Kiwi tech firms are increasingly global employers
New data has revealed that New Zealand tech firms are becoming global employers in order to support their growth plans. New Zealand’s largest 200 tech firms in ICT, High Tech Manufacturing and Biotech are expected to recruit over half their staff offshore by 2028, mostly in North America and Australia but with fast-growing numbers in […]
New data has revealed that New Zealand tech firms are becoming global employers in order to support their growth plans.
New Zealand’s largest 200 tech firms in ICT, High Tech Manufacturing and Biotech are expected to recruit over half their staff offshore by 2028, mostly in North America and Australia but with fast-growing numbers in Asia, according to data released by Deel, a global HR company in collaboration with the Technology Investment Network.
An additional 13,400 staff will be based offshore by 2028, making a total of 44,560, while overall employment by these tech firms will grow by 25,700 hires in this period to a grand total of 89,600.
The data projects hiring demand by tech sector and geography based on annualised job growth figures collected between 2018 to 2023. Of the largest sectors tracked during this time, New Zealand fintech, healthtech and software firms have expanded offshore workforces at an average rate of 548, 458 and 208 staff per annum, respectively.
Stable growth would see fintech firms more than double their offshore staff to 11,290 by 2028, for software firms the number is 9580 – up 5,785 – a 150 percent increase on 2023 figures.
Hi-tech manufacturers are also predicted to broaden their footprint. The transport sector, which includes fast-scaling firms that provide systems and solutions for vehicles operating on land, air and sea, nearly tripled overseas staff in the past five years – with a total of 2525 in 2023.
“This data shows that New Zealand tech firms are increasingly global employers, hiring skills from around the world to support their growth plans. New technology including AI-driven HR tools is making it more cost-effective for early-stage companies to scale up their global workforce in different jurisdictions compliantly,” says Shannon Karaka, managing director, New Zealand and Australia for Deel.
Hiring in key markets
The research forecasts solid growth in the traditional tech bases of North America and Australia, flat growth in Europe and significant growth in emerging markets of Asia and Latin America.
North America continues to dominate hiring for New Zealand employers as companies seek to make headway into this lucrative market where total revenue of $4.2B was up 19.4 percent on last year. Staff numbers in North America grew by 63 percent in the past five years to reach 10,065 in 2023, and are expected to grow by a further 21 percent or 2160 staff by 2025.
Australia which had 9360 full time roles in 2023 is forecast to grow the number of roles by 14 percent or an additional 1280 jobs.
Europe, despite being a major fintech hub, is expected to grow by two percent from its 2023 total of 3750 (following a five percent increase in the five years to 2023.)
Emerging markets continue to show a strong growth in jobs. Asia and SE Asia, home to 5245 employees, is expected to grow by a further 62 percent or 3260 by 2025.
Latin America too, which had 994 offshore staff in 2023 is expected to more than double this, reaching 2095 by 2025.
In-demand sub-categories receive highest average salaries
Of the 12 sub-sectors tracked in the TIN200, fintech, software solutions, transport and healthtech led offshore staff growth over the last five years.
Fintech, currently the largest source of offshore jobs, is expected to grow by a further 42 percent or 1977 full time roles by 2025. Open banking legislation in 2024 is likely to unlock further growth in the sector.
Software Solutions is expected to grow jobs by a further 45 percent or 1700 jobs by 2025, which includes sales teams on the ground in its largest markets including North America.
Healthtech is expected to grow by a further 12 percent or 510 offshore staff by 2025.
“The rapid rise in offshore employees to exploit global revenue opportunities and counter local skills gaps means that hiring and managing a workforce in multiple markets is becoming the norm for New Zealand’s big tech employers,” says Alex Dickson, Head of Research at the Technology Investment Network. “At the same time, hiring in multiple different jurisdictions and unfamiliar markets brings its own risks and challenges for scaling companies who need to adopt a new global workforce mindset.”
Deel has launched a Compliance Hub so businesses of all sizes can stay ahead of legislative changes and misclassification risks. The Hub includes an AI-powered Worker Classifer, currently available for 15 countries with more to be added, so employers can assess the classification of workers across the world.