Grow your business: Getting the right people

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As the New Zealand construction industry gains momentum, many builders are looking to the future, and expanding their teams. There’s already a skills shortage, and cracks are starting to appear in areas of higher demand, namely Auckland and Christchurch.

So how do you, as an employer, ensure you get the right people to grow your business?

For some, work is already starting to build up, and the decision to hire a new apprentice is becoming more appealing. But a lot may have changed since you last put on an apprentice, or you may never have had one before. So where do you start?

You can start by calling the BCITO on 0800 422 486. It offers a dedicated job-matching service which puts young aspiring tradespeople in contact with employers.

When you call, a team member will discuss your staff requirements (such as experience, and whether or not they need their own tools) to come up with a profile of who you’re looking for.

The team member then searches the BCITO’s database to see if anyone matches. If they can, they’ll contact the job seeker and get them to contact you directly. It is then up to you, the employer, to interview the candidate and decide whether he or she is suitable for the job.

However, you need to consider that in many areas most apprentices with on-site experience have already been snapped up. As the industry gets busier, the reality is that employers will have no choice but to hire people with less experience. The upshot of this is that you get your apprentice to do things the way you want them done — with no bad habits to break!

The BCITO will, of course, continue to market the industry to youth to ensure the best people are available. 

There is also a host of things you can do to ensure you get job applications. 

Here are some options worth considering:


Personal connections

Many will do this anyway, but it’s worth mentioning. The chances are you know someone who knows someone who needs a job. Once you have someone on site, the BCITO can send out a training advisor to set up formal training.


Online advertising

Recent BCITO research has shown that about 90% of its apprentices use the internet every day. So if you’re going to advertise, make sure you do it online.

seek.co.nz is the most popular site in New Zealand, but trademe.co.nz is catching up with its recently-launched jobs section. These days, most HR people say you need to advertise on both web sites to cover all bases.

Traditional advertising

This is becoming less popular, and certainly doesn’t get you in front of a national audience. However, it can still be effective in regional areas, targeting local people.


Unconventional methods

Here’s where the power of social media can work for you. Tweet your job, or put it on Facebook. If you don’t know how, ask your kids, nieces or nephews!

You can also post on the wall of the BCITO Facebook page — just search BCITO on Facebook. This costs nothing and you will be amazed at how many responses you will get.


Bear in mind that getting a job application is one thing, but finding the right apprentice is a different matter altogether.