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NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

Old Mar 20th 2013, 8:49 pm
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Default NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

A survey was recently conducted by Tony Alexander (Chief Economist BNZ) and Global Career Link and they had some very interesting feedback (see PDF attached). None of this is a surprise to us regular forumites but it makes useful reading to understand the thoughts of NZ employers. The survey divided the employers into 3 groups - those who have not worked outside NZ; those who are migrants themselves; those who are expats.

There is only one piece of advice which all three groups agree on – if you are coming to New Zealand then you need to view yourselves as doing it for family and/or lifestyle reasons. After that commonality there are five suggestions offered by employers with no offshore experience and repats. The first is telling – learn the English language and speak it. Willingness to tolerate poor English on the part of natural Kiwis appears low. They also suggest not just opting for the cities but to go to the regions. But migrant employers do not give such advice and in fact warn about the small size of New Zealand and low cosmopolitanism outside of the main centres.

Expat employers and the stayers warn that migrants and fresh expats will need to work hard and explain to their bosses why they should be hired. They then go on to advise newcomers that maybe their best option is to set up their own business.
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Employer-Survey-March-2013.pdf (48.6 KB, 305 views)
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Old Mar 20th 2013, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

I have worked as a sales rep for three different companies in our time in NZ.

A kiwi run subsidiary of a global company that made specialised printing equip. Company had a terrible attitude to customer service and I hated every minute I worked there. Only escaped when we got PR.

A wine making supplies company in Marlborough, I loved this job and I was really good at it, doubled the companies turn over in a year. Boss got scared of me and made it impossible for me to work there. Bitch.

A vineyard equipment dealership, run by the Exclusive Brethren, I wont describe the levels of weirdness I had to put up with and it was a relief I got made redundant.

Finally I had enough and I started my own business.

Coming from an overseas background is a double edged sword, you bring a lot of things to the table, but Kiwi's can be intimidated by professionalism/different working practices. I am sure my previous employers, have now have a dim view of hiring a migrant. The first company saw me as a trouble maker, the second as a threat and the third as the spawn of the devil.

In the end, I have to agree, you are better off starting your own company.
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Old Mar 20th 2013, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

Thanks for posting - that was really interesting. Good to see three different perspectives.

As a Kiwi-expat who was away for 24 years, I decided that my aim was self employment and I have succeeded in doing that. It's nice to keep all the money to myself and I have a great quality of life. I would suggest that if someone wants to go down this line, spend the first year or two working with kiwis to get a feel for how they operate and communicate. Your aim is to learn how to fit in. I met a Brit expat (not from this forum) who a year in was still saying 'your' when talking about kiwis. Eg. Your dollar and your economy. To fit in you need to say our dollar and our economy. Even these little things like this help.

I saw an IT person on this forum suggest spending the first year or two in a low level job like help desk () while building up your own business.

In my experience both here and in the UK, foreign migrants often have to take a step down in their career, but very quickly, with hard work, they move back up the ladder and actually do very well.
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Old Mar 20th 2013, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

Note that two self employed people are posting at 11am on a Thursday!
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Old Mar 21st 2013, 12:36 am
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Default Re: NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

And here we are again. Its good to be the boss!
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Old Mar 21st 2013, 11:56 am
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Default Re: NZ Employer's Attitude to Migrants and Expats

This is a good read. I all honesty, self employment would be my and my partners goal. It's getting the capital for it that is a bitch. We have the ideas all we would need to do is get a detailed business plan, etc, etc. I just wish they'd done it for non-NZ migrants, etc.

But hey, that is literally about a decade away from now.
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