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The New Zealand borders are opening - will this be the catalyst for the 'Great Resignation'?

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The New Zealand borders are opening - will this be the catalyst for the 'Great Resignation'?

With the New Zealand borders closed the legal sector has been screaming out for talent, resulting in terms being thrown around like ‘talent shortage’ and ‘tight talent market’. As specialist recruiters in the Legal sector we have seen the direct impact this is having on our clients ability to recruit and retain talent. The intense shortage of talent has manifested in the market through higher salaries, signing bonuses, and counter offers.

The announcement of the upcoming borders re-opening has provided a sense of relief to employers across the country and a glimmer of hope returning to a more stable job market.

Specific to the legal sector the CoLegal team see the borders opening playing out in a few ways;

  • We are likely to see New Zealand qualified lawyers at senior levels (as opposed to intermediates) returning sporadically throughout the year with decent overseas experience.

  • The intermediate level of the sector is set to experience a mass exodus of lawyers who have been delaying their OEs throughout the pandemic and are now ready to head overseas. Initial timing of this indicates a mid-year movement in time for the UK summer. Whether this will result in a 'great resignation’ is yet to be seen but it is at the 2/3-5 year PQE level where we expect to see the greatest movement.

  • The pull of foreign law firms, especially in Australia, who tend to pay higher will become stronger, especially in areas such as corporate and banking law where firms are actively pulling legal talent out of NZ. A lot of this will be to backfill talent shortages and movement overseas from their own people.

As with everything, while there are some positives in the announcement, there are also some challenges ahead in this turbulent talent market. Having open talent development conversations with your team is a key way to keep ahead of upcoming changes in your business.

CoLegal are best placed to help you in your recruitment needs in both the Legal professional and Legal support market, get in touch with one of our consultants today to talk through your upcoming needs and how we can assist in overcoming these challenges.