This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Bookmark Email Print page

Many NZ employers failing to understand and address key talent challenges

Survey shows 83% report talent shortages yet few have special programmes in place to promote attraction, retention or engagement

Despite persisting talent shortages, there are many worrying gaps between what’s seen as important and the current effectiveness of recruitment and people management practices of New Zealand employers, according to a new Deloitte survey.

The third annual Talent Edge New Zealand survey was conducted late last year and had just over 300 respondents from individuals in management roles across a broad range of economic sectors and organisational sizes.

Deloitte partner Richard Kleinert, who leads the Human Capital practice for the firm in New Zealand and for the Asia-Pacific region, says the time to address the disconnect between what’s needed to address talent challenges and current practice is now.

“There are many gaps but this represents opportunity for those organisations who respond promptly and proactively.  Organisations that fail to understand and address them may not survive,” says Mr Kleinert.

Mr Kleinert points to a number of steps that organisations can take to address these worrying gaps, including:

  • Develop a plan to address specific skills deficits
  • Refresh the employment brand
  • Consider the unique interests and attitudes of Millennials (Gen-Y)
  • Review and update the performance management process

Mr Kleinert says that, despite ongoing economic uncertainties, talent problems that impact on business results are being experienced by the vast majority (83%) of New Zealand employers. 

“The real problem behind this is skills, or skills shortages, which is by far the single largest talent challenge.  The problem is universally consistent across all sectors and organisational size.”

According to survey respondents, the type of skills that are in shortest supply are critical thinking and problem solving (45%) followed by general management/leadership (38%) and initiative and drive (31%).

Operations staff are reported in short supply most frequently (37%) followed by IT staff (25%), sales staff (23%) and executive leadership (22%).

According to Mr Kleinert, particularly confusing is employers’ perspective on diversity.  “On one hand, we know from numerous one-on-one discussions that diversity is a priority, and a majority of NZ company directors in another recent Deloitte survey (Director 360 – Degrees of progress, 2012) acknowledge the need for diversity policies and guidelines.  On the other hand, diversity is selected as the top talent challenge by only 1% of respondents to the Talent Edge NZ survey,” he says.

Few organisations have special programmes in place today to promote attraction, retention, or engagement of specific types of employees.  While special programmes for Millennials are most common, they are used by only about 30% of organisations. 

“This is a concern since Millennials, who are forecasted to make up 75 percent of the world’s workforce by 2025, reported the highest likelihood of leaving their current employer in the next 12 months (54%) and the lowest levels of understanding of their career path potential with their current organisations (38% disagree), belief that their current position makes good use of their talent and ability (31% disagree) and trust in their leadership (38% neutral),” adds Mr Kleinert.

“Proactive organisations have a great opportunity now to review their existing policies and practices through the lens of their future talent needs and to better and align and focus their talent strategies with their overall business goals,” Mr Kleinert concludes.

To read the full report, go to

For more information, contact:

Matt Huntington  
Communications Manager
DDI:   04 470 3771
Mob:   021 812 210

Last Updated: 


Matt Huntington
Deloitte New Zealand
Job Title:
Communications Manager
04 470 3771

Related links

Stay connected:
Get connected
Share your comments


More on Deloitte
Learn about our site