an unrelenting focus on innovation and a strong presence in Christchurch.
Business Analyst/Product Owner - We seek to appoint a motivated, driven Business Analyst/Product Owner in a brand new role for Wellington Drive Technologies, a New Zealand owned, global market leading high tech manufacturing and SaaS business. Working between Product Management and an Agile Delivery team, you will provide the analysis and support integral to the successful delivery of this established and growing company’s Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
Senior Web Developer - This is an outstanding opportunity for a skilled software engineer with a solid understanding of 3D graphics, interest in computational design, and experience in writing scalable web applications to join the Computational Design Group (part of Trimble Buildings) in beautiful Wellington. You will work in an environment offering the benefits of both a startup and established global business, becoming a core team member working on an ambitious project that is poised to transform manufacturing & construction, and reach millions of users.
Within Sourced Walls
2017 was a year of big change for Sourced, with several team members heading off overseas and as a result new team members coming in. In particular we farewelled Hannah Iranon, our very first Sourced employee, who headed off the the US with her husband. However, we're still in touch and enjoying seeing her flourish in a similar role in an entirely new market!
It was great to round out the year with a Christmas get-together with all of our contractors who have done such a great job across the year. With a number now working with us on multiple projects and across multiple clients, our contractors really are an extension of the Sourced family and it's always a great time to get them together in the same place at the same time.
Finally, as a Sourced team, we finished out the year in typical kiwi fashion with a Christmas BBQ with lots of kids, swimming, and terrible Christmas music. Fun times were had!
Who's in Demand
2017 was very much a broad market in terms of candidates in demand. In the permanent space, recruitment was (as with 2016) very much geared towards the Software Development/Applications side, with a continued but measured demand for Project Managers, Developers, Business Analysts and Testers. Infrastructure roles did show strength, however tended to sit at a Helpdesk/Support and Infrastructure Engineer level, with very little movement in the Management/Team Leader space.
We have certainly continued to see a level of stability in the Management/Team Leader space, with retention levels still remaining high, and little in the way of new position creation. This means we have a very deep candidate pool at this level, and really hope to be able to assist with new appointments this year. While it certainly presents some challenges for those looking to progress their careers, it remains a positive for employers from a team stability and leadership perspective.
We have certainly continued to see a level of stability in the Management/Team Leader space. This means we have a very deep candidate pool at this level, and really hope to be able to assist with new appointments this year.
For 2018 we are looking ahead with interest. We have clients with large projects well underway, and projects in the wings. Recruitment is already at full pace, and with local candidate retention at an all time high over the past two years, we may well see a movement of local permanent employees coming into the market. Watch out for continued demand in the BA, Development, Test, and Project Management space.
General Round Up
2017 was certainly a busy year of BAU and project recruitment, with 2018 looking busier still. Projects that ramped up in 2017 continue on, and demand remains high for quality permanent and contract candidates.
Work life balance, learning opportunities, growth and development and a positive work environment remain top on candidate's wish lists, with salaries still remaining static. This again has been the case for a couple of years now, so expect an upward swing across the year.
We look forward to keeping you abreast with how the year evolves!
In Case You Missed It
Over the last quarter, we’ve written several blogs. You can find them below:
As another year goes by in tech, new technologies are opening up new opportunities for IT professionals. With a number of exciting trends on the horizon with the potential to disrupt the market, here are some of the areas that we expect more demand for in 2018 and beyond.
With the election still fresh in the memories of many of us around New Zealand, Sourced founder Jason Bishop has his say on what this means for the IT sector.