Digital, Data, Tech - Market Update Q3

Digital, data and tech has been in full swing this year, with COVID-19 ramping up its importance. Tribe’s team lead, Sarah White, reflects on a busy quarter.

With Auckland being forced into Level 3 lockdown in August, the number of active job ads for the first two weeks dropped on SEEK by 15 percent across the board. The dip was short lived, as the quarter continued to show digital and technology roles were still in hot demand, with 25 percent of Tribe’s active roles sitting in this space. The extension of the wage subsidy until September 1 helped keep growth strong for July and August, however we have seen a slight flattening of new work coming through in September.

The quarter saw more competition for each role, with some digital roles reaching over 100 candidates in a matter of days. The most challenging roles to fill during this time were the specialist digital marketing roles ($80 - $120K) for multiple reasons - namely, salaries did not always denote the key skills employers required (with the right balance of technical and creative) and the competition for candidates in this space has been aggressive. Candidates have multiple opportunities, so employers don’t have the luxury of time on their side to make hiring decisions. We are often hearing they have missed out on their preferred candidate to another role.

Industry wise, SaaS companies are still experiencing huge growth with some of the smaller companies doubling in size during 2020. Callaghan Innovation has seen four times the number of grant applications filed, as entrepreneurs have chosen to take the risk of implementing their big idea during the past nine months. Financial services, Government and tech companies have all had a fair representation of opportunities as they continue their digital transformation programmes.  

Data and analytical roles continue to remain steady as businesses navigate commercial business decisions. Leadership roles have been created within data and analytics to have a voice at the table. Unlike pre-COVID days, we are seeing great talent coming home from overseas and filling the void in this space. Key roles have been in business intelligence, customer insights and data science, as businesses look to understand current trends, predict future trends and solve business problems.

Trends in technology continue to be skewed towards software development and engineering, but candidates are perhaps more hesitant to move unless unhappy with their current employer. Roles and programmes of work need to be clearly defined so candidates are sure of the proposition they would be moving to as people look to keep their employees engaged and happy. For once, the attraction of a higher salary is not necessarily the carrot they need to move! Projects that were put on hold due to CV19 are starting to come back online and contractors that were culled at the outset are starting to pick up new pieces of work.

With the run up to Christmas it will be interesting to see whether the typical slow-down in recruitment occurs. My prediction is that any slump will be shorter than usual due to the lack of international travel and digital/technology recruitment will continue through the summer period.  Candidates who have stuck to their current role may use the year 2021 to make the move they planned to do in 2020 and employers may start their hiring processes late 2020 to have their pick of the talent pool for a new year start.