Recruiter sets up connection to Britain

TESS MCCLURE
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2013

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A Canterbury recruitment company, New Zealand Skills in Demand, says it's a recruitment company with a difference.

It specialises in placing skilled immigrants from the United Kingdom, and Ireland, with a particular focus on trades and construction.

While the business is only a year old, it has already been recognised as a finalist in the 2013 Champion Canterbury business awards, and accounts manager Glenn Davis says growth has been rapid.

Davis says the bulk of the Canterbury born-and-bred team are based in Britain to seek out and work with potential clients.

"The point of difference is that our guys are based in the UK, so they're working in real time, in the UK and Irish market, really get to know the market, really get to know the candidates and the business opportunities there," he said.

For recruitment agencies based in New Zealand, often the only option is to fly staff overseas to attend trade fairs, but NZ Skills In Demand (NZSID) aims to cut out this step for them by working on behalf of recruitment agencies and individual company clients in New Zealand.

"We know a lot of companies fly out to the UK to do their own recruitment. So what we try to tap into is, instead of you spending thousands and thousands flying staff up there, working flat out for two weeks gathering CVs and then coming back to New Zealand to try and process them, we have our guys there the whole time."

Beginning the business was simply a matter of "identifying a need".

"In 2015 and beyond, it's a given that New Zealand, especially Christchurch, will become more reliant on overseas skilled workers," he said.

"The five to ten-year requirements for Christchurch and New Zealand are going to be a mess. There aren't going to be the tradies . . . to support the rebuild."

In the coming year, the company expects to place up to 35 skilled migrant workers a month, increasing this to 50 in 2015.

While the majority of current corporate clients are based in Christchurch, the company plans to expand through the national market over the next year.

Tradestaff general manager Janice McNab said the recruitment agency was becoming increasingly dependent on migrant workers to fill skilled positions in the Christchurch rebuild, and their connection with NZSID had been beneficial so far.

"The Christchurch connection has certainly been really valuable in terms of having Christchurch locals on the ground," McNab said.

"For us that local flavour has been hugely influential."

If not for NZSID, Tradestaff would be flying their own staff over to the UK for recruitment, or using overseas recruitment agents.

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"They're locals, but they're in that market and working there daily - that creates a big advantage over going over cold."

- BusinessDay

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