Talent shortage an issue for NZ

02:38, May 28 2013

Just over half of the employers in New Zealand are struggling to find skilled staff in spite of the unemployment rate consistently above 6 per cent, according to the ManpowerGroup.

In a survey of 650 Kiwi employers, the labour services company found 51 per cent struggled to find staff with the right skills, up from 44 per cent in 2011 and 48 per cent last year.

"The fact that more than one in two employers are struggling to fill roles may come as a surprise, given we have an unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent," said Lincoln Crawley, head of ManpowerGroup's operating in New Zealand.

"However, these results demonstrate that the jobs market is more complex than a headline unemployment rate. Many employers simply can't find the specialist talent they need."

The biggest skill shortages were in the areas of engineering, information technology and sales, closely matching international trends, with accounting, finance and management skills also becoming increasingly difficult to find.

The survey also showed that despite the widening skills shortfall, 17 per cent of the New Zealand businesses polled said they had no plan to change their recruitment processes.

Overall, New Zealand compares favourably with other countries, with 85 per cent of Japanese companies, 68 per cent of Brazilian firms and 61 per cent of Indian firms reporting talent shortages.

At the other end of the scale, employers in Ireland, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic were experiencing a skills glut, largely due to the poor performance of their economies.