New study reveals most attractive place to work for New Zealanders
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New study reveals most attractive place to work for New Zealanders

New study reveals most attractive place to work for New Zealanders

Air NZ has been named the most attractive place to work for the second year in a row. Archive photo.
Photo: RNZ / Poker Paewai

Where do New Zealanders most want to work? According to the latest Randstad survey, it’s still Air New Zealand.

The airline has topped the ranking eight times and has done so for the second year in a row.

This year’s top three also included the Department of Conservation and New Zealand Customs Service.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and WSP came in fourth and fifth. PwC moved up from 44th place last year.

Professional services were named the most attractive sector in terms of employment, closely followed by higher education and information and communication technologies, which came second.

The public sector fell from third place last year to eighth. Randstad said the change was probably not surprising given the job losses in the sector.

Bodo Lang, a marketing expert at Massey University, said there were several reasons for Air New Zealand’s strong performance.

“Firstly, the tourism industry, and our national carrier in particular, are usually very attractive as places to work because future employees base their assessment on the experiences they have gained as customers of these services.

“Most people value going on holiday, and no one goes on holiday without wanting to. As a result, positive consumer impressions of holidays in general and of travel operators such as Air New Zealand lead some consumers to expect that working for Air New Zealand will be ‘like being on holiday’.”

He said this was naive and that the privileges offered by airlines are not what they used to be.

“Service providers in the tourism industry often have to deal with high staff turnover due to high expectations of tourists and poor conditions, such as remuneration, offered by service providers.”

He added that the Air New Zealand brand is also strong.

“Not all national carriers and airlines are held in high regard. This becomes obvious when you compare Air New Zealand to other airlines, such as Air Canada or United Airlines. These airlines have a much weaker brand equity than Air New Zealand. This means they are not perceived as positively as Air New Zealand and are not positioned as uniquely in the minds of consumers as Air New Zealand.

“Think of the ‘safety videos’ as one example of how Air New Zealand has been innovative and made a mandatory civil aviation requirement a brand differentiator. The Air New Zealand brand is therefore also a great differentiator for those who work there or have worked there. In that sense, the value of the Air New Zealand brand is transferred to those who have worked there, and that is a strong advantage when you want to attract exceptional talent.”

He added that Air New Zealand also has a customer-first approach, which feels authentic.

“Building such a strong internal service culture will appeal to some consumers and make them think that Air New Zealand would be a good place to work. After all, people, whether they are consumers or employees, want to feel a sense of belonging, and Air New Zealand is likely to provide this important psychological benefit, making it an attractive place to work.”

While employees may have wanted to work for these companies, the study found that many stayed.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they would prefer to stay with their current employer rather than seek better pay elsewhere.

“These are challenging times, and risk-averse New Zealanders are hunkering down to cope with the cost of living crisis, choosing income security over wage increases,” said Randstad country director Richard Kennedy.

“In many sectors, employees are worried about their jobs, which is increasing anxiety and stress levels in the workplace, leading to productivity issues. To maintain business continuity and keep the lights on, strong but empathetic leadership is needed, along with clear communication that builds understanding, trust and loyalty. All the hallmarks of enduring employer brands.

“Organizations that can get this right will be in a much stronger position to retain their people and navigate the current crisis.”

He added that one in two people who responded to the Randstad survey said promotions are not necessarily given to the candidates most deserving of them.

Workers rated work-life balance as the most important criterion when choosing an employer, followed by attractive pay and benefits and good training. Equity was mentioned as a criterion for the first time this year.

“Everyone wants a good salary and benefits, that’s obvious. But it’s interesting when you dig into what else drives the decision-making process of choosing one employer over another. Ultimately, employees want to work for organizations whose values ​​align with theirs, and for many in today’s workplace, equity—where everyone has equal access to the same opportunities—is seen as a non-negotiable when choosing where to work,” Kennedy said.

Top 10

  • Air New Zealand
  • Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • PWV
  • WSP
  • Beca
  • Coca-Cola
  • University of Victoria
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • EBOS