January 12, 2022

An update on the Christchurch employment market

Christchurch, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a candidate – rather than an employer – favoured market: the pool of suitable talent for most roles is tight, there is a high demand for skill, incumbent employers are working harder than ever to keep good staff, and talent is being fussier about making a move. The current border restrictions choking the supply of offshore and returning talent is not helping.

What this means is that candidates have choice. Good ones usually have a number of competing opportunities and offers (including counter-offers from their current employer) and prospective employers need to be offering a good package and telling a genuine employment story.

Over the past two years, Christchurch has become relatively better placed to attract people from other centres. Perceptions about its desirability as a place to live and work are now much more positive, and this continues to grow. Moving beyond being the ‘earthquake city’, Christchurch is increasingly known for its affordability and ease of getting around. It is only just now that house prices are starting to rise (off a relatively low base) and that is both reinforcing that people are relocating and providing impetus for people to move sooner rather than later.

After the lockdown in 2020, Christchurch saw a growth in the talent pool due to people moving to, and back to, the region. Once people move to Christchurch they tend to stay and therefore talent is not as transient as it may be in other cities. It also has a strong graduate flow from the University of Canterbury, Ara, University of Otago and Lincoln University.

As a broad generalisation, remuneration in Christchurch tends to be lower for equivalent positions in Auckland and Wellington, therefore if remuneration national-wide scale it will be an even more attractive prospective employer than it is experiencing in both Auckland and Wellington.

One potential issue to note is that due to an ‘intimate’ and conservative market (where most have known most for generations) there could be some talent that may find it a little more difficult to consider transitioning from commerce to a regulator, especially when it is inherent in the regulator’s role to have dealings within their community.

Written by Ginny Fail

Ginny has extensive experience in appointing management, executive and governance roles in New Zealand and the UK. With a professional background in the law, she moved into executive search and recruitment in 2001, where, for 11 years, she was a senior consultant and then manager of a specialist financial recruitment firm in London. She returned to New Zealand in 2011 to continue her executive search and recruitment career, for a range of clients – from large corporate organisations to small, privately owned enterprises.

Ginny’s core strength is market and candidate research. She is excellent at finding and identifying high-calibre candidates for our clients, using traditional avenues and a range of cutting-edge technology and tools that allow her to foster relationships with professionals worldwide.

Areas of specialisation: Chief executive, senior management, banking and finance, governance appointments
Years in the industry: 18

P: +64 4 550 8040

M: +64 21 560 440

E: ginny.fail@jacksonstone.co.nz