Being competitive isn’t just about developing a great business plan and finding a stable source of funding. To be successful, your business needs a way to put together a team of the best and brightest employees in your industry. Recruiting, training, and retaining great talent is a monumental task, and surprisingly that’s even more of a problem in places where the economy is doing very well.

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Unemployment in NZ an AU is very low

Ironically, a growing economy can actually make it harder to find the talent you need. That’s because most of the people with the skills you need will already be gainfully employed. New Zealand’s unemployment rate is currently under 5%, and Australia’s not far behind with 5.6%, which makes this a very relatable issue for many business owners and HR managers at the bottom of the world.

To ensure that your business gets access to the skilled workers it needs, there are a several great strategies that we can learn from that have already been proven to work in similar circumstances all over the world.

Courting local talent

Some businesses try to deal with a dearth of qualified applicants by moving their entire operation to a major urban centre, sometimes even to another country, but that shouldn’t be necessary for most SMEs. Instead, you can skip to the front of the line when it comes to courting new workers by adopting one of these strategies.


There are a lot of ways to be a competitive employer. While everyone is interested in a bigger paycheque, you can also boost your appeal with quality benefits packages, and by fostering a healthy and positive work environment.

University partnerships

If experience is less of a factor than finding people with the right academic background, it’s a good idea to set up a partnership with a nearby university. By offering internships or concurrent job training programs, you can get access to the most highly motivated potential employees before they even graduate. Since they’ll already be familiar with your business, you’ll be able to make an educated decision on whether to offer them a job well before any competitors even know they exist.

Active recruitment and poaching

If you’re looking for workers with a specific skillset and years of experience, it’s important to actively search for and reach out to potential applicants. That means going on LinkedIn and finding out who’s currently working for your competitors. Just because the workers you need are already employed, doesn’t mean that they’re not looking for a change. After all, over half of Australians reported being dissatisfied with their jobs in 2015. By actively reaching out, you can reach workers who are interested, but simply weren’t on the lookout for an opportunity.

Developing adaptable employees

Sometimes finding the right new employee with the skills you need simply doesn’t work out. When that happens, it might be time to start looking inward. Skills and technologies become obsolete all the time, but talented, dependable, and adaptable employees never go out of style.

When you need to fill a challenging new role, consider retraining someone that’s already on your staff who’s currently in a less important or more replaceable role. That could mean as little as a few weeks of training and coaching, or as much as paying for an employee’s master’s studies.

Making the most of the global marketplace

Many established businesses like to keep doing things the way they’ve always done them, but that can result in some major missed opportunities when it comes to finding the best talent for your business. Rapidly improving technology and developing international money exchange services, like our partner HiFX, make it both feasible and affordable to work with and pay workers in other countries. Programmers, marketers, analysts, accountants, and a huge variety of other types of workers don’t really need to be present at your location to do their jobs.

This is enormously significant, because it means that you’re not really limited to your country or region when it comes to finding the right talent. You can quite easily access labour markets in places that have a much higher unemployment rate, and therefore also a larger pool of available skilled workers.

Your business isn’t limited to posting classified ads and hoping for the right person to come through the door. Taking an active role and being strategic about the talent that you pursue is a great way to ensure that you can get the most out of your workers. By going the extra mile, you can put together your dream team even in circumstances where competitors in your industry struggle to fill their own open positions.