Having been away from NZ for a minimum of two years and often over 7 (this is how long it takes to get a British passport), these returning Kiwis have learnt to be the new kid on the block. They have heard all the sheep jokes, had their accent (badly) copied every time they say fish (‘fush’). They have restarted their careers often for a lower salary or in a role they are more than capable of doing, because they have had to compete with their new local market. They have demonstrated they are willing to put themselves outside their comfort zone, be flexible, learn quickly and adapt to a new culture. Having done all of this and often multiple times for those who have worked in more than one country, now they want to come home. Trust me, they can fit into your organisation – we are New Zealanders after all, and these are some of our best traits. We love our country, have been patriotic and passionate about supporting anything home-grown while away and now we are home we want to add value in helping our Kiwi brands and business grow.
- Many returners come home out of choice for lifestyle and family reasons, so have a vested interest in staying. If they came home after their 2 year Working holiday Visa expired, then they have done their OE and are more likely to be ready to settle down and commit to a role and employer.
- They have often had exposure to organisations that work on a larger or global scale, so have garnered a range of experience and insight to potentially share with a new employer or team.
- In the UK in particular, returners often become specialists in their field or industry and have in depth knowledge of their subject matter. In a larger marketplace a niche skill set sets you apart from the crowd and companies generally have specific role functions.
- Taking a risk by moving to a new country requires a person to possess attributes of adaptability, flexibility, resilience, and desire to work hard to prove themselves as many have to start at a lower level to compete with the local market
- Having experienced and developed a different view on the world brings fresh ideas and approaches and when combined with working in diverse organisations strong communication skills have evolved to speak to a broader audience or team.
- The talent across our London and Auckland teams have often had experience in the London market place which is a financial services and technology hub with ex-patriates from the US/Europe/Asia and Australasia all working together in some of the globe’s most innovative, fastest-growing companies and markets. This is all valuable experience New Zealand employers can benefit from to compete on a national and global platform.
- Many Kiwi’s initially return to regional areas be near and spend time with family but are often under the impression that they will have to move to Auckland to find the best work opportunities. There is a real opportunity for regional employers to tap into the talent who would like to stay local and maximise on ‘out of Auckland’ property prices and lifestyle opportunities.
Samantha Webster is a proud Kiwi, a London returner, and a Recruitment Professional with experience across both of these markets over the last 30 years. She is passionate about supporting and connecting talent to the best job opportunities in the New Zealand and UK markets.
After establishing Australasian Recruitment Company to provide exciting opportunities for New Zealanders and Australians arriving in London in 2003, which now has long-standing relationships with clients such as Google, Facebook, Imperial College, Mace Construction, Net-A-Porter, Deliveroo and Science Museum to name a few, she returned to Auckland and set up HOME Recruitment with another London returner, Minta Smith, in May 2018. HOME’s mission is to help returning New Zealanders make a smooth career transition and connect them with employers that recognise the value of their overseas work experience.
HOME Recruitment has spoken with over 800 people recently who are looking to return or have come home, and this number is set to increase over the coming months. Fortunately NZ employers are starting to recognise the opportunity this presents . This pandemic will be one of the biggest opportunities for New Zealand employers to hire some of the best talent coming back to New Zealand..
Join the Kea community, NZ’s online home for returning Kiwis.
We’re here to support returning Kiwis. Here’s our list of resources to help you plan your return and next steps.
Looking for a new role in New Zealand? Visit the Kea job portal and find your next career opportunity.