Kiwi recruiters and HR teams know what they love about New Zealand. But what’s the perspective of the expat talent we’re trying to lure here? Understanding this is key to successful international talent attraction and retention.
HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey collects this data. It’s large, comprehensive and independent. And the just-released 2019 Report ranks New Zealand as the 5th most popular expat destination out of 33 countries.
Here’s the good and bad of New Zealand, seen through the eyes of expats:
It’s a great life
Our political stability, quality of life and physical and mental wellbeing are standout positives for expats.
But they seemed to find settling in here challenging, ranking much lower than the other indicators at 14th. Physical isolation and distance from friends are family are likely to be the reason. Other research has found 65% of newcomers to New Zealand struggle with this.
Career, not so much
Disposable income languishes at second to bottom of the table, reflecting our relatively low salaries by international standards and high cost of living, particularly housing and food.
And expats don’t expect to make major gains at work in New Zealand. Career progression sits at 29th.
The payoff is work-life balance, ranked at 2nd, beaten by only Bahrain.
The kids are OK, but their parents worry
By most standards, New Zealand does have a high-quality education system. But for expats who need the flexibility for their children to transfer back into a North American or European curriculum, the international school options are limited, mainly to the private schools.
That explains why the ‘little expats’ ranking for learning and schools dips to 11th and 16th respectively
On the plus side, little Kiwis are a welcoming bunch. Their expat mates found it relatively easy to make friends here and we ranked 8th.
The lessons for New Zealand
It’s clear that expats come to New Zealand for lifestyle not money. So, making sure that lives up to expectations is vital.
Family and spouse issues consistently feature in the research as major determinant of expat assignment success or failure.
HSBC’s findings around settling-in and schooling challenges are key risks – which can be managed through specialist onboarding programmes delivered by resettlement experts.
To fast-track a successful relocation, expats and their families need support to quickly and efficiently find a new home, appropriate schooling, spouse employment and local community connections.
Then they will be ready to enjoy the lifestyle that attracted them to New Zealand. And to deliver their talents and skills at the office.
This article is written by Bridget Romanes, Principal at Mobile Ltd.
For efficient, New Zealand-specific global mobility management and resettlement service delivery contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
  https://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2015/what-expats-struggle-with