New Zealand, like Australia, is experiencing near record-low unemployment rates of 3.3 percent, providing further evidence of a tight labor market. In the country’s burgeoning tech sector, talent availability has also been hard hit.
In response, software engineers, ICT security specialists, multimedia specialists, and several other ICT management roles have recently been included on New Zealand’s green list for immigration. This means international employees can fill these positions and in return access a faster pathway to residency.
While this measure is promising for the country’s tech companies, it won’t be enough to provide an immediate solution to the pressures on the labor market created by the border restrictions, mass turnovers, and lockdowns of the Covid pandemic.
As a result, astute employers are searching for innovative means to counter the tech talent shortage with global remote hiring, now coming to the fore as a formidable tool in New Zealand and APAC.
New Zealand relies on international talent
New Zealand’s economy has always relied upon a steady influx of international workers. In fact, this trend reached its peak in March 2020 just before the pandemic hit, with a net migration of 91,000 people. However, in February of this year, that number was at its lowest point since the early 2010s, at -7,000.
This reduced inward migration means industries like manufacturing, agriculture, service, and tech, which depend on international talent, are currently finding it difficult to grow or even sustain their operations. Some companies have resorted to costly options such as “acqui-hire” – a strategy where one company buys another for its staff – but this strategy means it only gains additional workers from the acquired business, as opposed to the higher numbers of tech workers available via a global talent pool.
Pikpok, New Zealand’s largest game development company, for example, has recently acquired a Colombia-based game development studio to bolster their staff numbers and continue their growth trajectory.
However, acqui-hire is not an option for many companies which cannot afford the price tag, or do not want the added burden, of another business. The talent shortage has, therefore, caused slowdowns in the once-thriving game development subsector, and in New Zealand tech overall.
An alternative worth exploring is global remote hiring. Instead of buying another entire business, a New Zealand-based company can simply hire individuals based in other countries. Not only does international hiring deliver the necessary talent fast, but a team can equally be sourced from around the globe, not just from one country.
A solution to employee emigration
Another major factor in New Zealand’s talent shortage is the exodus of workers. Since border restrictions were lifted, the country has been experiencing a net outflow of migration – especially from people under 30, who are likely to work in the tech sector.
There are several reasons for the country’s ongoing brain drain – including lack of population growth, and changing individual desires and priorities – with the impact on the labor market expected to worsen with time.
To tackle this challenge, employers can take advantage of global remote hiring and retain workers who choose to migrate. Talent migration has been an ongoing phenomenon across the world in the last two years. Companies that recognize the value of their employees can now still keep them even when they choose to live outside of New Zealand.
Modern global employment platforms support companies by managing and hiring international talent, and ensuring compliance and convenience across several countries. Payroll, taxes, and other employment regulations are managed without costly and time-consuming research and investment on the employers’ side.
The workplace is evolving
Several labor trends have revealed a dynamic shift from employer to employee. This had started to occur even before 2020 and has gained massive traction since then. Workers have had the opportunity to reevaluate their professional lives, reflecting on whether their beliefs and work preferences align with the values and culture of their companies.
For instance, two-thirds of New Zealand workers say they want flexibility in their work life. This trend has been particularly notable since employees got a taste of remote work during the Covid pandemic. Moreover, Kiwis are also opting to work remotely for international companies, deepening the local talent shortage.
Also, according to 53 percent of respondents in the recent 2022 CFO Survey by G-P, expanding flexibility benefits is their primary employee retention strategy in the next 18 months.
New Zealand-based employers, particularly those in tech, have the opportunity to offer more flexible arrangements to attract local and international talent. Remote work is unlikely to leave the workplace, and companies that recognize that, and promptly adapt, will be able to secure their present survival, growth, and future.
Remote hiring through a global employment platform
Global remote hiring offers a viable and, more importantly, immediate solution. It is more cost-effective than acquiring an overseas company, it allows companies to retain migrating employees, and it caters to the talent-centric market. But how should it be done?
While there are several ways to hire from other countries, companies can quickly find themselves surrounded by regulatory and cultural issues if they operate without the right experience. Ideally, employers have partners who thoroughly understand local employment and taxation laws, and cultural nuances in the markets where they want to access talent, making the entire process easier and more compliant.
A global employment platform offers this comprehensive service.
Companies that are looking to explore their talent options in another country can simply work with an employer of record that will handle the entire talent management process. This simplifies global remote hiring, making sure that employers get the workforce they need right now.
G-P, a pioneer in the employer of record industry, has a presence in 187 countries. With a powerful infrastructure of legal entities, a world-class tech platform, and teams of experienced HR, payroll, and legal professionals on the ground, companies can quickly and compliantly build international teams. Leave the complexities of global employment to the named industry leader that consistently attains 98% customer satisfaction ratings.
With the means to hire remotely through the right partner, and a host of promising opportunities on offer, Kiwi tech companies are in an optimal position to make the most of international talent. Download the G-P Global Hiring Handbook today to learn more about hiring internationally, or request a free proposal for more information.
G-P is our official event partner for ATC2022
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