Employer Insights

NZ Recruitment - Should We Open Up Our Perspectives

Kirsty Henegan Posted by Kirsty
min read

With New Zealand unemployment rates being at around 4.3% at the time of writing, it is a very talent short market and this is reflected by all those in the recruitment market and those hiring manager actively recruiting.

As recruitment is my full-time job, I am acutely aware of the ‘war for talent’. I understand that employers are keen to hire jobseekers who ‘tick all the boxes’, but surely if the job seeker is the right cultural fit, then some of the required ‘hard’ skills can be learnt?

I speak to many employers who want a niche employee for their niche market and if they are unable to check off their list with a 100%, then they are not interested.

So, do employers need to be more flexible with their expectations, to meet the market conditions?

No ‘Kiwi Experience”

Daily I speak with some amazing job seekers, who are fully trained and have years of experience in their fields of expertise, gained overseas. They seem to tick all the boxes apart from ‘KIWI EXPERIENCE’.

I know it can seem daunting taking on someone who doesn’t understand the New Zealand market and the structure of doing things. However, these skills are learnt and we all had to start from somewhere, right? Also bringing people in from different backgrounds and cultures will add additional assets to your teams, provide you with new ideas and allow you to understand how different cultures operate and they could be your customers in the future.

No experience in our sector

Again, I speak with many people who have experience in a certain type of role, and they have transferable skills, to enable them to apply to a different role, but they don’t have specific experience for the specific role.

I have seen it many times, where hiring managers will hold out for weeks and sometimes months, with the opinion that the market will change, and their superstar will suddenly become available.

Wouldn’t it be less time consuming, cost effective and beneficial to open the expectations and train someone who doesn’t have knowledge in that sector but has all the skills to get the job done?

Take me for example. I worked in recruitment in the UK, in the education sector.  I didn’t have a clue about the legal sector in New Zealand when I first joined, but now I have a strong understanding of the market.

An additional reason - salary expectations are too high

We have found the right person who ticks all the boxes, and their salary expectations are considered to be too high.

The market is changing; people know their worth and are looking to jump ship for an increase in their salary. Unfortunately, if you would like someone with a certain amount and type of experience, then you will need to pay them what the market considers their worth to be. Hiring someone and asking them to dramatically drop their salary expectations, is, unfortunately, one of the worst things a prospective employer could do. The job seeker commences work with feelings of not being completely valued. This will show up in the quality of their work and they will be keeping a close eye on the job market, for their next opportunity.

I understand at the beginning of the hiring processes you are looking for someone to tick all the boxes. However, with the market being talent short,  maybe you should start prioritising the requirements for the position and considering what you are happy to trade off. After all the recruitment process can be a costly and time-consuming process so rather than spending months trying to find that ‘perfect’ candidate maybe you could train your candidate to be perfect.