May 3, 2023

IT Job Market Report: What is it and why should you read it?

8 min read

If you’ve followed Absolute IT for some time, you’ll no doubt have come across our Job Market reports, including our latest 2023 edition. Our goal is to provide our industry with as many useful insights into tech employment as possible. As New Zealand’s expert IT recruiter, we believe in putting the right tools in the hands of employers and professionals to help make informed decisions.

In this article, we take a deeper dive into our industry reports and why if you’re in the New Zealand IT industry, these are well worth a read.

Gathering research data

Our market reports are largely based around two big groups – IT professionals and IT employers. Our team ensures that we have a large enough sample to gather data from all types of professionals and employers.

The questions we ask are designed to get a mix of qualitative responses (such as skills in demand) and quantitative (such as size of organisation). Over time we’ve added new components to our reports, but there are many consistent insights year over year that help monitor longer trends.

Our data is carefully analysed and quality controlled before we craft our reports – it’s vital that the information you read is reliable.

Demographics of job seekers

The IT sector has really started to evolve in the last decade or so, and for some time we’ve been highlighting issues in the sector around the gender pay gap and the need for a more diverse industry. In our job market reports, we provide details on age group, gender, and importantly the ‘right to work’ as our sector increasingly needs to look to migrants to fulfil skills shortages.

Size and scale of IT employers

Our survey data includes information on the types of organisations that make up our respondents, including public and private sector, where in the country they’re based, and the amount of employees. We also gather insights on social impact and corporate responsibility initiatives, which help us understand the sector’s contributions to the community. As the workforce becomes more attuned to the ethical aspects of their work decisions, this information can be particularly useful for employers and professionals.

Beyond overall employee numbers, we also drill down into the number of full-time tech employees. This can be a good indication of tech’s role and influence within the business, and whether teams are growing (they are). For job seekers, finding a workplace where they can work alongside other tech professionals and learn and grow from their colleagues can be motivating.

Employers can gain insight into staff motivations for leaving

Understanding why IT professionals leave their jobs is crucial for employers who are concerned about staff attrition. Our job market report includes questions about staff motivations for leaving, which is incredibly useful for tech employers who are facing a shortage of talent.

Some of the popular reasons we’ve had in recent reports include:

Career development – not always possible for an employer to do something about if there’s not a natural progression available or the desire is to work in a different industry or subject matter. But there are plenty of opportunities that existing staff often don’t hear about or feel they’d be considered for. Employers may find ways to proactively support team members with a career development plan.

Contracts or projects ending – this is a natural part of the IT sector as contractors on projects are commonplace across the country. However, organisations who value a particular contractor may look to approach them for a new project before the end of another.

Better pay – perhaps the most frustrating to employers who lose good staff is due to salary. But this is another reason why keeping up to date with market salaries is really important. Our remuneration reports help companies gauge whether their teams are being paid fair market rate – and what the range typically is. To lose a great team member for a pay increase that the business would have met can be a bitter pill to swallow. Keeping open lines of communication with staff can help identify these concerns. Demonstrating performance reviews, salary adjustments and career development as an employer could make all the difference.

By understanding the reasons why IT professionals leave their jobs, employers can identify factors that they can address to reduce attrition rates. By comparing their motivations to those of the market, employers can start to get ahead of these issues and reduce the rate at which they lose team members who’d otherwise stay. The Job Market reports we publish also help IT professionals compare their own motivations to that of the market.

Insight into why professionals move overseas

With the borders reopening and the recent update to Australian citizenship pathways to Kiwis, there’s increasing concern around the drain of IT talent overseas. Conversely, New Zealand is also attracting overseas talent. Employers are keen to understand how and why tech professionals – who may have training and experience in New Zealand – are disappearing overseas to benefit a different market.

The job market reports we publish help identify these reasons, and like the reasons for switching employers, be a reference point to make decisions around retention strategies – especially if the driver is money or career development (two common reasons we hear from professionals).

Securing a candidate as an employee – what makes the difference

As a recruiter, our top priority is helping employers hire the ideal candidate for their role. So it makes sense for us to ask professionals exactly what drives them to commit to a new role and sign on the dotted line. Our job market reports provide this insight, presenting a relative weighting of various factors that drive IT professionals to accept a new job offer. These include:

  • Improved income.
  • Better challenges / work.
  • Flexible work hours.
  • Skills not being utilised in current role.
  • Simply time for a change.

Much like the motivation to leave, these contributing factors are made up of things that could potentially be addressed by employers. We know that employers find this insight really helpful to keep great people within their business. It’s not always possible, but with the biggest IT industry challenge continually being ‘retaining staff’, these insights may help alleviate some of the attrition issues so common in our sector.

IT professionals can evolve to the needs of the industry

Any tech professional looking to develop their skills to be as employable as possible will find our job report a worthwhile tool. Every report, from our job market report to our regional reports, contain questions around the skills most in demand.

Different regional IT sectors may have different levels of demand for skills. While it’s safe to say that the skills shortage is nationwide across many disciplines, understanding the regional demand can help IT professionals make decisions on where to maximise their skillsets.

The great news is that IT roles are constantly evolving and new titles are emerging, from data security to project management, development, and architecture, which means IT professionals can follow their passions while meeting market demand. Our job market report provides insights on what skills are needed, allowing IT professionals to add to their arsenal and potentially increase their income in the process.

Remote working trends

Remote work existed in tech before 2020, but the pandemic accelerated its adoption. For business continuity, organisations have had to migrate to cloud-based architecture and allow employees to work from anywhere. Remote working has persisted after the peak of the pandemic, and tech professionals value the flexibility it offers. Our job market report has focused on this aspect of working for a few years, with questions around why employers offer remote work and its biggest challenges. Recent reports have indicated a large percentage of organisations offer remote and flexible working arrangements, although the biggest challenge has been impact on team dynamic.

Our job report also highlights the benefits of offering remote work to employees, such as savings on overheads and the ability to attract talent from anywhere. These upsides can be valuable to tech employers who are not yet offering remote working arrangements, especially if they’re struggling to fill roles currently.

Regional IT market research

We think it’s important to recognise that New Zealand’s IT market is geographically quite varied. Auckland’s market is heavily weighted towards the private sector, whereas Wellington is made up of more public sector organisations. Smaller cities can have a weighting towards smaller businesses. The evolution of newer tech centres like Christchurch are in a different stage than Auckland, meaning that the skills demands can vary.

For this reason we conduct research by location each year, helping IT professionals and employers better understand the challenges and opportunities across the country. As more Kiwis are spreading out across the country in search of the optimal lifestyle, our reports into the local IT job markets can provide a useful tool in making the decision on where to go.

Salaries for different job types – useful for both professionals and employers

We periodically release our remuneration report which provides a detailed table of IT job roles and average salaries, as well as contractor rates. Recently we combined this data into our latest 2023 job report, providing the industry with a complete reference guide on the market and salaries.

Read more industry insights

Keen to learn more about our IT sector? Head over to the industry reports on our website to get access to reports on all the insights we’ve covered in this article.

Explore our available IT roles today

Are you looking for a new IT role? Check out our latest jobs to find your next big career move.

Chat to us about your hiring needs

Our team have been helping New Zealand employers secure the best talent for IT roles for over 2 decades as Absolute IT. If you need a partner who can collaborate with your organisation to find the best person for the job, we’d love to chat with you.

Absolute IT