Why is recruiting in NZ so challenging?


The number of old people in NZ is steadily growing and poised to double by 2036. Logically, the number of healthcare staff in New Zealand should also be growing proportionally, ideally by more individuals joining the aged care workforce. However, Aotearoa is facing a staffing crisis like never before with fewer healthcare professionals arriving in the country and more and more professionals leaving NZ for greener pastures.
At present, recruiting healthcare staff in New Zealand is incredibly challenging. As seasoned professionals in this space, some of the key factors we have observed hamper the recruitment of talented healthcare staff include:
Limited pool of healthcare professionals trained locally
New Zealand has a relatively small population, which means that the pool of healthcare professionals trained in NZ is also limited. This can make it difficult to find qualified and experienced candidates onshore, particularly for specialist roles.

Competition with other countries
New Zealand is not the only country that is facing a shortage of healthcare professionals. The World Health Organisation estimates a shortfall of 10 million healthcare workers globally, by 2030. Other countries like Australia, United States and United Kingdom are recruiting from the same pool of candidates NZ approaches, and with lower pay we aren’t necessarily the first country that professionals consider. Here are a few tips on how to attract international staff.

Rural locations
Many of NZ’s healthcare roles are located in less populated rural areas, which can make them less attractive to some candidates. Accessibility and culture play a large role in a candidate’s decision making process.

High cost of living
The cost of living in New Zealand can be relatively high, particularly in cities such as Auckland and Wellington. This can make it challenging for healthcare professionals to afford to live in these areas, which can impact their decision to take up a role in the country.

Immigration settings
New Zealand has strict immigration requirements, which can make it tricky for healthcare professionals from overseas to move to the country. However, recent changes introduced by INZ and the residence pathways introduced for medical professionals provide respite for hundreds of facilities and employers across the country.

Overall, recruiting healthcare staff in New Zealand is challenging but we are working to bring in reliable, competent and caring staff from overseas who are willing to join NZ’s aged care workforce and remain in NZ long-term. If your organisation or facility needs staff, don’t hesitate to contact us and explore how we might be able to help you!

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