Thanks to rolling lockdowns and border restrictions, many businesses are struggling to find skilled people to fill their job vacancies. Demand for talent in NZ is at an all-time high with Stats NZ figures showing that unemployment is now sitting at 4% (117,000). Across the Tasman it’s a similar story with ABS statistics showing unemployment at 4.6% (626,000). 

With international borders remaining closed and limited net migration, if you are thinking about dipping your toes in the job market, it has never been a better time to jump in.

Within Australia and the United States, there has also been a lot of talk about the “great resignation” phenomena – the informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Global research and industry analyst Gartner have gone as far as suggesting that three out of five Australians could be looking to change jobs.

According to the latest findings in Auckland University of Technology’s Wellbeing at Work study, the proportion of employees not considering leaving their jobs had halved, from 19.1 per cent in May 2020 to 9.2 per cent in April this year. These findings suggest that more Kiwis could be actively considering leaving their job and begs the question is “the great resignation” coming to New Zealand?  Has it already arrived?

If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us in relation to the job market is that Kiwis want more flexibility over where they work and how they work. Randstad’s own 2021 Employer Brand Research showed that, for the first time in 10 years, money was no longer the #1 priority for Kiwis, it seems wellbeing was top of mind for many with work/life balance considered the most attractive driver when choosing a new job.  Within Australia, there was a similar view and our research findings showed that flexibility and allowing a hybrid working environment is also important for jobseekers.  

However, as many of us have found out first-hand in the past 18 months, achieving workplace flexibility comes with its own set of challenges. The lines between work and personal lives have become even more blended with people juggling work and personal commitments. This was highlighted in a post that recently went viral on Linked In. Businessman Jonathan Frostick shared details of his personal journey, following a recent heart attack. It prompted a flurry of debate over what people felt was ok and not ok to share on professional social media platforms like Linked In.

For those of us contemplating a career change, many have questions around what’s appropriate to share as part of the interview process when looking for a new role. 

Social etiquette in today’s hybrid work environment

Social media adds another dynamic to job searches and that blurring of lines that we are seeing between personal and professional in today’s hybrid work environment. However, there is a balance to be struck between what you share and what you keep private.

And it’s not just social media that needs to be considered. How much personal sharing is the right amount for that all important cover letter.  And what about the interview itself?  Whether that be on video or in person?

When it comes to social media, it’s worth taking a considered pause to evaluate what you're posting, before sharing it online. Something we constantly advise candidates at Randstad. Personal experiences have merit but consider the impression you want to give to potential employers, workers, or customers. You need to be authentic to your true self but be considered with what you're sharing and the impact it has on others' perceptions of you.

Investing the time needed to secure the desired results

When looking for a job, it might feel like a full-time job in and of itself, therefore it is critical to devote the right amount of time to getting it right. Because finding meaningful employment is so important and such an essential aspect of your life, you should give it the time and patience it needs.

It's not just your CV that matters when it comes to making first impressions; it's also your professional platforms that matter too. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date so potential employers can discover you on the network. Maintain your industry contacts and build your networks. These can be useful to find out what roles are coming up in a sector you are interested in or help you prepare for a career in the future. It's critical to become familiar with these platforms, as well as to learn what additional platforms are accessible to you and how to use and work them to reach your intended job search outcome.

Given that parts of the country are in lock down, it is also highly likely your first interview might be over video call. Video job interviews are quickly becoming a popular option to traditional face-to-face interviews, making it a crucial part of the hiring process to understand and prep for.

The following are some helpful hints for mastering the video call interview:

  • For the interview, use a neutral backdrop. A bedroom with clothing scattered about or a living room with your dog on the couch might be perceived as unprofessional, so choose a neutral background. This conveys professionalism and establishes the interview's tone.
  • Remove any distractions from your environment. When you have children or pets to look after, video chats from home might be difficult. Make sure you're in a quiet, secluded area of the house for the interview so you can concentrate on what you're saying.

With changes in the way we work and communicate continuing to evolve and intersect with our personal lives, the preparation needed to find a new role may be daunting for some.  

Remember that being well prepared will give you a huge advantage.

about the author

katherine swan

country director for randstad new zealand