Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Employers warned to retain good hiring practices

Media release                                                                                                 

24 November 2009


Employers warned not to abandon good hiring practices

A recruitment specialist is warning employers not to abandon good hiring practices, just because of the pressures of the recession.

Megan Alexander, general manager of finance and accounting specialist Robert Half New Zealand, says more employers are cutting corners, or treating candidates with less respect because they are under pressure or believe they can get away with it.

While they might get away with it in the short term, they will count the costs once the economy rebounds, she says.

"One of the particularly worrying trends I am seeing is employers deciding to hire contract workers based purely on their CVs," Ms Alexander says. "They are asking consultants to send them three or four CVs and then hiring based on what they read, rather than listening to consultants' opinions about who will be the best fit for their organisation and their projects.

"This suggests that, under pressure, they are ignoring what they already know - that CVs are just one part of the picture and don't tell the whole story."

For example, CVs are not particularly good at revealing a candidate's soft skills, or ability to relate to the team they work with, says Ms Alexander.

"One recent hiring manager who was recruiting for a specialist role decided to interview on the basis of candidates' CVs," Ms Alexander says. "Those interviews revealed that although the candidates had strong technical skills on paper, in reality some didn't measure up in person and they were missing the strong interpersonal skills the employer was also looking for."

As a result, Robert Half proposed a candidate whose CV did not show the technical skills on paper but had the right experience and very strong interpersonal skills. That candidate got the job.

Just two years ago, employers were clear about the pitfalls of relying too strongly on CVs, says Ms Alexander. In the 2007 Robert Half Workplace Survey most New Zealand employers said they treated CVs with a degree of caution. At that time, 74% of New Zealand employers said job candidates were most likely to exaggerate the real content of their former jobs and 56% also thought candidates were very likely to exaggerate both their technical skills and managerial skills.

Employers should still apply that caution today and not try to cut corners, she says.

"Many people embellish their CVs and, conversely, many good contract workers have difficulty explaining the full extent of their experience in their CVs, so employers who judge purely on this basis are likely to miss out on the best person for their job.

"That can't be good for their business," says Ms Alexander.

"However, experienced recruitment consultants know these contract workers well, and know what they are capable of. Employers who want the most effective work and the most value for money should be listening to what recruitment consultants say about the candidates."

Another worrying trend is employers who, thinking the market is awash with good candidates and they had have time on their side, take weeks to make a decision and don't communicate with the candidates.

Even in a slow employment market, good candidates often have choices, Ms Alexander says. If they are kept waiting too long they will decide they simply don't want to work with prospective employers who treat them disrespectfully.

And those candidates who, because of financial pressure, take these assignments will remember how they have been treated and avoid those employers once the job market picks up again.

"By treating candidates badly now, you almost guarantee that the very good candidates will not be interested in working with you once they have more choice,' says Ms Alexander. "In the long run, that will limit your ability to attract top talent."

Ms Alexander says these mistakes are often being made by people who have only just taken on hiring responsibility, as a result of middle management being made redundant over the past year.

"It's extremely important that people who are new to hiring seek advice and guidance," she says. "New Zealand is a small employment market, and poor hiring practices and bad decisions will have repercussions for your organisation for years to come."


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Snail's Pace: Aucklanders Face Frustrating Commute Over Harbour Bridge

Journeys into Auckland's CBD took longer than usual as traffic banked up around the damaged Harbour Bridge. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>


SAFE: Live Export Ship Carrying 5,800 New Zealand Cows Goes Missing In East China Sea

Livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal at 4:45am NZT yesterday in the East China Sea. The area is affected by Typhoon Maysak. At 4pm a patrol plane spotted a lifeboat - with no people in it - and a man in lifejacket nearby. The ship ... More>>


FMA: Kiwisaver Fees Don't Match Performance

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today published an independent report into the passive and active investment management styles [i] used by KiwiSaver providers. The FMA commissioned MyFiduciary to test the extent that KiwiSaver providers were ... More>>