A Job Market Upswing is Not All a Bed of Roses

You need to be prepared for some tough questions in order to head off the competition

You need to be prepared for some tough questions in order to head off the competition


A recent survey by Hudson indicated that “NZ employees are restless and the labour market is tightening.  6 out of 10 employees are seeking new roles.”

(Hudson’s survey canvassed 5003 employers and 5701 employees in Australia and New Zealand)

Here’s my take on this for job hunters:

On the surface, this survey may appear to be great news for job hunters.  But here’s the thing, it’s not as rosy as it sounds.  The survey indicates to me that competition will be tough amongst top candidates – all wanting to make up for lost ground during the GFC.  You need to be well researched and prepared to leverage any upward trend in job opportunities.

I’ve provided comments under each key message from Roman Rogers of Hudson reported in the New Zealand Herald for you to focus on.

“Unsurprisingly, better pay is the top reason for staff considering a move to a new job, with half saying they would work harder for a higher salary, according to Hudson’s Salary & Employment Insights Guide 2014.”

To be successful in communicating your value and negotiating an excellent remuneration package you need to have your value propositions clearly defined and in alignment with your target hiring managers requirements.  Articulate your key benefits without fluff and make sure you ‘know the value’ you deliver.  Be sure about your ‘point(s) of difference’.  You need to nail this if you’re asking for more.  “I work really hard” is not a value proposition that differentiates you.  Everyone will say that.  Be different by backing it up with “what this means for you is….”.

“Other motivators include more interesting roles and a better organisational culture”.

What are your personal and career drivers, motivators and values?  Ensure you map and scorecard these so that you can objectively assess the organisation, key stake holders, and the role.  Get these wrong – and no matter what you’re paid, you’ll regret your decision and disengage over time to the point of sabotaging your brand and reputation.  Also your health.

“Illustrating just how confident the market is feeling, nearly two-thirds of employers believe their organisation will meet or exceed targets within the next six months”

This means organisations will generally have high expectations of their employees to lift their game and achieve better results.  Are you up for the challenge?  Make sure you drill down on the targets and just as importantly the numbers supporting those targets.  Ask smart questions during the interview and qualification process.  Unrealistic expectations and/or your inability to execute a lofty growth strategy will lead to more than just ‘no bonus’.  Qualify the opportunity thoroughly.

“Importantly however, this optimism assumes that organisations will have the right talent in place to achieve what they need to”

Organisations are becoming more and more sophisticated in their hiring process and, along with robust interviewing (sometimes involving a panel of key stake holders), Assessment Centres and Psychometric Tests are two of the most common methods used to assess fit, capability and potential.  These can be daunting – however you can practice and prepare.



Top talent will be sought after and your ability to demonstrate capability with recent proof supporting your claims is essential.  Map your achievements with key benefits to the challenges the organisation faces and be prepared to verbalise these in an interview and/or apply this knowledge and experience during the Assessment Centre process.

“The survey said pay was the top motivation keeping employees in their current role, while a promotion (17 per cent), more training (13.3 per cent), greater flexibility in working hours (11.4 per cent) and increased leave (5.5 per cent) are other factors that would entice staff to remain in a job. Cash bonuses were the favourite benefit of employees (68.9 per cent), followed by extra annual leave (48.6 per cent), flexible working arrangements (37.4 per cent), increased superannuation ( 35.7 per cent) and private health insurance (35.4 per cent), according to the survey.”

Understand what matters most to you and why.  Be prepared to negotiate and/or engage an agent to assist you during the negotiation process.  Ensuring your requirements are written down, ranked, valued and banded will enable you to remain objective throughout the negotiation phase.  Bringing in your emotions at this point could sabotage the hard work you have invested and ultimately the opportunity could disappear.  For sales roles in particular the hiring manager will be expecting you to negotiate, and this is an ideal time to cement your credibility.  But do it with grace and integrity.

“Hudson said there was broad acceptance in the market that base salary increases would be required this year, especially to retain high performing staff.  Just over 70 per cent of employers intended to award base salary increases in line with consumer price index (CPI) growth (2 to 3 per cent), according to the survey.”

If you are going to earn better than a CPI based increase then you need to have your reasons why well documented and backed up by fact.  Research the market salaries for your sector / industry in your geographic region.  If you have a good relationship with a recruiter – touch base with them for advice around salaries.  Top performing staff will demand more than a CPI increase.  But don’t assume that because you ‘think’ you’ve performed well, your manager will ‘think’ the same.


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Contact: www.MyCareerBrand.net Phone: +64 21 666 807, +64 9 5222802 e-mail: info@mycareerbrand.net Craig McAlpine's Linked In profile: http://goo.gl/OxFOKZ MISSION Working with Job Search Candidates to build their go-to-market strategy, develop powerful marketing collateral such as their CV, LinkedIn profile and social media presence, and ultimately to secure a new role that is not only rewarding but also assists them on their career journey. EXPERTISE Career Coaching - LinkedIn Training - LinkedIn Optimisation - Personal Branding - Job Hunt: Go to Market Strategy and Collateral - CV design and preparation - Interview skills INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE - Professional Services - Information Technology - Banking and Finance - Recruitment

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