Employing Workers Overseas

Talent Management posted an interesting piece last week on how improved technology has made it easier for small and medium sized businesses to employ people based overseas.

For our globally connected businesses this ability can be crucial to keeping them in New Zealand so that they do not have to move offshore in order to get the talent they need or to get into new markets. 

Human capital is a massive constraining factor for New Zealand businesses to expand in scale. As New Zealand has a small talent pool and as a result a lack of specialist skills it can be very difficult to develop world-leading businesses outside of all but a handful of areas. New business models like this could be a way of providing long term sustainable growth for our businesses and if they unlock constraints to growth could increase the number of high value jobs available in New Zealand.

However hiring workers offshore can also carry risks where there is a lack of oversight. As John Bersin principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte states “You need to have more interaction with these workers than your local staff, because they aren’t physically close.” The article argues that if not managed the disconnect with workers can lead to low productivity, poor quality of work and ineffective collaboration. As seen in the case of Zirtual it can also leave employees vulnerable after the company terminated its 400 employees by email without warning.

What are the key barriers to high growth companies securing the high skilled workers they need?

Is supporting more offshore employment a way to remove capacity constraints for our businesses to grow? If so, how do we ensure that workers are well managed and protected?

Read more about issues like these in our economic development and sustainability issues paper.

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