If you’ve been following the news recently, you would’ve seen that New Zealand is currently experiencing labour shortages across many different sectors. Unemployment rates are down, and the number of job vacancies are up.

We call this a “candidate short market”, meaning there are less people looking for work than there are jobs available. What does this mean for you as a potential job seeker? Read on to find out!
You can really stand out

The beauty of a candidate short market is that you’ll likely be competing against fewer applicants for any given role. While you still need to do everything you can to impress, it’s even easier to stand out from the crowd in a smaller applicant pool.

Hiring Managers are moving fast

Many employers are well aware that it’s a competitive market out there for good talent, so if they find someone they like, they’ll try to move as quickly as possible. Keep that in mind when you’re looking to apply for new jobs and think about what your availability to interview is like in the coming weeks if selected. Some candidates are missing out because they can’t make themselves available too interview quickly enough, while some employers are missing out because candidates are getting snapped up before they even get the chance to meet them!

Recruiters are on the hunt

Due to the low number of applicants across the board, many recruiters and hiring managers are doing more extensive search/headhunting activity to find and approach people that may not have been looking, but could be tempted if the right job came along. Seek.co.nz and LinkedIn offers ways for people to be approached about new work opportunities, so if you are open to change, make sure your profiles are up to date. If you are approached but it’s not something you want to pursue, be kind and send a quick response to let them know!

Transparency matters

If you’re interviewing for more than one role at a time, it’s important to be transparent about that. A hiring manager may be able to speed things up if they know they’re about to lose you to another employer!

It’s also common at the moment for people to have more than one job offer on the table, which is a great position to be in of course! But make sure you aren’t keeping employers waiting for too long for your decision, otherwise you may be setting their recruitment process back by a month or more!

Ghosting isn’t cool, and it can come back to bite you later – New Zealand is a small country, you just never know when that person you avoided suddenly becomes someone you need to impress! If you’ve decided you don’t want to be considered for a particular job anymore, make sure you let the recruiter or hiring manager know as soon as possible.

I’m looking but I’m not getting any job offers. Why not?

Just because it’s a candidate short market, it doesn’t mean the level of skills and experience needed to do the job has lessened. Because many places are experiencing staff shortages, they don’t have the capacity to upskill or train someone just starting out or who may be lacking in certain areas. This is why it’s still really important to make targeted job applications that suit your own experience. Don’t forget to use your cover letter to really spell out why you’d be a good fit!

Make sure your applications are getting noticed for the right reasons with our handy tips here. You can also find more advice on how to get work experience when you’re just starting out here.

We understand that job hunting can be tough at the best of times, so why not make the most of the candidate short market New Zealand is currently experiencing and start looking for your next dream job now!

Good Luck,
Kirsty and Nikki

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