The Brain Drain – how immigration can save IT recruitment

magnet depicting brain drain

The Brain Drain is a phenomenon being talked about a lot in business circles. It refers to the tendency for highly skilled and educated individuals to emigrate to more developed, or wealthy, countries. The Brain Drain is also referred to as “High Skill Migration”.

What is the ‘Brain Drain’ / ‘High Skill Migration’?

Professor David Hart defines High Skill Migration as the “migration of persons with increased levels of skill and education who, if they stayed could contribute significantly to the development of the country”.

In a study of foreign-born entrepreneurs in the U.S. high-technology industry, about 16% of the country’s high-tech firms count at least one foreign-born entrepreneur in their founding team.

Has the Brain Drain affected New Zealand?

Historically in New Zealand, we have been affected by the Brain Drain. As many of our young, educated people leave for greener pastures (and higher pay/ more opportunities) the talent pool shrinks. This is further impacted, by individuals who feel that they have reached as far as they can in their career progression in New Zealand and have left to seek out further career success.

Our pre-COVID brain gain, coupled with two years of COVID restricted international travel and financial lack of surety has created a false labour market. Many highly skilled individuals have remained in New Zealand longer than they otherwise would have. Many highly experienced ex-pats have also returned to New Zealand as the safety and security of home beckoned.

The New Zealand government reported a “better than expected” performance of the economy during COVID, which many businesses experienced. As a result, business confidence was high and salaries increased rapidly in 2021, but this is not sustainable and not likely to continue. Many staff will become redundant as businesses head into harder times. High salaries create high expectations within individuals as to what they are worth and, failing to find comparable pay, they may choose to leave for better opportunities.

Will the Brain Drain return to New Zealand shores?

With the rest of the world opening up and the true cost of the measures put in place to protect New Zealand from the pandemic coming to light, many people are planning to leave New Zealand. This will exasperate the talent vacuum and heighten competition for talent at a time when businesses can least afford it. Deloitte reports that the pandemic has had similar effects around the world, which will inevitably result in even more fierce competition for the best people. International recruiters are already approaching the top New Zealand talent, exasperating our brain drain.

What is the solution?

The most likely solution for this is immigration, which will organically start up again as the borders continue to open. As a country, we are well behind the rest of the world and we will not be able to compete in the mainstream market. The ‘reboot’ of immigration will likely be too slow and produce too few candidates to revive the majority of New Zealand businesses, but there is hope. The AEWV is coming, and this opens up a highly trained and motivated pool of candidates that are ready and waiting to come to New Zealand.

The question remains, how do you find these people?

How do you conduct reference checks in a country where you don’t speak the language?

How do you know the quality of overseas qualifications?

And how do you actually get those people into New Zealand and settle them into your business and your team?

This is where 40 Foot comes in.

We provide the inside information with overseas recruitment.

We know what the best qualifications are, we speak the language and we do the reference checks.

Let us take care of the whole process and work you through the application, potentially landing you a highly skilled individual in the country in October 2022.

We are unique in our experience with Global to Local recruitment. We scour the globe to find the right person, vet them thoroughly and ensure they are the right fit for your company. The individual can then start work for you as a remote contractor straight away.

We take care of payroll and bring in their immigration specialists to make sure the migrant’s new life in Aotearoa gets off to the easiest possible start once the borders open up again.

Everyone wins!

With our dedicated team of IT specialists across the globe, we can provide the perfect fit for your company. Whether it’s a single, highly-skilled worker on a permanent basis, or an entire team to employ temporarily, we have hardworking, trustworthy people at hand to start work for you now.

We source quality candidates so you don’t have to, we have a dedicated, New Zealand-based team to help them settle into your business and ongoing support to ensure they thrive.

Demand for this service will be high and competition for these people will be fierce. Make sure you are first in line and get in touch with 40 Foot today.

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