Customer Service and Contact Centre - Market Update 2021

As I write this, we’re halfway through January and quarter four of 2020 feels like a distant memory. Unfortunately, this does not mean things in the world have suddenly come right. In saying that, we’re incredibly lucky to be based in New Zealand. 

Here is a quick wrap up for last quarter: 

  • We had a 50% increase in the number of roles we recruited, compared to Q2 and Q3 but we only saw a 10% increase in the number of applications. There is still the perception in the market there is an abundance of candidates, we haven’t found this to be the case. 
  • We noticed clients were needing to recruit and recruit quickly which I believe is to make up for the lack of recruitment at the start of 2020.
  • Candidates are commanding higher hourly rates if they are being considered for temp roles or higher salaries if they are considering permanent roles. Based on market feedback, candidates are commanding a minimum hourly rate of $22 to $24 per hour, which equates to $45,000 - $48,000 per annum for an agent-level role. 
  • There is a demand for agents who are multi-skilled which means we’re looking for talent who have previous experience with live chat, social media, email and phone-based experience all wrapped into one. 
  • There seems to be movement at the senior level from team leaders right through to the head of the customer service. 
  • It’s also worth mentioning workforce planners are in high demand. More and more organisations are looking at how they can utilise their frontline workforce (both contact centre and retail) to support customers. 


Q4 was busy with recruitment but there is still this perception there is an abundance of talent when in actual fact our unemployment is sitting around 5.3%.  

We anticipate more and more large contact centres and organisations will be looking to either move or open up regional offices in search of good talent and have offices outside of Auckland as a contingency. 


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