The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the plans of many UK-based Accounting and Finance professionals, who are now looking to come back to New Zealand.
Over the last six weeks we’ve had a significant increase in contact from skilled professionals wanting to hear about the local market and opportunities. We know that traditionally more than 80% of New Zealanders based in the UK head home after some time, primarily for family and lifestyle reasons, however COVID-19 has meant that many have brought forward their timetable.
In New Zealand during the Alert Level 4 lockdown and during Alert Level 3, recruitment in the Accounting and Finance space was largely on hold outside of business critical roles. The uncertainty meant many companies paused their plans and adopted a wait and see approach.
We are now in Alert Level 2, which has seen an easing of restrictions and organisations slowly heading back into offices and sites. Although a lot of workplaces are able to return, we are seeing many opt to continue to have employees work from home or to have different teams alternate days or weeks in the office.
The sentiment among many businesses we are speaking with at the moment is one of cautious optimism. While uncertainty around the outlook remains and many are assessing next steps, we are starting to see an increase in roles come back to market. We expect the number of vacant roles to increase as organisations adjust and settle into the new normal.
Our advice for Accounting and Finance professionals thinking of coming home to New Zealand is:
- Get in touch first – we can provide you with an overview of opportunities and the state of the local market. New Zealand has moved quickly from a candidate short market to the reverse and the situation is rapidly changing, so now more than ever it is important to be aware of what you can expect. You can contact our team direct or submit your CV through our website Homeward Bound.
- Be open to contracting roles – at times of disruption, there tends to be an increase in contract roles on offer as many organisations need resource quickly but are hesitant to commit to recruiting permanently. Though the volume of roles has reduced currently, we are seeing skilled professionals snapped up to start contract roles immediately. If you’re planning on heading home but are unsure of your longer-term plans, contracting is a great option to consider because it will give you flexibility over your future options.
- As always, top talent will be in demand – the specialised skills and experience gained overseas is valuable in the local market. However with an increase in people looking for roles, it pays to have your CV and LinkedIn profile up to date. Be open to what roles you will consider and respond quickly to opportunities. This article (from our February newsletter), contains information about the questions we are often asked by returning Accounting and Finance professionals.
- Keep an eye on the Government website – covid19.govt.nz – this is the official information source and includes details such as requirements for those arriving back in New Zealand and travel restrictions.
- Check out our other resources – our news section includes our the Weekly Wrap (our market and sentiment update) as well as articles and interviews on topics including contracting and video interviewing.
If you have questions or want to know more, please get in touch.