12 months ago, today our Prime Minister announced to the Country that we were going into a seven-week Alert Level 4 (full Lockdown). This was one of the earliest and fastest full lockdowns in the world and meant that our world had to change immediately. It was a very clever and effective strategy and was marketed by the government as the “Team of five million” (the population of the country). The “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives, message was concise, and all messaging was communications 101. For almost 12 months, every day at 1.00 pm our Director General of Health and the Prime Minister or Minister of Health held a live press conference and most of the country stopped to watch and listen as we were informed of the latest COVID-19 numbers, reassured of what we had to do to stop the virus spreading and what the government was doing to help New Zealand Businesses and the population to get by. Seven weeks later the country started to come out of lockdown in a staged way over several weeks coming down to alert Level 1 which meant that we could get back to a new form of normality.
After the full lockdown
After coming out of the full lockdown New Zealand has had two or three minor outbreaks of the virus. These have been localised to our major city, Auckland and have resulted in Auckland going into lockdown for one day, three days and seven days, respectively. The rest of the country has carried on with only minor disruption other than to our tourism and hospitality sectors. These two sectors have been severely impacted as the boarders have remained closed impacting our international tourist market. Overall, however, our economy has remained reasonably strong and certainly the envy of many around the globe.
Executive Search in last 12 months
For executive search and recruitment, the last 12 months in New Zealand has seen new challenges arise. Appointing candidates from overseas has become difficult not in the least the inability to physically get people to and into the country. Currently due to this and government regulations changing it is almost impossible to appoint anyone from overseas into a position in New Zealand unless they are a New Zealander returning home. For the first time in my career, we are having to tell overseas candidates (without the ability to work in New Zealand) that it may not be worth applying for a role here until our boarders reopen and government regulations are relaxed again.
Article written by David Hollander, CFR Global Executive Search New Zealand
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