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Hays Recruiting: High youth unemployment and opportunity

22 August, 2011

Hays Recruiting: High youth unemployment and opportunity

New Zealand’s unemployed youth are a vast new labour force that employers should maximise to meet current and future skills shortages, says recruiting experts Hays.

We’ve seen a lot of media focus recently on the limited job opportunities available to New Zealand’s youth, says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

At the same time, skills shortages are a growing threat to businesses. New Zealand’s skills shortage - or a shortage of qualified and experienced trades and professional people - has always been present. It may have been hidden by the recession, but the Christchurch rebuild is forcing employers to again think about where they will source the required skills. Add the movement of baby boomers out of the workforce and into retirement, and there will be a shortage of skilled workers in the coming years.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. New Zealand’s youth are an opportunity employers can maximise. As our experienced workforce is stretched, we need to build the capabilities of our inexperienced candidate pool, who are after all our future leaders.

Employers can do this by recruiting based on potential and training candidates into a role. The extension of the probation period covers against any potential incorrect hire, he added.

In a recent survey of 181 employers conducted by Hays, 33 per cent said the extension of the 90-day probation period to all workers starting a new job has made them more willing to trial and recruit additional staff.

Recruiting based on potential is a sensible strategy since many of the technical skills required for roles, particularly for entry-level roles, can be taught and should not prevent the employment of a candidate who is otherwise the most suitable person for the role, who suits the company, and who can become a highly valued asset with a little technical training, says Jason.

When recruiting in this way, you determine what is essential rather than desirable and look for a candidate ready to rise to the challenge of the learning curve presented to them. Consider their long-term potential and what they could offer in the coming three to five years with training, rather than just the next two years.

Critical to this method of recruiting is identifying candidates with the appropriate cultural fit - in other words, their potential fit with the existing team and their affinity with the company’s values and way it does business.

Communication, initiative and level of ambition along with other soft skills applicable to the role - such as integrity, ability to participate as part of a team, customer service skills or ability to take project responsibility - are all good indicators of how a candidate is likely to succeed in a role and fit in with the business culture.

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

About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

Hays employs 7,086 staff operating from 257 offices in 31 countries across 17 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2010, Hays placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments.


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