Contracting - Market Update Q3

The third quarter of the year has brought plenty of surprises. Read what Tribe’s head of contracting, Kelly Dillon, has to say and why she remains positive as we head into the end of the year.

I do not mean to say I told you so, but…

As we have seen in times of crisis historically, contractors are often the first to be let go but they are also the first people to come back. We have seen many businesses, large and small, cut too deep with their redundancies and are now seeking specialised skill set contractors to pick up pieces of work in more of a project capacity. There is a real opportunity for contractors to now look at contract positions, as well candidates who have been displaced from permanent roles.

We are seeing contracting role numbers increase, particularly within accounting and finance,

construction, health, data and technology. According to Statistics NZ, we are talking about $2 billion per year spent on contractors across the country. The work is picking up so keep your chin up!

The Election

With the election right around the corner and Jacinda and Judith battling it out in a war of words on prime time television, employers get a little nervous. Traditionally we see permanent recruitment slow down either side of an election, but I am not seeing a slow-down at all. Contractor roles are continuing to rise and failing another lockdown, this should continue.

Tip for contractors

It is more important than ever that contractors continue to grow and develop their professional

networks, as competition for contracts significantly increases. Reach out to your contacts, be active on LinkedIn, keep healthy networks, deliver quality work on time and stay in touch with your recruiter. Demand will be strongest for highly skilled workers.

Plan ahead financially, contracting can be lucrative but you need to prepare for downtimes. There are a number of providers that can assist with this e.g. HNRY, who take the pain out of taxes.


Construction in NZ is hitting headlines each week, but I am not sure that all the negativity around the construction industry is deserved. All pre-lockdown projects still need to be completed, while predictions for industry growth are around the $42b mark by 2021. The key areas are going to be residential construction, infrastructure and non-residential builds confidence and with the Government paying invoices within 10 days, this provides a little breathing room for employers.


Do you need a contractor for the full 40 hours? I’m seeing an increased use of part-time labour.

What I mean by that, is that candidates are more open than ever to look at three or four days per week or 30 hours. This enables companies to maintain operational flexibility while ensuring their business critical projects are being completed.

Move quickly! Although we have more contractors in the market, top, highly-skilled candidates

continue to be snapped up quickly. Zoom/Microsoft Teams help this along. It is not uncommon for contractors to have multiple opportunities in the pipeline - bear this in mind! The first interview is your opportunity to really shine - speak about your organization, speak to the tenure of the team, talk a little about the culture/work environment and why you like working there. 


I remain confident and optimistic. We are seeing a huge rise in both temp and contract roles. We are busy, so I cannot complain about that! We recovered quickly from both lockdowns here in Auckland, so if the worst happens and we need to go into lockdown again, we will recover even quicker.

I love matching candidates to different roles and projects. If you ever want to have a chat about the current contracting market, you’re looking for work or need a contractor to assist with a particular project, please reach out any time.


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