Attempts to recruit New Zealanders

You can hire migrant candidates already in New Zealand with open work visas, such as Working Holiday Work Visas, or international students with permission to work, without advertising locally.

Before you recruit offshore, you may be required to first offer the role to a New Zealand citizen or resident who can do the job or be readily trained to do it. The only exceptions are if:

  • you are an Accredited Employer with Immigration New Zealand and employ a migrant worker under the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa criteria
  • or the occupation is on one of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists and the applicant meets the qualification and/or work experience requirements of the list.

Hiring locally

You must first try recruiting locally to fill your position. If you have been unsuccessful, and want to explore hiring an overseas candidate under an Essential Skills Work Visa, you will need to have evidence that you did not find a suitable local candidate.

Evidence can include:

  • details of the advertising (e.g. national newspaper, internet, etc) including dates, duration and frequency of advertising
  • copies of the advertisement and receipts for its cost
  • any evidence that you used a recruitment agency
  • information about the results of any vacancy listings you have placed with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD),
  • full details of the results of your recruitment efforts including the number of applicants, shortlist and details of why any New Zealand applicants were unsuitable, or unable to be readily trained
  • relevant industry statistics on the numbers of vacancies in this market, or other industry-based evidence.

Evidence of training

Evidence that you tried to train a local for the vacancy could include examples of:

  • the type of training that you’ve provided and its outcome
  • your plans to train and increase the skills of New Zealanders to do the work.

You may also want to provide evidence which confirms that you’ve contacted your relevant industry organisation or union, by producing a copy of any comment received from them that explains:

  • the availability of New Zealanders for the job
  • the need for foreign labour in the market
  • their opinion on the terms and conditions of your job offer.

Content of your advertising

The content of your job advertisements and offer must not discourage New Zealand workers from applying. Otherwise a work visa application will be declined.

Immigration New Zealand will check whether New Zealand workers were unwilling to take up the job because of the terms and conditions of your offer, like pay or hours of work.