Trade Me survey: Surge in jobs on offer, but job seekers staying put

Job hunters are staying put in roles despite a surge in job listings, according to a new survey.

Despite more vacancies than before Covid-19 struck and a strong job market, Kiwis are reluctant to change roles, the Trade Me survey found.

Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich said the survey found job hunters signalling they were waiting for the borders to open before making a move.

Tolich said there was “a significant increase in the number of Kiwis expecting to be in their current role for the next four or more years”.

Data shows 22 per cent of respondents said they would stay put for that period, compared with 14 per cent in 2020.

“With Kiwis understandably still not 100 per cent confident in the economy after such a
turbulent 12-18 months, more job hunters are choosing to stick it out, wait until the borders are open and the world begins to return to normal.”

More than 1400 Kiwis took part in the annual survey, which aimed to gain insights into the attitudes of job hunters in 2021.


It found 17 per cent intended to leave their roles within a year, down from 27 per cent from the previous survey.

Despite the reluctance to move, job hunters were still keeping an eye on the market.

“Twenty-one per cent of respondents said they were actively looking for and applying for new roles, while 30 per cent said they were keeping an eye out for new opportunities,” Tolich said.

“A further 7 per cent said they were looking, but not yet applying.”

The main reason Kiwis were looking for a new role was just to see what was out there.

“This accounted for one in five responses, over double what we saw in 2020, which was 9 per cent, and knocks better pay off the top spot.”

Work-life balance

Work-life balance was the winning factor when looking for a new role, with 61 per cent of respondents saying this was essential. This compared with 57 per cent in 2020.

“We weren’t surprised to see work-life balance come out on top this year,” Tolich said.

“Covid-19 made many of us re-evaluate our priorities and put time with family and friends, and our own personal wellbeing higher on the list.”

Because of the strong job market, workplaces were trying to retain talent and many had improved systems to support wellbeing at work.

“We’ve also noticed working from home has become a common feature in job listings onsite,” he said.

Finding a company that was “a good fit” was important to almost half the respondents.

The cultures and values were also important at 47 per cent, as was the actual work involved.

The survey found feeling valued and opportunities to develop skills had dropped in importance from previous years.

Despite the desire to stay put, Tolich said it was a good time for those considering a change.

“If we compare the jobs market now to pre-Covid times, it’s in great shape and there are a lot of options out there for those job hunters who are ready to make a move,” he said.

“Last month we saw a 40 per cent increase in the number of jobs listed onsite when compared with the same month in 2019.”

With the borders closed employers had been struggling to find talent so news job seekers were reluctant to move would be tough to hear, Tolich said.

Factors ranked as very important to Kiwi job hunters in 2020 and 2021

1 Security and stability (58 per cent) / Work-life balance (61 per cent)
2 Work-life balance (57 per cent) /Security and stability (59 per cent)
3 Feeling valued (54 per cent)/ Company feels like a good fit (49 per cent)
4 Opportunity to develop skills (49 per cent)/ Company culture and values (47 per cent)
5 Company feels like a good fit (49 per cent) /The actual work they’ll be doing (47 per cent)

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