recruiting in challenging times

recruiting in challenging times
For our next series of HR content we will be focusing on recruitment strategy - how to source and find the right candidates. We will be posting tips and tricks on how to source and attract the best talent to your business, with “how to” guides and step-by-step action plans aimed at small to medium businesses in New Zealand.

Finding the right candidates is one of the biggest challenges for companies, and can be particularly challenging for small businesses. In New Zealand, there is a serious skill shortage, scarcity of talent, technological changes at every level and new cost pressures. 

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment predicted that employment is forecast to grow by 1.8 per cent (or 42,300) between 2016 and 2017 and by 1.2 per cent (or 29,500) between 2017 and 2018 in New Zealand. With a decline in unemployment and strong growth in the construction, utility, hospitality sector, wholesale & retail trade and business services sectors.

The MBIE Occupation Outlook report, released last year, also revealed that Software Developers and ICT professionals, business and system analysts are in high demand and are predicted to have a growth of 4.6% from 2014 till 2019 and 4.2% from 2019 till 2024. 

Demand for Accountants is still high and expected to rise by 3.4% from 2014 till 2019 and 3% from 2019 till 2024. Because of the current shortage Accountants are also on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skills shortage list.

This growth shows that a vast number of jobs will be created, but that it matters which sector you are in if you want to find the right talent. But it isn't all bad news. With a great recruitment strategy, employer brand and grip on technology you can really maximise this challenging time, and use it to your advantage. Here's how:

increased use of social media for recruitment

According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, 47% of New Zealanders “agree” or “strongly agree” that social media sites and networking websites are a good method of providing friends and colleagues with job referrals and job opportunities, compared to 42% in Australia. In fact, the research revealed that 17% of Kiwis managed to secure a job using social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Referrals and sharing seems to be one of the primary ways that New Zealanders use social media to find jobs, and it’s working. Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents were ‘interested’ or ‘very interested’ in receiving job referrals from friends or contacts within their social media network, ahead of their Australian counterparts (57%).

This method can benefit employers if approached in the right way, with the low cost of online job posting. On the other hand, employers need to find a way to stand out amid the postings social media users see every day. To establish a "shareable" brand, employers need to think about their employer brand. 

SMEs more attractive 

The Randstad Workmonitor released in April 2017 revealed that 66% of New Zealanders would prefer to work for a small or medium enterprise or privately-managed company, while only 42% would choose to work for a multinational company.

New Zealanders would generally prefer to stay local and work for a New Zealand-owned company than for a larger company – which is great news for SMEs. 

passive recruiting

As talent pools shrink or become overused employers should be thinking about upskilling existing employees to meet demand and invest in retention, headhunting desired and passive candidates and seeking out people who are returning to work. 

In the current climate although overall recruitment costs and costs-per-hire may be reduced, a significant proportion of employers – particularly smaller organisations – still do not calculate employment costs.

Another cost to consider here is the cost of filtering and selecting the right candidates to interview from a potentially larger than usual list of applicants.

Key takeaways – recruiting in challenging times 
• use social media, but consider your employer brand presence to attract the best talent
• invest in a strong resourcing strategy to engage with talent
• grow your reputation in a hyper-connected world 
Posted: Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 9:00 AM