16 February 2017 · Absolute IT

The latest Absolute IT Job Seeker Insight report found that tech professionals rate communication skills as the most important skill to get ahead in the workplace.

“It is clear that job seekers are aware that while employers still value technical ability, they place a higher importance on their softer skills, such as the ability to communicate clearly and collaborate effectively. Research from Harvard, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford supports this thinking, they found that soft skills are responsible for 85% of career successes and only 15% can be attributed to hard skills,” says Grant Burley, Managing Consultant & Founder, Absolute IT.

Money important, but losing ground as deciding factor

While money is still the most important factor when considering a new job offer, other deciding factors such as ‘challenging work’ and ‘career development opportunities’ are becoming increasingly more important for job seekers.


“Just offering a better salary to a candidate does not mean they will be interested in the job offer. Over the past three years job seekers are placing more and more value on finding a job that will give them opportunities for professional growth and stretch their capabilities,” says Burley.

“For example, in 2015, 36% of job seekers said that money was their primary deciding factor to accept a new job offer, and 22% stated that challenging work would be their deciding factor, a 14% gap. Fast forward to 2017 and a different picture is emerging as there is now only a 5% gap between the two, with a better salary at 29% and challenging work at 24%.”

Training and development opportunities have also seen a sharp rise as a deciding factor to accept a new job offer. It is now at 18%, up 5% from 2015.

Speaking of money…



Both IT job seekers and IT employers are pretty much on the same page with salary increase expectations for 2017. The only anomaly between the givers and the receivers are that only 6% of employers are not planning to give their employees a raise, while 13% of job seekers are not expecting a raise.

Overall, it seems that kiwi techs are happier at work.

“It seems that employers are doing a better job at keeping their workforce happy.  We are seeing a notable increase in employee satisfaction rates. The number of IT job seekers looking to change jobs is down 10% from 2015 figures and workplace satisfaction is at 88%, up 2% from last year,” says Burley.



Overall, 8% of New Zealand’s IT workforce rated their work/life/balance as poor, while 53% said it was average and 39% rated it as excellent. Contractors seem to be the happiest bunch, with the highest excellence rating for work/life/balance at 43% and only 6% saying that they have poor work/life/balance.

Go to full report here