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Trade Me Jobs Breakfast Series 2020

Our 2020 Breakfast Series brought together recruiters and business owners to listen to economic and job market insights.

13 March 2020

March 12th saw us wrap up the final installment of the 2020 Trade Me Jobs Breakfast Series.

At these events, we bring together business owners and recruiters from across New Zealand to listen to job market and economic updates from respected economist Shamubeel Eaqub.

This year, we saw great attendance across the three events in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, with over 400 people turning out in total.

What was discussed?

1. Coronavirus and employment – don’t panic

Unsurprisingly, the effect of coronavirus on the NZ economy took centre stage in discussions of the country’s short term financial future.

While COVID-19 will impact our economy, the main takeaway for businesses and recruiters was to not panic and plan for the recovery. Not all sectors or regions will be affected in the same ways, or to the same extent, and mass jobs losses aren't on the horizon.

2. Skill shortages still exist

It’s no secret that New Zealand has suffered from skill shortages in recent decades, and that will continue to be the case – especially as our population keeps ageing. This trend will continue through any coronavirus-related financial slump we experience, and for at least the next 5-10 years.

While this can cause headaches for businesses and recruiters, for job hunters there's a real opportunity, especially if you know where the employment gaps lie.

3. Employers and recruiters need to listen to job hunter demands

Given the economic downturn that coronavirus is already causing, employees are less likely to take risks by leaving secure jobs and searching for something new.

As a result, businesses looking to hire will have to pay real attention to what job hunters are looking for in order to attract the best candidates.

Importantly, this goes beyond simple salary considerations, as our 2020 Job Hunter Survey revealed. Here, job seekers told us their top five most important influences when looking for work were:

  • Job security: 58%.
  • Good work/life balance: 57%.
  • Feeling valued: 54%.
  • Upskilling opportunities and company fit: 49%.
  • Their day-to-day tasks: 48%.


Whatever your personal priorities are when deciding on a role, don’t be afraid to negotiate on your contract. If you tick their boxes, the additional pressure on businesses means employers might be more flexible on elements of their offer.