Firms to focus on keeping top staff

19:36, Jun 30 2014

Almost a third of businesses are ready to take on more staff, the latest Hudson Report shows.

The recruitment firm's quarterly report found that 31.8 per cent of employers across the country were looking to increase their employee headcount in the next three months.

The figure, a 4.5 per cent increase in hiring intentions since the last quarter, reversed a downward trend in the first half of the year, Hudson said.

However, despite improved business confidence, many employers surveyed were reluctant to take on more staff to capitalise on favourable market conditions.

More than half of employers (57.8 per cent) surveyed expected to keep their staffing levels steady this quarter, according to Hudson.

"That said, we are seeing businesses beginning to invest in their HR and procurement capability, with a stronger focus on putting measures in place to retain key staff," Hudson New Zealand executive general manager Roman Rogers said.

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"This is a positive step as it demonstrates a shift towards employers investing in people for future growth, rather than being solely focused on cost containment, which will help drive our economy further forward," Rogers said.

On a regional level, the South Island showed the strongest increase in hiring intentions, with 9.5 per cent more employers intending to take on more staff.

The increase, rebounding from a 10.3 per cent fall last quarter, reflected a "step-change" as the Christchurch rebuild process moved from demolition to reconstruction, Rogers said.

Nearly a third (30.3 per cent) of upper North Island employers were looking to increase their headcount, up 5.5 per cent from the last quarter.

In contrast, hiring intentions in the lower North Island dropped 1.4 per cent this quarter to 22.8 per cent.

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