Kiwi businesses need to turn optimism into action

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Supposedly “optimistic” Kiwi employers have been challenged to look at the recruitment strategies they have in place to drive their plans for business growth.

There is a disconnect between the reported optimism of New Zealand businesses and their readiness to turn positivity into action, Tony Alexander from BNZ told a recent breakfast briefing in Auckland. The current skills-short market means companies increasingly have to look at offshore recruitment options to plug their labour gaps, he said – before asking the audience how exactly they planned to be hiring in six months’ time.

Andrew Brushfield from Robert Half [recruitment], which organised the briefing, said Alexander’s comments backed up what he had been seeing on the ground. “Businesses are positive about growth but have been slow to react to what’s happening in the market and are cautious about hiring the skilled workforce needed to manage that growth,” Brushfield said.

It is important for companies to focus on their recruitment process now as it is currently taking four to eight weeks to fill a staff-level position, and up to six months for a senior position, he said. “Hiring managers should think ahead about securing the next talent pool and ensure they have the correct recruitment strategies in place to manage business growth over the coming months. You won’t find the same skilled candidates looking for jobs that were available years ago. They’ve now been absorbed back into the market or have moved overseas.”

Businesses have to understand that good quality candidates with the right skill sets would not be available for long, Brushfield said. “Multiple job offers are back. Don’t waste time – work with a recruiter that has access to candidates internationally as well as at home and move quickly to secure top talent.”

Also, companies should ensure they were looking after their existing “rock star” employees, he said. “Workers with knowledge of the company and the right skill sets are increasingly valuable to a business, so the focus on retention is more important than ever.”


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