Poll reveals majority of New Zealand job seekers would move abroad

by Ray Clancy on September 8, 2015

People in New Zealand have a global viewpoint when it comes to careers with the vast majority looking for a new job willing to consider moving overseas to work.

Despite strong domestic employment opportunities some 88% of current job seekers said they would be open to becoming expats.

new-zealandSome 74% would move abroad for a better job, 14% for a better lifestyle and just 12% would never consider moving from New Zealand, according to the poll by recruiting experts Hays.

“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 fuelling a resilient and active recruitment market.”

He also pointed out that New Zealand should be concerned about the poll result.

“With vacancy activity positive and hiring intentions strong, the shortage of high skill candidates is becoming more acute, so we cannot afford to lose our skilled talent to overseas markets many of which are not performing as strongly as our own economy,” said Walker. “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 mindset can aid their long-term career development and advancement.”

Hays has also looked at what factors would attract expats back to New Zealand. Its New Zealand Returners Report, polled people studying or working overseas but thinking about coming back to New Zealand for their next career step.

Some 77% said that they miss the culture and lifestyle they left behind in New Zealand and a further 66% said a desire to be near family was a major factor that would make them move back.

“Culture and family ties are strong factors in motivating talent to come back home, far more than any ambition to achieve certain career goals,” the report pointed out.

Only 4% said that they would move back to new Zealand because of more job opportunities than where they currently were abroad and only 7% because they thought their career path would be faster in New Zealand.

“Returners seem to have less faith in the career opportunities and progression available back home and do not consider these to be motivating factors,” the report added.

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