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Wendy Alexander | 19 July 2023

Success is not always about growth

"While 2023 is shaping up to be a reset year (some of it long overdue), we are seeing signs to feel optimistic about".

Most smaller organisations in our close orbit aren’t feeling particularly aspirational about growth this year. We’re all getting a bit of a buffeting from economic upheaval. That said, while 2023 is shaping up to be a reset year (some of it long overdue), we are seeing signs to feel optimistic about.

The themes showing up in the employment market have a similar flavour to what we shared in our March update, only amplified.

Job applications

The combination of border setting changes and job losses have seen a massive shift in the number of applications per advertised role. Ads that were attracting 40-50 applications in March this year, can now be as high as 120. Almost half of these tend to be from overseas applicants but for businesses that are accredited employers, this can open up a whole new raft of options in terms of talent. Overall, the calibre of applications is higher too – this is great news for Kiwi businesses.

Young talent taking flight

We’ve seen this trend for a while now but the number of Kiwi’s aged 25-32 who are heading off to do their delayed OE is on the rise. This leaves a real gap in the emerging talent / intermediate level capability that employers can choose from.

If you find your younger workforce making plans to strike out and see the world, consider whether they can remain your employee while they go about it. Be creative about allowing flexibility for them to explore the world, while still being part of your team. We’ve seen a couple of examples of this working really well, with companies establishing a footprint in a new geography and potentially opening up in a new market.


As the tension of supply and demand shifts, so too do the power dynamics of negotiation. The bloated salaries of 2022 have settled right down, especially in the tech sector. Employers are now able to better balance cashflow burn with hiring quality talent at a sustainable market rate.

Candidates choosing stability

In a year of change and uncertainty, we’re seeing more candidates keen to hunker down and stay where they are rather than make the leap (and take the risk) into a new role and company. For those who are looking for a new opportunity, our team are being asked about the financial stability of any prospective employer; for senior level roles they want the hard data to prove it.

Demand for talent

As we come closer to the election in October, we’re seeing some companies take a ‘wait and see’ approach to hiring. Right now, roles are sometimes going on hold until there is greater clarity around which coalition will lead the next stage of New Zealand’s recovery.

Watching what we spend

From a cost containment perspective, we’re also seeing more clients tap into +Kin, our unbundled service. With our time and materials approach, these clients are calling on our support where we can really pack a punch rather than running a full end-to-end recruitment process for them. It’s a great way to achieve a high impact outcome without having an eye-watering invoice attached. Reach out if this is something you’d like to explore.

Success this year for us means supporting our clients in the way that works best for them, nurturing and holding on to our team, and keeping our eye on the horizon for what’s ahead. What does it mean for you?