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Why should recruiters be familiar with the employer-led, 3 check immigration system?

04 August 2022

On 4th July 2022, the 3 step system of Employer Accreditation, Job Checks and Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) became mandatory. While Accreditation approvals have come through quick and easy, Job Checks have had a much longer turnaround time and as of 28th July, only one AEWV had been approved. Although all 3 steps are employer-led, it is imperative that external recruiters and recruitment agencies understand the full immigration framework, especially the job check, so that they can identify the right candidates for the job and negotiate the terms & conditions with the candidate, keeping these immigration requirements in mind.

As a first step, employers must be accredited by INZ in order to hire or support a migrant worker on a work visa. Once the Accreditation is obtained, a Job check must be completed. Job Check is where INZ is checking for terms and conditions of the job; what category the job check falls into – that is at or above 200% of the median wage OR green list OR between median wage ($29.66/hr) and 200% median wage; minimum requirements for the role, location of work, advertising process (where applicable) etc. To learn more about Job Checks, read 5 facts to know about Job Checks. All of this information is submitted by the employer, or by the employer’s immigration partner, directly to Immigration. As a result, recruiters have no visibility of the information submitted, but ultimately it is the recruiter who has to find a candidate within the parameters submitted to Immigration.     

Since this gate is all about the ‘job’, recruiters who are identifying candidates for the employers play a key role here. The candidate that is going to apply for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) after the Job Check is approved, must meet all requirements outlined in the Job Check. In addition, where advertising is required, the candidate must also meet the requirements listed in the advert. Simply put, this system of job check requirements being met by the AEWV applicant, who may not have been found when a Job Check is initially applied for, is a very grey area and not in sync with how the real-world works. If recruiters are not aware of the pitfalls from the outset, a lot of applicants will trip up when applying for their work visas. So caution must be applied.  

Recruiters looking after highly paid or highly skilled roles have a slightly simpler process as Job Checks for roles paying at or above 200% of the median wage and roles meeting green list requirements do not require employers to advertise the roles or prove that no suitable New Zealander was found, in other words moving forward, these candidates can be shoulder tapped and no advertising evidence needs to be provided to INZ. However, the advertising requirement exists for all other job checks. 

Recruiters, oftentimes, are the first step in the immigration ladder when it comes to international recruitment. Migrants looking at moving to NZ, in most situations, will first engage with recruitment professionals. Potential employers enter the dialogue later. So it is critical that recruiters are abreast with the enormity of these immigration changes and what they mean for their candidates and clients alike.

Over the years, we have found that many recruiters will avoid the topic of immigration as long as possible and only deal with it if they absolutely have to. In this new world of immigration, recruiters will have to engage with employers and migrant candidates on immigration matters quite early in the process and will benefit from having a strong immigration partner to rely on. Unlike the pre-covid days, migrants today consider numerous factors when making the decision to come to NZ, and compare NZ to other competing nations like Canada, Australia etc. More and more, we find ourselves being brought into the conversation with a migrant at an early stage and well in advance of the actual work on the visa application needing to commence. As Licensed Immigration Advisors, our team is able to provide holistic advice to migrants around when they can come to NZ, through which visa pathways, what visas their family members can hold, their pathways to residence etc. and migrants take these factors into account before signing on that dotted line. It is vital that recruiters, employers and immigration partners – the key stakeholders are working cohesively to make a migrant’s journey to NZ as clear, definitive and hassle-free as possible.

In an attempt to bring the recruitment industry closer to what these immigration changes mean for them and their business, how they could navigate these changes and why it is so important that recruiters understand the employer-led process, following our webinars with RCSA earlier this year, we are now gearing up for our panel event series for the second consecutive year starting on 10 Aug in Auckland, followed by 17 Aug in Wellington and 30 Aug in Christchurch.  

This year, we have chosen to focus on the present and the coming 12 months. Now that the majority of the INZ’s policies have been implemented, as a group, our panel of industry experts will unpack the processes and talk about the steps that businesses have taken to minimize the risks and navigate the pitfalls associated with these changes. With borders opening, covid pressures peaking again, the talent crisis deepening and an impending global recession, the panel will also discuss practical steps that businesses, recruiters and HR practitioners can take to brace their organizations and ease the pressure while recruiting the best candidates to fit into this new employer led 3 gate process. The panel event is positioned to be a holistic discussion on where we are today and how we make it through the next 12 months successfully, so we strongly encourage recruiters and agency leaders to attend and suggest you bring your clients with you, so they get the opportunity to hear what the experts say firsthand. 

We hope to see you at our events this month!

For tickets to our Wellington event on 17th August, click here! 

For tickets to our Christchurch event on 30th August, click here!

For tickets to our Auckland event on 13th September, click here!

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