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Talent Shortages Breeding More Creative Offers

By June 30, 20164 Comments

Being a Brit, I’ve naturally found myself dipping into my Guardian newspaper app with increasing regularity this week. With my old country turning its back on Europe after a majority voted for “Brexit” and then the national football team haughtily following suit by slouching off from the Euros tournament, dispatched by the mighty hammer of teeny weeny Iceland, there’s been a lot to read about.

So it was with some surprise that among the reams of reports and commentaries on political and sporting turmoil I came across an article titled “Tiny New Zealand town with ‘too many jobs’ launches drive to recruit outsiders”

Apparently the Clutha town of Kaitangata have decided to get more creative with their offers of employment to outside talent, due to a significant talent shortage for local jobs, by offering home and land packages along with the usual employment rem and benefits. This is very creative, and indeed generous, and is a very obvious play for the talent residing in cities like Auckland where it no longer seems possible for even a double-income family to afford the crazy house prices.

But what a PR coup, to get an article like that wedged in among the stories of terror, disunity and sporting failure, in front of the eyeballs of literally millions of disenfranchised Brits.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that more creativity will need to be injected into offers of employment as we enter a period of extreme talent shortage here in New Zealand. A recent Hays survey reveals that 44% of New Zealand employers expect to increase their permanent staff levels in the coming year.  Hays also commented on the fact that, whilst there is undoubted demand ahead, this hasn’t yet filtered into any substantial salary increases.

This is certainly mirrored in the Recruitment & HR sectors that we specialise in. Whilst not quite as attention-grabbing as Kaitangata’s offer, I’ve noticed some more creativity coming into offers of employment recently. Whether it be sign-on bonuses, extended leave, or share options, there’s plenty of ways an offer can be made more attractive without just bumping up the salary component.

I’d be interested to hear of any other examples you’ve come across out there recently?

It does of course then beg the question of what parts of a more “creative” offer then go towards the calculation of the referral fee. Especially when the add-ons are financial in nature. I disregard the add-ons personally and treat them them as extra ammunition to get the offer accepted, but then I do this for the love of it only… 🙂

Start planning to consult with your clients about how they can make their offers more appealing without necessarily increasing the salary, otherwise you might find your sales whiteboard starting to look a little bit bare in the months ahead.

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Nic Turner says:

    This is where the business/private sector could learn a thing or two from the sports industry, which really knows how to attract and look after the talent it wants. Bundled package elements are a massive part of this.

    Sure, the NRL might have a few skeletons in its closet, but NRL clubs sure know how to entice a supposedly “contracted” player to walk out on their current club mid-season. That is talent attraction right there. We all know that on top of the players’ salaries they are receiving mryiad secondary endorsement deals / real estate / vehicles / career-opportunities-for-partners etc. It might not be “above board” but it happens and it seems to work pretty well. Besides the restrictions that apply in the NRL don’t normally apply in the private sector.

    The best sports agents are also great at including & “influencing the influencers” of those players. As in their wives/partners/family. I wonder how many offers (sports and otherwise) fall over because the offer only talked to that one person they were trying to recruit.

  • Kirsty Hunt says:

    Food for thought Jon! Thanks for the insight. Kirsty