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Economic pressures hit largest NZ businesses hardest, BELR report reveals
Wed, 8th Nov 2023

The Beyond Recruitment Economic and Labour Report (BELR) 2023/24 has unveiled that economic pressures in New Zealand have hit major businesses, housing 1,001 or more staff, the hardest. Such businesses are more than twice as prone to make redundancies to diminish costs than large businesses (201-1,000 staff) and SMEs (1-200 staff).

The report reveals that in a year significantly influenced by ascending costs, most organisations (36%) are decreasing costs, but smaller businesses and enterprises are far less probable to be cutting staff. Of respondents most likely to be cutting staff, SMEs (9%) and large organisations (18%) are notably behind very large organisations (24%).

Liza Viz, CEO of Beyond Recruitment, stated on the sagacity in the report, "The Beyond Recruitment Economic and Labour Report equips employers and policymakers with valuable data to make informed decisions and adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce."

"Cost of living and operational performance are being talked about by CEOs and boards alike. Finding people is now less important than the combination of affording good employees and making those employees more efficient."

She further articulated on the challenges faced by massive corporations, "Major corporations are encountering fiscal pressures, especially in managing personnel-related expenses that smaller enterprises often sidestep."

"Unlike SMEs, large firms frequently bear the brunt of regulations, compliance and administrative structures. It’s hard to change direction in a large organisation, but those in charge are seeing the writing on the wall - that’s why big businesses are reimagining their human resource strategies."

The report also discovered an increased contentment with the quality and suitability of local talent entering the job market, with 43% of respondents expressing satisfaction, compared to 29% last year.

The number of organisations finding recruitment easier than in earlier years was one of the surprising insights from the report. This year, 2% of respondents found it 'significantly easier' to find talent than in the past, an ascent from previous data.

Commenting on the recruitment situation, Viz stated, "While those finding it significantly easier to find talent only saw a 2% bump, it’s still a step in the right direction. We haven’t seen a step in that direction for some time, and we’re not quite yet at pre-pandemic levels, but a market where finding good talent is becoming easier is change worth celebrating."

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub spoke on the future projection of the labour market, "The 2024 labour market outlook, for most businesses, is likely to be a year of consolidation and normalisation. Rather than expansion, the focus will be on retention, efficiency through training and new technologies, and improving culture in the workplace.”

The BELR 2023/24 chronicled other noteworthy insights:

  • Barriers to success showing a decrease from over 70% in previous years to 48% this year
  • Aslight decrease in the average pay rises due to a 6% inflation rate
  • 75% of New Zealand organisations affected by flexible working practices shaped by COVID-19
  • AI has only impacted 7% of jobs in New Zealand, indicating a minimal influence on the employment landscape

The BELR 2023/24 was assembled from responses of over 500 New Zealand employment leaders, spanning multiple sectors. Covering a broad range of organisational sizes, the majority of respondents were from the Public Sector (28%), the Technology and Communications Sectors, and Manufacturing and Production (11%).