Imagine your business needs to recruit or onboard senior expat talent. The CEO wants this person yesterday. But there’s a shortage of global talent. What’s going to attract them to New Zealand? And hold them here?
Our reputation for ingenuity and integrity are drawcards according to research by brand experts, New Zealand Story. Top international talent often accepts lower salaries in return for innovative roles in a great business environment. And it’s a given that expat executives expect logistical support with shipping from companies like Crown Relocations or Allied Pickfords.
But New Zealand also has a super-power core value – kaitiaki – how we care for people. The sense of guardianship over their people that wins awards for companies like Air NZ and Mainfreight. Overseas HR gurus tell us about ‘moments that matter’ - doing the right thing in times of intense stress for employees gives you outsize returns on employee engagement. That’s something we do naturally here in New Zealand.
So how can New Zealand businesses wrap international executives into the kaitiaki experience?
Expats might not always share this with their employers, but moving countries unavoidably stressful. The Holmes and Rabe Stress Scale scores relocating internationally at 293. And 300 puts you at high risk of serious illness! All the basic components of wellbeing - from structure, to belonging, to relationships - are fractured during an international relocation.
When businesses acknowledge this, and step up to alleviate the impact, it is noticed and appreciated. Because talent wants to perform at the highest level. And senior executives want to minimise any factors that undermine their performance.
This is why expert and tailored support for expats and their families underpins all successful international relocations. Understanding what matters most to these newcomers is the key. Our expat CEO, Managing Director and General Manager clients tell us these are their priorities:
Kiwis know that New Zealand is a fantastic place to bring up kids.
But put yourself in the shoes of someone parachuting in from offshore.
Extended family is far away. And the traditional infrastructure which supports expat families in many parts of the world doesn’t exist here. There are no true international schools or national clubs and renting is not the dominant feature of our housing culture. Kids need to change education systems and maybe even learn a new language. And fur children don’t have it easy either! Grappling with New Zealand’s strict quarantine requirements causes considerable stress for pet owners.
Each family faces its own particular challenges. It’s a matter of delivering a tailored onboarding programme that enables them to settle here on their own terms. Committed to making the most of what New Zealand has to offer.
The truth about life in New Zealand.
Going beyond surface impressions is important. Expats demand specific and expert knowledge about everything from integrating kids into the local school system to career options for their spouse. It’s part of evaluating the job offer. The opportunity is not just the role. What it means to move to NZ for their family and lifestyle is a key part of the decision.
Someone they can trust.
Vulnerability comes with the expat experience. The feeling of ‘not knowing’ is a constant companion when setting up in a new place. And who can you rely on for help when you have no established relationships?
It makes a big difference having an independent expert advisor on your team for the long haul. Not just delivering a service and exiting. But committed to finding you the perfect home, making social connections and getting you established.
Showing hospitality and caring about others is the way Kiwis treat each other. Wouldn’t it be great if we could work together to bring that welcome to international talent joining your business?
Bridget is Principal at Mobile Ltd. To grow your business's expat and migrant attraction, retention and productivity rates contact us at email@example.com.