We have all heard the stories of employers paying the costs and doing the hard work involved in international recruitment, only to have the worker change to a different employer within months of arriving. It is all too easy for the worker to apply for a variation of conditions to change employers, and you, as the employer, won’t get much in return for the time and effort you put in to get them to NZ.
Here are 5 ways to prevent this from happening:
- Be a good employer
Pay competitive wages so that you team are not lured away by higher pay.
If your helping with accommodation, ensure the place is of a decent standard, warm and dry and not over crowded.
Check to see that team have access to relevant community groups or churches.
Support diversity in the workplace. If you don’t know what this means, check out – https://diversityworksnz.org.nz
Some of the team may not be able to support their partner or children to come to New Zealand so paying for a flight home each year is a good way of showing your appreciation of their circumstances and of their hard work.
- Visa Renewals
Some work visas will need to be renewed yearly. At almost NZ$500 a year, this can be a lot for a migrant worker. Offer to pay for all renewal applications can go along way to rectify this issue. Although, in some cases, the employer is legally obligated to pay for visa fees.
Engage in professional Licensed Immigration Advisers to manage your visa applications. This shows you are their visa applications seriously and takes some of the workload of your staff.
- Support Residency
For a lot of migrants, gaining New Zealand residency is the end game. For some, they may require a certain position within the business or possibly a rise in pay. Be open to these requests and negotiates ways of making it happen. They may require training or further qualifications to be able to gain the position or pay increase. I am not advocating for employers to create a position out of thin air just for a migrant worker to apply for residency, as this can be seen as non-genuine. However, I am advocating that you are open and honest about their chances of gaining the position or pay they need right from the beginning.
Also, a part of their residency application, Immigration NZ may be in contact with you to verify the claims made in the visa application. Ensure that you respond to these questions professionally and in a timely manner. A lot of a residency application can be dependent on the employer, so it is important that you act in a way that does not jeopardise the application.
Become an accredited employer. This can be a great way of attracting and retain migrant workers as it provides a much easier pathway to gain NZ residency through the Work to Residence visa.
This pathway has no English requirements which can be an issue for migrants, especially one who have dyslexia, in other types of residence applications.
It is not reliant on gaining a certain number of points which cause issues when workers need to leave positions, especially from Auckland, to find further points for their application.
It also gives a way of the workers to support their partner or children to be with them in NZ as in cases where they may hold lower skilled Essential Skills work visas they may not be able to support family.
Having good, clear and regular communication is a vital part of employing migrants. Conduct regular one-on-one meetings with your team to keep on top of potential issues in the workplace. NZ workplace culture can be tough on migrants sometimes and they need to have a place where they are safe to discuss their issues. It’s also a good way to identify training needs, especially if a residency application is likely to be lodged.
Having a migrant workforce is a great way of supplementing your team. It brings international skills and experience to your business which increases capability. However, it also brings added responsibility such as ensuring that your business is meeting its legal obligations as well as having an environment in the workplace that is positive and supportive of different cultures.
Need to outsource your immigration? Contact Cameron today.