The key to success when expanding your business in New Zealand lies in the strength of your supporting team. Therefore, you’ll need to recruit and hire talented, dedicated team members — all while complying with New Zealand’s employment laws.
Recruiting in New Zealand
The first step to an effective recruiting venture in any country is determining which channels to advertise your open positions. Some of the most common practices include:
- Recruitment agencies
- Industry websites and social media
- Radio or local television channels
- Local community groups or universities
Laws against discrimination in New Zealand
New Zealand has very strict anti-discrimination laws; therefore, employers should refrain from asking any questions or make any decisions based on grounds that are unrelated to the candidate’s ability to perform the job. Protected attributes include age, religious beliefs, political beliefs, disability, illness or other impairments, family or relationship status, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or national origin (perceived or actual).
The Human Rights Act 1993 applies to all aspects of employment, including job advertisements, applications, interviews, and job offers. If an employee feels that 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 significant delays.
One of the best ways to eliminate bias while recruiting in New Zealand is blind reviewing CVs — remove applicant names to obtain an independent view of qualifications, experience, and skills.
How to hire employees in New Zealand
Before onboarding new hires, you must first make sure they can legally work in the country. Small businesses with less than 20 employees can enforce trial periods of up to 90 days; however, the employee must agree to the trial period in good faith, and it must be included in their signed, written employment agreement, along with a valid notice period. Additionally, employers must provide candidates with any information about relevant unions or CBAs as well. Take some time to talk about the role and its specific requirements, such as working hours, location, salary, benefits, and holidays.
Hiring New Zealand employees starts with a written employment contract, which must be signed before the employee’s start date. The agreement must outline employment terms, including place of work, responsibilities, work schedule, compensation, benefits, and termination terms. Ensure the employment contract and offer letter include all compensation amounts in New Zealand Dollars (NZD).
New Zealand employment laws
New Zealand has strict anti-discrimination and harassment laws that impact recruitment and hiring. Companies cannot discriminate against anyone based on gender, family status, race, political opinion, age, disability, and more.
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. Overtime is allowed and can be factored into an employee’s salary or paid at their normal rate or higher. Overtime arrangements must be agreed upon by both parties and included in the written agreement of employment.
Onboarding in New Zealand
Employers can enhance their hiring success by putting certain practices in place during the onboarding process. First, start by acquainting new hires with your company culture.
Then, you’ll also need to discuss any training requirements or learning opportunities available to ensure new employees excel in their positions. Employers can also discuss:
- The employment contract
- Company code of conduct (if applicable)
- Job description
- Role expectations
- Additional benefits
Grow globally with G-P.
G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With G-P Meridian Recruit™, you can search for talent anywhere, and find your perfect full-time or contract match with our all-in-one platform.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.