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JobFix is 18 months young and in that short time has become one of the top job boards for people seeking Jobs in Queenstown. With the support of The Lakes Weekly team, we frequently see 100's of new jobs posted each month, and during busy periods, we see that many in a week! But it hasn't been easy. JobFix has to compete with the national big boys, predominantly Seek and Trade Me, a ' David and Goliath ' story in the fight for the local job seeker market. So how do we stack up? According to Google Analytics, in March 2019: there were  299 local jobs posted 905 Online Applications   sent through the site 26 new employers added profiles From a traffic perspective, the website is growing month on month: We saw in excess of 4,000 people visit the website 76% of these were new users Those 4,000 users visited the site 2.2 times and viewed 56,500 different pages. The website is predominantly viewing from within New Zealand (77%) and where the site was accessed is broadly representative and not just coming from the Otago region.   Keeping in mind none of this data includes the jobs advertised within the publication and is also one of the quieter periods, we're very happy to see these numbers, which we have seen increasing over time. Generating An Audience I’m often asked given how many new users are coming to the site how are we promote JobFix? Certainly, the strength of the Lakes Weekly brand really helps, especially as the Situations Vacant section in the publication is also branded JobFix and we utilise this publication to market to employers and candidates. Everyone I speak with who is new to Queenstown finds out that The Lakes Weekly is the go-to publication, within 24 hours of arriving for jobs, accommodation and local orientation. Additionally, JobFix runs advertising via Google to promote the website against a range of the most relevant seasonal keywords and category searches, as a result, JobFix has also made it's way to the first page of search results when searching for 'Queenstown jobs', which has helped us increase traffic to the website. Our blog to employers reaches in excess of 4,000 email addresses monthly along with content on the website that we hope is helpful to both candidates and employers. All this is designed to keep JobFix front and centre in the local job seeker market.  
With the release of the JobFix Job Vacancy numbers for Queenstown, we see that the number of open positions in the region has continued to decline, from last month and the same time last year. While this quarter is a traditionally a slower period, the number of jobs advertised this year is slowing at a faster rate than the same time last year. This is good news for employers as the time taken to find staff declines, which ultimately should flow through to improved productivity. The major beneficiaries of the decline in growth seem to be the F&B and Accommodation sectors where the number of roles available dropped by16.5%. In F&B notably, there were 25% fewer roles available than in March 2018. That will bring a sigh of relief to many business owners. Summary Open positions in March '19 were behind March '18 by 14%, extending the run of decline for three consecutive months. Sales, Health, Finance, Real Estate and Admin are the only sectors to show growth over PY. All of which are small numbers and combined only account for 10 of the open roles advertised. Quarterly growth has slowed by 16% from last year. David Gibbs Commercial Operations Manager - Lakes Weekly & JobFix
Queenstown has a lot of workers who are casual. Let’s explore a couple of questions about casual employment.   1. What is casual employment? There is general agreement that a worker is a casual employee if their employer doesn’t make any advance commitment to ongoing employment or the amount or timing of work they will be asked to do. A casual employee is someone who has no set hours or days of work and the employer is under no obligation to provide ongoing work. On the other hand, if the employee is offered work they are under no obligation to accept it. They can choose to work, or not work, or only work in areas of their choosing. A casual employee does not have the same rights and entitlements normally provided to permanent employees:     casual staff are entitled to receive a loading in their wages for  annual leave ; casuals are not entitled to paid annual leave; casual employees have no right to guaranteed hours of work; However, casual staff are entitled to sick leave if they have been employed over 6 months for at least an average of 10 hours a week and no less than 1 hour in every week, or no less than 40 hours in every month during that period. 2. Who is working casually? We know quite a bit about who works casually. Women are more likely to be in casual jobs than men, although the gap is narrowing. More than half of all part-time employees are in casual jobs. Only about 10% of casual staff are full-time employees. Workers on regular daytime shifts are less likely to be in casual jobs than those who work in the evening or at night. Casual employment being concentrated in part-time jobs means it accounts for a larger share of the number of people employed than it does of hours worked. 3. Does the casualization of the workforce mirror Australia? No, despite strong parallels, casual employment is less significant in New Zealand as a proportion of the total workforce and it has failed to show the same pace of growth as in Australia. The reasons are complex but basically, the advantages of casual employment to employers are narrower and less attractive in New Zealand. This is partly because at the bottom of the market all employees can claim access to basic rights and benefits under a statutory 'minimum code’. This also works, in reverse, for employees at the top of the market. Permanent workers in New Zealand have fewer benefits than permanent workers in Australia.
Every day, millions of people use Airbnb worldwide. The online home rental platform is hugely popular in Queenstown and this has had a significant impact on the accommodation market and its popularity has sometimes put it at odds with locals, businesses and the council. In the decade since it was launched, Airbnb has amassed millions of rooms worldwide. On a recent search, there were more than 350 offerings on Airbnb available in Queenstown on any given night. Based on my calculations, the average offering costs $310 per night, giving a nightly potential of in excess of half a million dollars in casual incremental upside income to the landlord and provided massive support to a cottage industry in the process. But it has also created headaches for authorities, residents and especially employers. Not least of which is: While all the properties on Airbnb aren’t coming from the long-term rental pool, the number of long-term rental properties has declined at the same time as demand from workers has increased. This is pushing up rental prices and pushing staff into unsatisfactory and unstable accommodation options. During peak periods, tenants are being displaced while landlords maximise their investment. In order to attract staff, larger employers are also having to consider accommodation options in order to attract staff. The number of nights a property can be rented out before the council increases the rates associated with the residence is in place but it is unclear whether this is having the desired effect. On a positive note, Airbnb has been a significant contributor in opening up some of Queenstown’s neighbourhoods to tourists, which has spread the demand, eased pressure on tourist hot-spots and boosted neighbourhood businesses. This is not always popular with existing residents, who see increased noise, traffic and pressure on limited community resources. Some fear property owners are switching from long-term tenancies to short-term rentals, which can be more lucrative, especially in the winter and summer peaks. The average nightly rate is sometimes what the property would earn from a long-term weekly rate. Some highly sought-after tourism markets such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and even London have put strong restrictions on the number of days per annum that a short-term rental can be let. While 90 days is the norm, some cities are reducing this by half, or are halting holiday rentals in prime tourist areas altogether.   Looking at Airbnb on a global basis, there are more than 5 million listings across 191 countries on the site (according to Airbnb). That may not sound like a lot, but in comparison, there are only around 4.3 million rooms available in the top 5 hotel chains globally. Airbnb is targeting 1 billion annual short-term renters by 2028 - imagine what that could do to the housing shortage, not to mention the impact on hotels (who have followed strict regulations to be able to operate) – rest assured, many landlords will avoid collecting any bed tax. If Airbnb’s target is reached, Queenstown will feel the pressure and at some point, there will surely be a major crackdown locally or nationally to help limit, formalise and legitimise the presence of Airbnb as a permanent fixture. Perhaps even some of the tax funds could go towards solving our problematic lack of accommodation for long-term local workers.
The number of open roles advertised in February declined 8% year-on-year and dropped 4.5% from January. This is the second month in a row where the number of positions advertised was behind the prior year and the first time in over twelve months when declines for two consecutive months have been recorded. While the total number of open roles declined in January by 4.5%, this was better than the previous year where the seasonal decline was over 11%. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as the market remains very healthy with a total of 738 positions available in February and a slower decrease than we saw in 2018. Each year, February sees the 'Summer Seasonal Fluctuation' kick in as the holiday season winds down. February numbers show that businesses, especially in the F&B, Accommodation, Tourism, Travel and Retail sectors, are either adjusting to a lower number of candidates being available or doing a much better job this year of retaining employees! All of these categories saw double-digit declines in jobs advertised during February both compared with Feb 2018 and last month .  AirNZ has reported a slow-down in tourism growth, and the local job market may also be reflecting a drop in visitor numbers to Queenstown. The Construction sector led the way in growing the number of jobs advertised with demand for skilled candidates growing by a sizeable 30% from the January period and in-line with last year. Overall there were no major changes in category ranking for job roles, even with the drop in F&B / Accommodation openings as they represented 68% of all roles advertised. Summary Total open roles advertised in February declined 8% on Feb 2018 Tourism-related categories all fell in excess of 10% Both January and February have recorded declines in job numbers for the first time in over 12 months David Gibbs Commercial Operations Manager - Lakes Weekly & JobFix
Building a strong shortlist is a critical step in the recruitment process - it will save you money in the long run and help you to find the best candidate for your vacancy. Here are some simple steps you can take to help you get the process right... So, you've written your job advert, adjusted the job description, and advertised the role across your network ( ...as well as placing an Ad in the Lakes Weekly Bulletin, of course! ); now it’s time to cross your fingers and wait for applications to flood your inbox. At this point, recruitment specialists the world over will tell you that next, you need to create a 'candidate shortlist' that prioritises quality over quantity. The application to shortlist ratio Ideally, you want to have a small enough pool to efficiently manage the recruitment process effectively, but enough candidates to find the right person for the role. The volume of applications you receive may require you to shortlist all of the candidates who satisfy your criteria, especially when it comes to getting people with the right working visas, but you should aim to have no more than six candidates on your shortlist. Next, move on to a quick phone interview, from which no more than three should move to the first-round interview. Keep a couple of others in the wings, just in case. How key are the competencies? Define exactly what you want your candidate to look like and set up a tick box process. The job description must clearly articulate a set of essential and desirable criteria and a minimum level of skill needed to do the job. Use these criteria to measure everyone on your candidate shortlist. 'No go' signs Poorly presented resume No transferable skills Too much job hopping - remember to check why they left their last job The fit Cultural fit is the most critical part of the recruitment process and it would be good for you to include details about your company values in the job description. It doesn’t matter how the candidate sounds on paper - if they don’t align with the behaviours you desire or match your company values, they will not be a great hire and probably won’t stick around for long. Considering what a candidate will bring to the team in terms of diversity, skills or even alternative viewpoints should be considered when you are down the final few. Finally... communication is critical It is very important to manage people's expectations and keep your shortlisted candidates in the loop - you never know when circumstances can change and a call to an alternative candidate will be required. For the unsuccessful few, it will only take a few minutes to keep them informed and let them know how they did. If something unexpected comes up, a call back would be much better received by someone who you've had open contact with. Good luck!
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