Migrant Recruitment Under Labour Government in New Zealand

Now that the dust has settled from the surprise announcement by NZ First to align with Labour, and the 100 day period is well underway, it’s time to take stock of what the planned initiatives ahead may mean to New Zealand employers from a recruitment, international recruitment and HR point of view.

The future for migrant recruitment under the new Labour Government is bright.

The Labour government has no intention of making it more difficult for employers to introduce overseas skilled workers to their businesses. They do have one or two interesting initiatives to try to revive the required skills in New Zealand Citizens, but given the immediate and urgent requirement in the Construction Industry, you can be sure that skilled Filipinos will continue to arrive by the dozen (literally). Smart employers are bringing in entire project teams, landing and accommodating them and getting on with driving growth for their business.

In the last 15 months, not one employer supported visa application for a Filipino skilled worker in the Construction Industry has been declined. Every single one has been approved – and we are not expecting this to change any time soon.

RecruitNZ has now become a leader in the migrant recruitment field and we are increasing our team and investment in this area significantly. We do things correctly, thoroughly and we add value by taking care of every single step from creating the job specification, interviewing the candidates, processing Visa and legal requirements through to ‘feet on the construction site’ and the 90 day review. We are making it easy for employers to get clear costs for tendering and to employ good quality skilled workers – and we are very happy that NZ’s Labour Government is not putting any hurdles in the way of this very positive initiative.

90 Day Trial Period under question.

The Labour Government intends to scrap the 90 Day Trial Period. Good employers are unlikely to have abused the trial period – and will have followed a robust process in the event of termination anyway no doubt (hopefully including professional advice from our ConsultingHQ team (https://consultinghq.co.nz/meet-the-team/), and because we have such a rigorous recruitment and reference checking process, we do not feel concerned about this being an issue.

Employers should always act responsibly in employing people and we insist our clients follow correct HR processes at all times.

Minimum wage increases

Employers who are employing at minimum wage level will need to be concerned with productivity increasing activities and processes as a priority. All other wage levels are sure to be under pressure for increases with the jump in minimum wage, which obviously puts pressure on gross profit. Where possible, employers will focus this on results based remuneration in an effort to increase output and productivity. Consumer Price Index is likely to increase, meaning a focus on price points and pack sizes for product based businesses, and overall pricing structures for service based businesses. Of all the on-shore Labour initiatives, this is likely to have the most profound impact on business owners. Lean management and effective marketing are integral to increased productivity and business output. While simply reducing headcount through attrition is one option, in reality the issue is more complex than that.

In completing your business planning for fiscal year 2019, the Human Resource considerations will be more key than ever before in recent times.

Mike and I are ready and willing to assist you with this process – Mike in particular in the area of Lean Consulting (https://consultinghq.co.nz/lean-audit/). We have interesting and dynamic times ahead in New Zealand recruitment and HR. Well organised, well planned businesses with a clear point of difference and robust systems and processes will continually become stronger & better resourced – regardless of the Government.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business.

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Tanya Gray is your strategic HR partner, passionate about driving clients’ productivity with innovative solutions and collaboration.

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