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Thread: NZ recruitment processes - is it really like this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default NZ recruitment processes - is it really like this?

    Both my husband and I are finding the recruitment processes in NZ really frustrating, and I don't know if our experiences are normal and therefore we just need to chill out, or whether the people dealing with us are incompetant/rude/useless etc

    I had a telephone interview two and a half weeks ago for a role in the Ministry of Health. It had taken them a month to shortlist and when they invited me to interview it was with about 4 days notice. I haven't heard anything from them since. I emailed the administrator who I have contact details for on Monday but have not even had an acknowledgement of my email from her. Is it just me or is that not just rude. I always try to reply to emails within 2 days, and particularly if it's something like this. She could have simply said she would look into it and get back to me and I'd have been happy. I'm assuming I haven't got the job because seriously, who takes that long to decide, especially as, at the interview, I was told I would hear from them again within 3 days, however it would be nice if someone bothered to tell me.

    I have had another telephone interview with Internal Affairs a couple of days later about a different job, they got back to me quickly, said they were progressing me to the next stage and could I do online aptitude and psychometric testing, which I did for the deadline of last Friday. I also haven't heard from them but they haven't had that much time so I'm not annoyed at them yet! But in this process everyone contacted me promptly and replied to my questions - for example I had trouble accessing one of the practice test and emailed the company administering it, they phoned me at home in the UK within 20 minutes and talked me through how to gain access. This seems like normal, efficient service to me.

    My husband submitted some job applications over the weekend including one via an agency. The agency emailed him and said they were really interested and had other things they'd like to speak to him about and they would call him 9am the following day (10pm UK time). Fine. Two days later and they still haven't called. He sat up waiting for them to call and eventually, an hour and a half after the time went to bed. The following morning he emailed them to follow up and try to arrange another time to speak to them - not even an acknowledgement of his email or of the fact they didn't call when they said they would. It's such bad service. He is interested in the jobs with the agency and would like to apply for them but what else can he do other than emailing them again, which is a bit like nagging.

    Is his experience and my experience with the MOH normal for NZ, because in the UK that would be considered really rude and bordering on incompetant. If it's normal then we'll suck it up and adapt but it seems pretty inefficient.

    I know it's easier when you are there, which is fine, but I don't think it's because we're not there. In both cases they were all completely used to doing phone interviews and recruiting from overseas, me because it the civil service and him because it's a fairly senior level and they're the main agency used by the government.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    NZ
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    I started a thread not too long ago on what I perceived as the inordinately lengthy pace of recruitment in NZ -- and I'm already in NZ (it took quite a while to secure my initial offer from overseas, but I thought nothing of it at the time, as that seems to be the norm).

    Many posters replied with experiences that belied my own, so I'd venture to guess that the following factors seem to affect the speed (and integrity) of the process:

    a. How quickly the employer really needs to fill the role (obviously).
    b. What level you'll be starting work, and what salary you're seeking (applicants willing to take a salary a bit below what others would expect seem to get offers more quickly).
    c. How much of the process is controlled by HR specialists, as opposed to operating managers (the latter seem much more likely to understand the skills that an individual applicant brings, as opposed to simply ticking off boxes spelled out in a position description). There's nothing you, as a candidate, can do about that, unfortunately.
    d. Whether or not someone has already been preselected for the position. More than once I've seen a whole round of shortlisting, screening, and interviewing done for positions that, for all practical purposes, had already been filled -- the whole charade was just meant to show that a "deliberative" process was followed. Outside the hiring firm, no one would know that.

    There's no question you've been treated rudely, but complaining will just reinforce some widely-held stereotypes, so don't bother.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'm not bothered about complaining I was more just wondering if it was standard, more for my husband than myself as I've had a good and a bad experience.
    I think it will be easier for him when we are there in person.

  4. #4
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    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauralocks View Post
    Thanks. I'm not bothered about complaining I was more just wondering if it was standard, more for my husband than myself as I've had a good and a bad experience.
    I think it will be easier for him when we are there in person.
    I'm inclined to say the latter clinches it: Being here.
    Most employers just want to see this commitment by an applicant!

  5. #5
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    Well, we have flights booked so we'll be there on 11 October and can go from there I guess.
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Don't give up but keep trying.

    I didn't have much luck when I was applying from the UK, but things picked up as soon as I arrived in New Zealand.

    Even then it still wasn't easy, so I used the time to do all those other things that you need to do to establish yourself in a new place, like get to know the area, enjoying the newness of everything, understanding transportation routes to work (when it appears!), chasing up recruitment agents, being ready for interviews and that important day when you get a job.

    One of the things I did was to buy an All Black rugby shirt and vowed to my wife (who was still in the UK) that I wouldn't wear it until I had accepted a job offer. She was begininng to think that I would never find work and when it happened, I simply sent her a photo of me wearing it!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    New Zealand
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    Having been recently involved with interviewing in the public system (hospital) I can tell you that human resource departments vary, and some are not terribly efficient. However not following though on appointments to call is rude, even by the relatively relaxed standards in NZ.

    In our organisation, as opposed to my experience overseas, references are checked before a job offer is made, so if a referee is not available there can be a delay in responding. They may also not tell the 2nd choice applicant about the result until they have definitely appointed the first choice - this happened in one of the jobs recently as the first choice applicant declined the job once offered, so the second choice applicant was offered the job after about a week. I would say that not hearing can only be perceived as neutral - you don't know if they are waiting for referees prior to offering the job, or just can't be bothered since you are not successful. But I get the impression that a couple of weeks to hear is not unusual (the applicants for our job were told they would here within one week to ten days).

    When I got my job (while still in the UK), it took about 2 weeks to hear the result, although I knew they had contacted my referrees in the first week. I'm not sure if this is because they had some internal negotiation to do about some of the contractual elements in the formal offer.

  8. #8
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    May 2012
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    It's probably a combination of: 1.) bad behaviour, and 2.) bureaucracy. It's hard not to...but don't take it personally.

    I once flew from Sydney to Dublin for a job interview--30 hours there in economy class, a day of rest, an interview day, another day of rest--then all the way back to Australia. I was told a decision would be made that week. I was more interested in Dublin that the job, to be honest (with the current situation in Ireland I dodged a bullet on that one!), but was miffed when I got a rejection LETTER 3 weeks after. Everything had been done by email up to that point: why they couldn't do the email rejection escapes me.

    Manners aren't what they used to be. But some things are more efficient today than in times past. Mixed bag.

  9. #9
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    Eastbourne
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    I think it's the same all over. I have friends who have been sucked into the black hole of non-replies in the US. Sure feels like there is a recession here which makes people very dismissive of jobseekers. The fact that their behavior reflects very badly on them is water washing off a duck's back.

  10. #10
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    I think you may find with MOH that if one cog in the large wheel is overseas and this is often everything halts and the administrator you replied to may not want to reply, I had to wait weeks for a DHB job and a Uni job for this very reason my OH worked for MOH for a time and the recruitment process for a lower level job took 3 1/2 months! and he was here. Recruitment agencies are the same world wide over again if the contact was off sick this might of caused the delay

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