hire overseas employee

31 August, 2020

Why agents charge the fee for a Job Search service.


Reflection on the 15 years of Job Placement services to New Zealand employers and overseas applicants.


It is common knowledge that recruitment fees are payable by an employer. Under the normal circumstances, when the job seeker has exactly what is required and is available to start immediately, then – Yes! An employer pays the fee.

Here is a real-life example: an applicant just came to a new country and totally unaware of the rules, how to present himself, if any registration needed or other preparation is required before he/she can successfully apply for a job. An applicant may take a year or longer before he/she learns what to do and how to do it. He/she may take a totally unrelated job just to make a bit of money to cover living expenses and lose even more time. For such a person, it is great to have a job placement agent in the related industry, who knows rules and regulations and lead him or her to a successful job application in a much shorter time. Most people in such situation are happy to pay agent’s fee and incredibly grateful stepping to the carrier ladder two steps above the person who is doing it by try and error, starting from the bottom. What exactly people are paying for in the described situation?

For the guidance of an experienced agent to achieve the desired result sooner. Did anybody put any pressure on them to request such a service? – No!

Why then the service considered unethical? One person needs a service another provides such service, they agreed on the fee. What is wrong with it?

Let us investigate one other situation.

An employer is a middle-size business who is in a growing stage. All company’s focus is on business growth, but skilled people are needed to grow. The company cannot invest a lot of their capital in recruitment fees but can wait and plan ahead. If somebody can find and bring them qualified professionals from overseas directly, they are happy to go with such a service. In such a situation who shall pay the recruitment fees? Ideally employer of-cause, but if he cannot afford the fee, but happy to pay a new arrival the market rate wages? What is wrong in such an arrangement?

What is wrong if an overseas professional pays his own fees for a better life and job opportunity?
Agents are widely used all over the world when people are entering different labour markets, why this service received a negative context in New Zealand?

What exactly the applicant is paying for?

Is he/she paying for a job offer?

This is a key question, which caused a STIGMA/ PREJUDICE regarding the agent’s work. A good agent will never guarantee the job even to the applicant who perfectly match to the job requirements because a lot of steps involved before the job offer is issued and overseas candidate come to New Zealand. If somebody ever offers you to sell a job offer – you must know that this is a scam and shall be avoided at all costs.

When job order received from an employer, agents often go to the country where skilled labour can be interviewed or screen candidates on-line. One of 50-100 people may have the skills an employer needs and to find these people takes time. For some of the best candidates, professional registration may be required prior to further actions.

You may see that a good agent will do a lot of preparation prior to present the best candidate to an employer and set up an interview.

New Zealand Recruitment and Consulting Services Association head Andrew McComish, of ThinkHR
in Christchurch, said charging job candidates a fee was not illegal but he considered it “unethical”

The average flat fee of recruiters would be $6000 to $8000, while the percentage fee is normally between 12.5 and 17.5 per cent of the salary.

The International Labour Organisation(ILO) , a United Nations agency, bans private employment agencies charging “directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, any fees or costs to workers”. New Zealand is not a signatory to the ILO convention, what means that it is not illegal to charge an agent’s fee.

But if an agent is your potential employer – no fee can be charged as per the New Zealand Immigration Act.

Let’s check why even the best overseas professional need an agent.

1. The language used writing CV and Cover letter is not familiar to local employers and
applications go straight to the rubbish bin – there is no chance for consideration if they applied directly.
2. Communication with overseas candidate takes a lot of employer’s pressures time, while
through an agent it is just one Skype interview and the rest is done by an agent.
3. Complex immigration rules of New Zealand makes it time-consuming and counterproductive
for an employer to deal with visas.
4. Length of time from initial application to arrival to New Zealand is long if there is nobody
assisting to speed it up.
5. Some skills in New Zealand require registration prior to a successful application, what takes
time and energy.

To summarize the above:
There are only a few people so well-travelled worldwide that it is a breeze for them to adapt their application to a new country, some are so switched-on that find it easy, but the majority of good overseas professionals are concentrating on success in their own field, they are not skilled to sell their talents. For them, it will be a great benefit to get assistance and guidance with their applications for a job.

Job Placement Consultants charge a fair and reasonable fee, according to a signed by 2 parties service agreement. When an employer can pay our recruitment fee, there is no agent’s fee for an applicant. JPC community of skilled tradies in New Zealand is growing annually. COVID-19 put on hold all our overseas recruitment services, but file preparation and industry registrations are in progress right now!

Dear New Zealand employers, hard to find in New Zealand professionals are available in the world market, as soon as borders are open again, they will be able to come and work for you!

To chat with us about your needs, please call our office 09 5801177 or mobile 0274928648

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *