Newspaper job ads rebound

A rebound in newspaper job advertisements in December helped lift the ANZ New Job Advertisement series by 0.4% following three months of decline.

The newspaper ads rose 2.1% while the number of internet job advertisements lifted marginally.

ANZ economist Steve Edwards said the composite total for job advertising, which placed more weight on newspaper advertising, increased 1.1% (seasonally adjusted) but remained below last year's levels.

The series continued to suggest an unemployment rate of about 7% for the next six months.

Job advertisements were again popular during the Christmas holiday period as people considered their options for a new year. Careers New Zealand reported increased interest in what skilled jobs were the most sought after.

A Hudson Employment Trends report out this week showed

nearly one-third of all employers cited improving performance and productivity of their existing teams as their top HR priority for 2013.

Hudson New Zealand general manager Roman Rogers said there had been a huge focus on managing costs but, concurrently, businesses were looking to lift productivity, performance and quality of service.

Work loads had increased for more than half of employees and more than a quarter were working more than they were a year ago.

''Most companies are asking more of their people. But employers need to realise they can only go so far before this becomes counterproductive.''

Staff retention and high performance were results of strong employee engagement, Mr Rogers said. Exceptional leadership, staff buy-in to what the organisation was trying to achieve and feeling part of the team were essential.

It could take six months to bring a new employee up to speed and employers could ill afford to overlook the needs of their current team.

New Zealand had also made a higher priority of developing leadership skills than any other country surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region, Mr Rogers said.

Many leaders had been focused on managing their businesses through tough times. As growth started, new leadership skills and a stronger focus on engaging and inspiring their teams would be required.

Employers needed to strike the right balance between competing organisational demands, he said.

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