The Need:
NZIER demands a set of capabilities for its senior staff that are hard to find in the market. They want great analytical skills, strong networks and high quality communications skills.

They had identified that a potential barrier to attracting suitably qualified candidates may have been the manner in which NZIER was perceived in the marketplace (their employer brand) and also their non CBD office location (at that time; they have since moved into the city).

The Approach:
Upon our engagement it was agreed that in addition to the provision of recruitment services, market research be undertaken in order to gain a better understanding of candidates’ perceptions of their organisation. As such, we undertook a market mapping and headhunting exercise with the aim to search for and identify candidates already operating at a Senior or Principal Economist level and who already had well-established networks within Wellington that they could draw from to generate new business opportunities for NZIER.

We identified nearly 100 individuals that were a potential match to NZIER’s brief by utilising an extensive range of search tools.

After further evaluation, we put forward a list of 34 prospective candidates to NZIER for their review and comment. Upon receipt of their comments, we contacted 22 economists to discuss their current situation, whether they might be interested in considering new opportunities and whether they would consider working for NZIER.

The Results:
The majority were receptive to the contact, with only two or three not keen to engage in conversation. Of those that were happy to discuss future potential employment opportunities, there were four that were interested to progress the opportunity further and were subsequently interviewed by NZIER.

In speaking with prospective candidates we considered it of the utmost importance to tell the story of the organisation and how it had grown from its roots as an economic research organisation to a very successful, commercially focused consulting company. Through these conversations we were able to help reposition NZIER’s employer brand and dispel myths that they were a male dominated, “grey cardigan wearing” group of economists.

We reported back to NZIER on the results of our market research and they have since utilised these findings to adapt the way in which they present themselves to the external market.

In conjunction with this market research and search/headhunting activity we also undertook a creative advertising campaign which encompassed print (as shown below) and digital and which helped to further reinforce the message that they are a progressive, dynamic organisation whose economists undertake a wide variety of stimulating and challenging work.

Through this combination of search/headhunting and advertising we were successful in making four appointments at Senior and Principal Economist level and have enjoyed an ongoing positive working relationship with NZIER since.