Nearly half of Kiwi employers are having trouble finding key staff, a survey from recruitment agency ManpowerGroup shows.
Manpower has released the results of its annual Talent Shortage Survey, showing 48 per cent of employers in New Zealand are experiencing difficulty filling job vacancies, up 11 percentage points from last year.
The results sit well above the global average of 34 per cent and have moved passed the Asia-Pacific average of 45 per cent.
New Zealand is now ranked eighth out of 41 countries for talent shortages, Manpower says.
The jobs employers have the most problems filling are engineers, sales reps and skilled trades.
Skills shortages were only going to get worse with the Christchurch rebuild set to take off this year, Lincoln Crawley, managing director of ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand, said.
''The rebuild is going to put a huge amount of pressure on the local labour market, with the estimated need for workers outstripping the available local talent pool.
''The problem is that the skills gaps in New Zealand are very similar to the rest of the world - engineers and skilled tradespeople are in demand everywhere, so competition from the international market is also a factor,'' he said.
Difficulty in finding IT staff had also increased as the National Broadband Network was rolled out around the country.
Employers who continued to struggle with skills shortages may need to review their job criteria and look for a 'teachable fit' - that is, candidates who meet most criteria but need further training - or consider unbundling job roles so that highly skilled employees only undertake technical tasks, Crawley said.