Most job seekers in New Zealand would move abroad for the right job

by Ray Clancy on August 18, 2015

The majority of job seekers in New Zealand would consider leaving and moving abroad to work despite strong domestic job opportunities in the country, new research has found.

Some 88% would take a job overseas, but they would do so for a wide variety of reasons, according to a new poll by recruitment firm Hays.

movingtonewzealandIMAGESome 74% would consider leaving for better job opportunities, career development or exposure, while 14% would consider leaving for lifestyle factors. Just 12% would not consider leaving New Zealand to work overseas.

“The opportunity to gain highly valued international experience is still the number one factor driving local talent overseas,” said Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand. “That’s despite our strong domestic economy, busy residential housing market and next phase of the Christchurch rebuild which together are fueling a resilient and active recruitment market.

“With vacancy activity positive and hiring intentions strong, the shortage of highly skilled candidates is becoming more acute. But the lure of an overseas adventure, higher wages and a faster career path can be hard to beat, and from a candidate’s perspective gaining international experience and an international mind set can aid their long term career development and advancement,”

Earlier this year Hays released its New Zealand Returners Report, which looks at what would attract skilled Kiwis home. It found that 77% of returners said they had missed the culture and lifestyle, while a further 66% said it was a desire to live closer to their family.

Culture and family ties proved to be strong factors in motivating talent to return, far more than any ambition to achieve certain career goals. Indeed, only 4% said they were motivated by more job opportunities in New Zealand than where they currently are abroad and only 7% because they thought their career path would be faster in New Zealand.

The poll also found that returners seem to have less faith in the career opportunities and progression available back home and do not consider these to be motivating factors. They also wanted to earn more money if they moved with 19% saying they would only return if they could increase their current salary.

However, the majority were more pragmatic as 29% said that they understand their salary would be determined by local market conditions when they return and 32% would at least like to earn the equivalent of their current salary overseas. Some 17% said they would be willing to take a drop in salary to return for a good job, which proves salary is not the only factor for those considering returning.

Some 70% said that apart from salary, an improved work and life balance would motivate them to return to New Zealand, while 65% said it would be for a new challenge and 56% for opportunities for career advancement.

The report concluded that even though career development does not motivate people to return to New Zealand, with just 7% believing that their career path would be faster in New Zealand, once they do return they still want to ensure they work for an organisation that provides opportunities for them to advance.

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