More than 140 of New Zealand’s leading organisations set up shop at Manukau’s Vodafone Events Centre yesterday, seeking fresh talent across a range of high demand sectors including hospitality, trades, health, early childhood, business and contact centre.
The annual NZMA Careers Fair is highly regarded by employers as an ideal platform for industry recruitment – and this year’s event was the biggest in NZMA history, giving exhibitors direct access to a talent pool of well over 2000 job seekers.
National Careers & Employment Manager for NZMA Gareth Brown said the year-on-year growth in the event was testament to the value it provided for both employers and students.
“Every year the NZMA Careers Fair gets bigger and better, and that’s because it offers so many benefits,” he says. “It gives employers valuable face-to-face time with large numbers of potential employees and is a chance for them to showcase their brand, and boost their exposure.
“For students and graduates the Fairs bring together a large number of industry employers all under the same roof, providing unrivalled opportunities for networking, on-the-spot interviews, and career progression.”
Regular attendee Heritage Hotels says the Fair enables them to fast track their recruitment processes, saving valuable time and resources.
“This event cuts down a lot of time spent on recruitment,” says Heritage Hotels’ Human Resources Manager Heather Rusk. “Usually we do phone screens but by having the chance to meet all these candidates face-to-face, it means I can skip the phone screens and put them straight through to managers for interviews. I see so many CVs, but this event gives us the chance to see the face behind the paper. It really makes a difference.”
Rusk was extremely impressed by the calibre of this year’s students.
“I’ve met some great candidates here today and have already lined up interviews for the rest of the week. One of the aspects that really stands out here is the students’ attitudes. They may not have all the experience yet, but their attitude towards work is excellent. They are all eager and genuinely want to pursue careers in hospitality. It’s nice to see. In the hotel we can train people, but we can’t teach them drive and personality.”
For the first time ever, the Fair also attracted employers from overseas, including new exhibitor The Star Entertainment Group, an Australian-based integrated resort company which operates on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney.
“I was doing some research online and found out about the NZMA Careers Fair, so we decided to fly over for it,” says The Star’s Talent Acquisition Specialist Ashleigh Page.
“We currently have a team of 8000 and we expect that to grow to 16,000 by 2022. We want to recruit staff from all over the world and NZMA has both international and domestic students studying culinary and F&B, so it is a good fit for us.
“This event has definitely been worth crossing the Tasman for. We’ve had a lot of interest from students today, we’ve talked to a lot of people, and we’ve found some great candidates. We are building our talent for the future, and an event like this is very worthwhile.”
NZMA places great emphasis on ensuring its students are work-ready when they graduate. A dedicated Careers team helps with CVs and interview skills, and puts students and graduates forward for casual, part-time and full-time employment opportunities. In the weeks leading up to the Careers Fair students attend a range of workshops to ensure they put they put their best foot forward on the day.
Marian Lima is an international business student from India, studying towards her Diploma in Applied Management Level 7. She believes this exceptional level of career support, including the annual Careers Fairs, helps set NZMA apart from other training providers.
“I’d heard a lot about the NZMA Careers Fair, but I didn’t know it would be this good! This event is the greatest thing that could ever happen, especially for international students. Employers here are looking for part-time and full-time staff, so it’s the perfect platform for both students and graduates. It’s a great vibe too – everyone is so supportive and encouraging.
“When you go for an official interview it can be quite intimidating, but at the Careers Fair it is more relaxed and much easier to chat to employers. This event is giving me the opportunity to learn about some of the different companies that I could work for once I graduate.”
Employers from a wide range of industries attended the event, including many of New Zealand’s major hotels and hospitality groups, construction companies, District Health Boards, early childhood centres, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, Auckland Council and a string of top recruitment companies.
For Level 4 Baking student Tuli Vaivai-Ainea it was an excellent way to open her eyes and broaden her horizons.
“This is big! There are so many employers here and it’s great to talk to them all and hear about their businesses. I never knew there were so many different jobs out there!”