(Kiwi Business Owners Guide)
The booming construction industry in New Zealand is making it rather difficult to get the right skilled staff in our home country. All professionals are busy already. Skilled workers from overseas want to work in New Zealand companies. But why they would choose your company? See below: A few pointers on how to be first in their list of desired employers.
1. Embrace video technology for job interviews: Skype, Whatsup, Facetime, etc.
Remember that for your potential employee English may be a second language. Using video technology you give applicants a better chance to express themselves.
2. Give permanent contracts (Most of your candidates want to settle in New Zealand).
a. Most skilled professionals coming to New Zealand have ANZSCO Skill level 3 or higher. According to Immigration NZ, they may request up to a 3 year work visa if their employment contract is permanent.
b. Remember that the New Zealand Employment contract has a 90-day trial period, which allows you to say “good bye” to people who would not get on with your team or whose skills are not up to your requirements.
3. Pay the industry average rate or higher (or people run away soon after arrival).
a. There is a website with medium NZ salaries for each qualification: http://www.careers.govt.nz/
b. It is advisable to offer skilled professionals at least the average, middle of the range wage, not the legal minimum.
4. Allow some time for a person’s adaptation after arrival.
Keep in mind that your employee often comes from a totally different environment and often needs some time just to feel ok.
a. Allow for at least one month of training or adaptation on arrival of a new employee.
b. Even if you have chosen the best professional in your field, he or she needs to learn about your particular product or service.
c. Safety: New employees need to learn how to do things, how to stop workmates doing silly things in danger. Kiwis have created our own, more caring and thoughtful ways to tell off silly actions or dangerous behaviour on construction sites. Make sure they are known to a new employee. Most other countries have more direct ways to stop dangerous situations.
d. Help each new arrival absorb the culture of your company. Make sure you explain the rules and regulations, behaviour requirements and safety tips with them.
e. Tell new arrivals, especially from other cultural backgrounds, about the 'kiwi culture' of teasing each other and how to recognise the difference between teasing and bulling.
5. Offer help with accommodation.
Every new employee, when coming from overseas, will appreciate this gesture of care. Initial accommodation is really hard to get when they first arrive. This small kindness will go a long way.
6. On your website explain to potential employees the benefits of working with you.
a. Mention all the above points on your website.
b. Add contact information of someone in your staff who is ready to respond to applicants quickly during the first one or two months. As people are often overwhelmed with new information, they have to ask questions!
7. Get Accreditation from Immigration New Zealand to employ overseas professionals, which will allow new employees to apply for residence after 2 years of working for you.
When you do this, you will guarantee that the person stays with your company for at least 3 years.
a. In order to apply for Accreditation, you need to have an established business with high standards. (Have good financials, be a member of professional unions, and have a good employment agreement, etc.)
b. Overseas professionals must get at least NZ$55,000/year.
c. The Accredited Employers list is on the NZ Government website. People will see you first! As an Accredited Employer you will cut the competition right out!
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