Despite the unemployment rate increasing gradually, some recruitment experts are saying that the employment market is picking up. Whether it will be easier for junior employees to get a job is still up in the air. It is an indisputable fact that New Zealand employers are always interested in hiring experienced people and this fact has a number of reasons attached to it.

First of all, over 90% of New Zealand businesses belong to the category of Small to Medium sized business. This means many businesses cannot afford to employ someone who is not trained. An argument from a different point of view is that how could people become experienced if they don’t get trained in the first place. This is so true! However, this cannot be avoided in New Zealand due to the nature of its business world.

So what can we do as a graduate? As people are probably aware, there are many NZ citizens who are interested in going overseas after they have completed their studies. OE is usually a hot topic among local graduate students. What people are probably not aware is the reason for local graduates in doing this. The reason is that it is harder to find jobs in New Zealand as there are limited opportunities available in the job market to offer them. So what’s left behind in the NZ labour market? Us! – Graduate International Students.

Secondly, most small business managers would like to think HR is really a waste of time and money. Of course, HR has many different aspects added to it; such as Training and Development, Recruitment, Performance Management etc. It is unrealistic to expect small-medium sized businesses to have a HR function and this is why most Hiring Managers (Business Operators) are interviewing and hiring instead of HR professionals.

What’s missing is their lack of understating in implementing HR process such as the recruitment process and training & development. The fact is that these people are always asking recruiters to find experienced employees for them. These employers are not willing to train graduate students which then left many of them wondering. In summary, they have obviously contributed a lot to the reality of the NZ labour market.

Finally, junior employees do not seem to stay long enough to keep employers motivated to train another graduate student. Graduates – be they NZ citizens or overseas graduates – never stay long enough in their first job.

Perhaps they aren’t happy about their pay or they find the small company too unattractive in terms of an offering for better career advancement. Employers who have had these types of experiences before would always be careful in recruiting another newly graduated student. They would rather offer a higher salary package to an experienced staff rather than spending plenty of time training someone and having them to leave the company straight away after they have been trained.

Kiwi graduates can fly overseas to gain overseas experience, what can you do when finding a job in New Zealand is the only way out? Many people are frustrated because they have made the decision to come all the way to New Zealand to study and to obtain residence afterward. Now they have completed their degrees but they can’t find a job. Can’t find a job means that for most of us it is difficult to apply for residence under skilled Migration Policy.

Yes, we are going through a tough recession; this means it is even more challenging to get a job. Not only because Immigration NZ has tightened its policy – as there are less NZ citizens going overseas the competition in the labour market is even worse than before. Therefore, equipping yourself to become outstanding from the rest is the essential key to get a job successfully.

Is there a shortcut to success? The answer is no! As a Career/Education Consultant the best solution I can suggest to you is to encourage you to advance yourself, enhance your technical skills and prove to your employers that you will not let them down. In order to gain experience, I suggest graduate student to do some voluntary work for potential employers.

In this way, you can become experienced and if you are lucky you may have an offer on the table. Of course, you will need to understand whether your job search techniques are up to the standard of what employers are looking for. If you are unsure, you may contact a Career Advisor/Consultant for more information.

Wanni Mo is a Member of Recruitment Consulting Services Association