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New Zealand Recruiting & Hiring

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When you decide to expand to New Zealand, the team behind you is what will help you succeed. Therefore, you’ll need to recruit and hire talented, dedicated staff while staying within all of New Zealand’s employment compliance laws.

Globalization Partners can help. As a global PEO, we’ll hire top candidates through our New Zealand subsidiary and assign them to work for your team. Instead of setting up a subsidiary and waiting months before you can hire employees, we’ll act as your Employer of Record and onboard your workers in a few days.

Recruiting in New Zealand

If you’re in charge of staffing and recruiting for your business in New Zealand, one of your challenges will be understanding the country’s culture. Kiwi culture is different from that of other countries, and you need to understand these nuances to hire the right employees and run a successful company. Four details to understand about New Zealand’s business culture follow.

1. Status Doesn’t Matter

New Zealanders are independent and used to small working environments with fewer organizational layers. As a result, status doesn’t matter as much, and there isn’t a strict working hierarchy. The workers you hire will be close to you while you make decisions, so make sure you’re hiring individuals with the initiative to improve your company.

2. Casual Atmospheres Are Expected

While you might have a formal interview when you first meet a candidate, almost all of your interactions will be informal. Superiors, colleagues, and clients typically go by their first names. Casual management styles and dress codes are also common, with workplaces typically touting a family atmosphere. Make sure you relay this friendliness and warmth to potential employees.

3. You Don’t Need to Be Afraid of the Accent

New Zealanders often speak fast and use informal language. Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down or explain anything you don’t understand.

4. Food and Drinks in the Workplace

In New Zealand, it’s common to share a morning or afternoon tea to celebrate a birthday or special event at work. You may want to offer these provisions when you interview a job candidate or bring them in to experience the office culture.

The Recruitment Process in New Zealand

Recruiting in New Zealand requires knowledge of the different places where you can advertise your open positions. Some of the most common options include:

  • Referrals
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Internships
  • Industry websites and social media
  • Newspapers
  • Radio or local television channels
  • Local community groups or universities

Discrimination Laws

New Zealand has very strict discrimination laws, which means an existing or recruiting employer cannot ask any questions or make any decisions based on prohibited grounds that do not relate to someone’s ability to perform a job. Off-limit factors include age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and political beliefs.

The Human Rights Act 1993 applies to all aspects of employment, including job advertisements, applications, interviews, and job offers. If one of your employees feels as if they have been discriminated against during the recruitment process, they can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Review Tribunal. This situation could lead to fines and delays on your part.

One of the best ways to eliminate bias while staffing your New Zealand business is by blind reviewing CVs — remove applicant names and get an independent view of qualifications. You won’t consider any stereotypes this way, so you can focus on what truly matters to your company, including experience and skills related to the position.

Making an Offer

When you’re ready to offer a job to a candidate, you must first make sure they can legally work in the country. Small businesses with 19 employees or less can use trial periods for up to 90 days, but make sure you explain this period if you use one. Give the candidate information about any unions or collective agreements as well.

Take some time to talk about the role and its specific conditions, such as hours, location, salary, benefits, and holidays. An employee’s acceptance can happen through a verbal agreement or a written employment agreement.

How to Hire Employees in New Zealand

The best way to hire New Zealand employees is by starting with a written employment contract. Although it can be oral, drafting a written agreement that includes compensation, benefits, and termination terms is the best way to avoid litigation. Make sure the employment contract and offer letter include all compensation amounts in New Zealand Dollars (NZD).

Trial periods are common in New Zealand, and many employers choose to hire employees under a 90-day trial. Any trial period should be agreed on in writing before the employee’s first day and included in the employment contract.

New Zealand Employment Compliance

Following New Zealand’s employment compliance laws starts before you even hire employees. The country has strict discrimination and harassment laws that impact recruitment and hiring. You cannot discriminate against someone because of their gender, family status, color, race, political opinion, age, disability, and more.

Once your employee starts working for you, they are limited to a 40-hour work week. The country has no statutory working hour rules, but most businesses operate between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. with a half hour lunch.

How to Onboard Employees

Employers can benefit from putting certain practices in place during the onboarding process. First, start by identifying the company culture you want to establish. The New Zealand employees you hire can play a huge role in whether that culture will succeed.

You’ll also need to discuss any training or learning opportunities necessary for your new employees to excel in their positions. Put these plans in place before your employees’ first day and go over them during their first week. You can also discuss:

  • The employment contract
  • An office code of conduct
  • Any advancement opportunities
  • The job description
  • Any additional benefits

Benefits of New Zealand Hiring Outsourcing

Figuring out how to hire employees in New Zealand is complicated enough without also worrying about compliance. Instead, New Zealand hiring outsourcing services from Globalization Partners takes the hassle out of hiring employees for your subsidiary. We’ll hire top talent while you manage them through your company without the hassle. Then we’ll put them on our payroll and take on all the liability of New Zealand employment compliance, so you can focus on expanding your company.

Choose Globalization Partners

When you decide to open expand to New Zealand, make Globalization Partners a part of your team. Contact us today to learn more about the services included in our comprehensive solution.

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