With the ICT industry growing at 25% per year over the past 10 years, Wellington, New Zealand is now reportedly home to a thriving startup ecosystem with roughly 16,000 people employed in tech jobs. Generating an estimated 3,000 new jobs each year, the tech industry is rapidly growing at a rate whereby the local talent supply is struggling to keep up with the demand. The growing tech hubs in the cities of Auckland and Christchurch in particular are also contributing to the nationwide high demand for IT skills.
This is backed up by the 2013 survey the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) ran among its members to gauge industry demand. Local tech firms came up with a rough estimate of needing to employ over 10,000 new skilled IT staff over the next three years. The tech industry draws around 1,500 new recruits from the local universities each year but is having to look overseas, according to NZTech CEO Graeme Muller.
The industry’s fast-growing demand for tech skills, coupled with the country’s restricted talent pool due to its relative size and geographical location, underlie New Zealand’s pressing talent shortage. A shortage that former Science and Innovation Minister, Steven Joyce believed could only be filled by adding more skilled migrants.
While the push for hiring more skilled migrants has its benefits, it can be highly complicated and risky given the costs involved and that employees don’t always work out as you hope they will. For startups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular compared to more established tech behemoths, the process of hiring via immigration is expensive and challenging.
The situation has left many New Zealand businesses looking for alternatives. One such option is considering offshore developer providers based in countries with larger qualified talent pools. Markets such as the Philippines where the national language is English and they graduate over 130,000 STEM students each year is fast becoming a destination of choice. Via professionally managed office solutions, New Zealand businesses have the opportunity to add to their in-house teams better than ever before. Reliable offshoring firms with onsite New Zealand-born managers are there to handle all aspects from resourcing, setting up interviews to the day-to-day administration. The double benefit of reducing costs while meeting tech talent requirements is enabling businesses to grow and allocate budget to more readily available local resources such as business development and marketing.
The key of course is finding the right offshoring partner that understands the specific needs of startups and SMEs, and has a proven track record of delivering successful offshore services.