Trans-Tasman travel bubble ‘shakes up’ recruitment between Australia and New Zealand

HRDs say Trans-Tasman bubble has changed the game

Trans-Tasman travel bubble ‘shakes up’ recruitment between Australia and New Zealand

Last month, the Trans-Tasman travel bubble finally opened more than a year after the pandemic began, allowing people to reconnect with loved ones across the ditch. We saw emotional airport reunions and celebrations from businesses with colleagues on either side of the Tasman.

But the travel corridor had also had a significant impact in the HR world. As well as sparking questions around the need for travel policies and the risk of employees becoming stranded, quarantine-free flights have given businesses and recruiters the opportunity to look for talent abroad.

Speaking to HRD, Jason Baden, regional vice president at tech company F5 said recruitment fundamentally changed in the wake of global shutdowns.

“With restrictions lifting between Australia and New Zealand, recruiters now have the opportunity to combine successful recruitment techniques of the past with those we have developed over the last year to attract even more talent,” he said. “Moving forward, I think we’ll see recruiters take advantage of both in person and remote methods to continue sourcing the best talent for a business.”

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With Australia in the grip of a skills shortage, the opening of the bubble comes at a critical time. The dramatic drop in migration numbers has left some businesses struggling to find the talent needed to expand, especially for roles in cybersecurity and tech development.

Nicola Young, head of people for ANZ at Cognizant, said the local tech industries in both Australia and New Zealand have become extremely competitive talent markets.

“The opening of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble presents a new opportunity to bring more talent onshore to work in Australia and even leverage offshore talent with greater ease,” she told HRD. “My team at Cognizant is particularly excited to work more closely with our New Zealand counterparts to leverage the cross-border talent opportunity.”

But as well as recruitment, quarantine-free travel also brings benefits for companies looking to foster a connected workplace culture. Many organisations operate across both the Australian and New Zealand markets and after a year of remote calls, plenty of people are craving face-to-face interaction.

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The opportunity to bring colleagues together on work trips or collaboration projects will be a welcome relief for those who might be feeling fatigued by round-the-clock Zoom calls.

“We're really looking forward to doing what we can to make our people feel closer to our leadership and our business, and certainly borders opening will help with that,” Young said.

Christine Hartley, APAC senior manager, human resources at Commvault agreed.

“With restrictions lifting, we welcome back those unplanned moments of collaboration, face-to-face connection and personal engagements, to enable great employee experiences. These together with our resilience in the past year will make our culture even stronger,” she said.

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