And just like that, the first billing month has been entered into the annals of history. It’s always a weird month; placements that annoyingly missed the big end of year push have welcomed you back into the office with open arms. ‘Mind the gap’ was an expression coined by my former manager, it’s the period between when a candidate accepts and they actually start their job. The biggest gap in a recruiters calendar is that expanse between the end of one year and the beginning of another. Fingers crossed my fellow recruiters weren’t caught off guard by any new year epiphanies. If you didn’t come into this month with a little cushion at least you would’ve been encouraged with the number of jobs that are available. As all my clients will testify this has been a busy start to the year. My IT & Digital client base has even said that this Jan was even busier than Jan 2020, when Corona was but a lemony excuse for a beer. Some clients have had to turn away work which I’m sure just 6 months ago would’ve been hard to fathom. Why? Well, they’re probably a bit too honest and the simple fact; there just isn’t the candidates.
The recruitment market here has always been candidate short and job-rich and we’ve managed to get on just fine. The only problem now, we’re living the xenophobic dream; borders are shut and they will remain so for at least the next year. The immediate effects of this are apparent with vacancy lists getting longer and shortlists shorter but I don’t think much is said for the knock-on effect of not having a constant stream of fresh blood. It certainly seems people have become more risk-averse. Change is a good thing! However, recently the only change people have experienced has been fairly confronting. The flavour of the month is stability, candidates are so thankful for being in roles that to want for something more is deemed sacrilege; being meek and all that. It seems like risk is outweighing excitement at the moment. Another huge driver that’s created by new blood; competition. As an immigrant that breached these shores back in 2013, I was fully prepared to roll up my sleeves and grab whatever opportunity I was presented. I sold VOIP phone systems, website services, and nativity tickets for the Logan Campbell Theatre. When I managed to get an interview at a global Recruitment agency, I put my finest Khaosan Rd suit on and best foot forward. Enthusiasm poured from every orifice, I actively listened and asked heaps of questions. I needed the money but really needed the opportunity, probably more so than others in the running. What I would give for a wee Fievel Mousekewitz character to put a cat (or plucky mouse) amongst the pigeons.
It’s funny, right at this very moment Auckland should be experiencing a Caucasian invasion of sorts with sock and sandal-clad Americans taking up precious room on High Streets ‘sidewalks.’ We should be bemoaning the rerouting of roads and the lack of availability in our favourite hot spots. Even without the allure yachting’s premier competition, Auckland is usually abuzz with tourists coming off any variation of Queen’s; Mary, Elizabeth, etc. Seeing an iPad held aloft to take a picture of a nondescript bay will always inspire a little chuckle however, it serves as a reminder. You live somewhere that is a holiday destination. People flock here from far and wide; they take walking tours of a city that isn’t as old as Lime St Station. Without these reminders there seems to be a lack of buzz, there isn’t that reflection and appreciation. It’s the same with the job market. A role being like a bar; when there’s a queue of people outside you know it’s good in there.
The toddler in all of us wants something once someone else does, a lack of competition combined with a risk-averse outlook is slowing down the wheels of every industry. This will change with time and what people can gain will overshadow what they will lose eventually. Luckily there is a shared understanding that this takes time. in today’s market finding the right person for the right role is more often than not a perfect fit. For the time being, I’m very much looking forward to that Love Actually arrival gate with people hugging and crying in the nearish future.