There’s always been a steady flow of senior repatriates relocating back to NZ – people who’ve exited multinationals and international organisations or sold businesses. Successful New Zealand recruiters and businesses who figure out how to align with them will access a highly valuable talent pool.
Demographic trends suggest these people are now less likely to retire in the traditional sense of playing golf and going fishing. Their goals may be quite different.
I recently chatted to three Kiwi repats – each with around 30 years offshore experience. And all recently returned to the country of their birth.
Listening to their stories, it seemed they shared some characteristics of NextGen employees. But with supercharged experience and skills from their years working overseas. Let’s call them International NextGen Plus.
Digital natives (almost)
Years of operating in global roles, and in markets more digitally advanced than New Zealand, leapfrogs many of these repats ahead of their local peers.
Full time work is not the goal for many senior repats. Interesting projects, consultancy or governance roles are what they seek. Effectively they’re joining the gig economy but bringing c-suite level expertise.
Returning to New Zealand was a choice. They hadn’t needed to be lured here with expensive packages. In fact, money is not likely to be major factor in their employment choices. Their motivation now is to share what they’ve learned and make a difference for their homeland.
Work by repatriate author and researcher, Tricia Alach, identifies a number of barriers and opportunities for repatriates to New Zealand. For the International NextGen Plus group there are two additional questions.
How does NextGen Plus access the networks they need to find the type of work that suits them?
Headhunter and recruiters may not have the flexible roles they want, while gig economy online sourcing often orients towards more transactional work.
What stereotypes does NextGen Plus face about their age-group’s digital skills, work preference and even compensation expectations?
Ageism is beginning to be identified as a significant workforce issue, but it may be even more potential-inhibiting for this unique cohort of senior talent.
As the war for global talent intensifies, attracting the top people to a distant low-salary country like New Zealand is not going to get any easier.
International NextGen Plus is already here, willing and ready to work.
Do you want to learn how to elevate the performance of international talent in your business? Get ahead of the competition and join local and overseas experts at the New Zealand International Talent Forum on 19 September. More information and bookings here. Places are limited.
Bridget Romanes is Principal at Mobile Relocation Ltd. Working in partnership with HR and executive teams, Mobile helps bring expat talent to fill key roles in companies and organisations throughout New Zealand.