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Anyone involved in workplace recruitment has had plenty to think about over the past couple of years.
Time to read: 5 mins
The effects of international border closures on the local jobs market, the Great Resignation and finding suitable employees are just a few issues you might have been wrestling with. Let’s look at them individually…
Immigration rules are tightening up so that we get the right skills to cover labour shortages and to address exploitation of temporary migrant workers. Employers bringing in overseas workers will need to go through a new accreditation process that shows they meet minimum requirements and commitments. There are two levels of accreditation and each carries a fee. “Standard” is for those who want to employ up to five workers and “High-volume” is for six or more. Accreditation will streamline the visa process for employers by reducing red tape in the future, but could bring initial delays and a lot of stress due to the processing backlog and likely flood of people who have been waiting for borders to open. It will even out in time.
Conversely, New Zealanders will leave for overseas work. The UK labour market has tightened, so they could be drawn to Australia, which is closer to family and friends, and potentially easier to return home from. It also offers much higher salaries particularly with trade roles.
Not exactly, although the landscape has shifted dramatically since pre-Covid. Lockdowns gave people a sense of what’s important to them. They have been switching to jobs that reflect their values and desire for a better work-life balance, even if that means pay cuts and roles beneath their capabilities. But interest rate hikes are likely to stop that as they become more nervous and the need for security replaces emotion.
To encourage employees to stick with your company, check in regularly to ask about their aspirations and job satisfaction. Performance appraisals are an ideal time for these discussions. Staff are often happy to stay if there are opportunities to advance their career or learn skills that increase their worth and relevance, and keep their role fresh and interesting.
Smaller employers now seem more selective when hiring, requiring exact skills matches and sometimes trying to combine two roles with disparate skillsets.
Sometimes it’s worth the risk of promoting current staff, then filling the role they were in. That might require training, but it gives you a better chance of retaining your best employees – and you’ll ultimately benefit from their broad knowledge of your company and processes. If hiring externally is your best option, it can be worth employing someone you’d have previously thought “too senior”. Your job might be ideal for their circumstances, especially if you offer a good culture and environment.
Alternatively you could separate the job into part-time positions to get people who are better suited to each role.
If you don’t have a Human Resources department, it’s worth hiring an external HR professional as your HR and recruiting arm. This is cheaper than long-term risks like personal grievances and poor team fit, which can result from simple recruitment errors or panic-hiring in times of pressure. However, if you want to conduct your own search, there are things to consider.
While writing the ad and later, during interviews, consider what’s vital and what can be learned on the job. Skills are trainable, attitude and fit are not. A candidate who’s a great fit will be the embodiment of your organisation’s values and mesh well with the team. Also consider what makes the role and company appealing, including flexibility around hours and working from home; your culture, and the likes of salary, insurance, wellness programmes, a vehicle and a laptop.
During interviews, you’re more likely to see candidates at their best if you make them feel comfortable. That might mean reducing your interview panel to two at most, so that your candidate feels less nervous. Ask questions that are specific to the role and what the candidate offers. You’re trying to ascertain how they’d fit. Also consider how you come across − why do a difficult interview if you promote yourselves as a friendly workplace? It’s also worth introducing them to your team in a less formal situation. Remember:
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