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Flexibility the key to finding the right candidate

Ticking most of the boxes: Flexibility the key to finding the right candidate

Monday 1 August, 2011

Employers are taking a more flexible approach when hiring candidates to overcome the skills shortage facing New Zealand’s jobs market, says recruiting expert Hays.

In their latest Hays Quarterly Report, for the July-September quarter, the recruiter found that employers are becoming more flexible in their requirements and relaxing their previously stringent criteria when it comes to finding a suitable candidate. This includes reviewing job descriptions in relation to years of experience, offering training and taking on contract employees to assist with immediate needs while they wait to fill the role on a permanent basis.

“Employers are willing to consider candidates that don’t necessary tick all the boxes in their preferred list of requirements as long as they can see potential there,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand. “Employers recognise we are experiencing a skills short market and the ‘perfect’ candidate is becoming harder to obtain.”

“When it was a candidate rich market, employers could be very selective over who they hired. But as we head into a candidate short market, we are advising companies to become more flexible and re-evaluate what they are looking for and who they hire. As long as the candidate has the right cultural fit, there is more flexibility if they need to learn or develop certain skills. In the market, we are seeing some companies willing to hire less experienced candidates who they feel can be trained and get return on investment within 12 months.

“Across most industries we are seeing this trend occurring. For example, employers who are recruiting for a credit control vacancy are now willing to consider candidates who have diverse skill sets as opposed to direct credit control experience.

“We are also seeing a number of companies recruiting candidates with none or limited experience in a certain aspect of their business such as software programs and investing time in training and getting them up to speed. They are also willing to consider overseas candidates with no local experience, as well as those from outside the region, particularly Australia and candidates returning from the UK.

“The impact of the Christchurch earthquakes and ongoing tremors has been felt by accounting and finance firms who are finding it increasingly difficult to attract candidates to the city. To address this issue, employers are now starting to look at candidates from outside the 'firms of CA experience' to overcome the shortage.

“While flexibility is the wider trend in the market, we have noted there are employers in some areas that will not compromise on certain skill sets.”

View the full Hays Quarterly Report at

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


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