Cultivating the Knowledge Economy in New Zealand
This qualitative research was designed to define knowledge-based organisations including any perceived skill shortages they may face and any specific attributes that they look for in people when recruiting overseas.
In addition, the research also examined the respondents’ perceptions and experiences of immigration policy and service in facilitating the filling of skill shortages. The research consisted of a combination of face-to-face and telephone interviews with 21 key informants in a range of knowledge-based organisations.
Knowledge-based industries were defined by participants as those that utilise skills and experience to add value and innovation. The most commonly used examples were Information Technology, Science, and Research and Development, although a wide range of industries were perceived as being knowledge-based. All the organisations that participated in the research reported skill shortages created by a scarcity of people with specialist skills and experience. Reasons participants stated for the skill shortages included New Zealand not being competitive internationally on remuneration, New Zealand’s small population size limiting the availability of knowledge workers, and a lack of graduates in appropriate fields.
The primary benefit to recruiting from overseas identified was access to greater numbers of people with the skills and experience that the organisations required. The main attributes that organisations looked for when recruiting from overseas included: specialist skills that are not available in New Zealand; fluency with English; and the ability to fit into the company culture.
Some of the barriers that were identified to recruiting from overseas included poor cultural-fit, risk of the immigrant not staying, risk of partner dissatisfaction and the inability to interview the candidate on a face-to-face basis. Employers wanted to reduce some of the risks by increasing the likelihood of retention. They suggested strategies for retaining staff such as bond agreements, assistance in settling migrants into New Zealand and/or ensuring that partners can obtain a work permit.
Author: Colmar Brunton
All publications in subject category: Immigration - Economic (including labour market)
- Economic Impacts of Immigration: Scenarios using a Computable General Equilibrium Model of the New Zealand Economy
- Fiscal impacts of immigration 2005/06
- Fiscal Impacts of Migrants to New Zealand
- Housing Markets and Migration: Evidence from New Zealand
- Immigrant Selection and the Returns to Human Capital in New Zealand and Australia
- Immigrants in the New Zealand Labour Market: a Cohort Analysis using 1981, 1986 and 1996 Census Data
- International Trade Negotiations and the Trans-Border Movement of People: A Review of the Literature
- Labour Market Integration of Recent Migrants in New Zealand
- Labour Market Outcomes for Immigrants and the New Zealand-born 1997-2009
- Literature Review on the Economic Impact of Immigration
- New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005–2010: Synthesis and research agenda
- Productivity and Local Workforce Composition
- Skilled migrants in New Zealand: a study of settlement outcomes
- Skilled Migrants in New Zealand: Employers’ Perspectives
- The Economic Impact of Immigration on Housing in New Zealand 1991–2016
- The Impact of Immigration and Local Workforce Characteristics on Innovation
- The Impact of Immigration on the Labour Market Outcomes of New Zealanders
- The Integration of Highly Skilled Migrants into the Labour Market: Implications for New Zealand Business
- The Labour Market Adjustment of Immigrants in New Zealand