Best Practice Hiring Tips for Pakihi Owners

October 26, 2023
Anyone who’s currently trying to hire knows the labour market is tight. With national unemployment at 3.4%, many pakihi in our Whāriki whānau are facing challenges in finding exceptional candidates for their roles. As a business owner, it’s crucial to stand out and attract potential employees. Junelle Kunin (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkena, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) offers her invaluable advice on how to achieve this in an authentically Māori way.

  1. Define your Employer Value Proposition (EVP). In a competitive market, define what you are offering which would make people jump ship, basically. That’s one of my first questions to employers. And if you can’t compete with salary, be resourceful with what you can offer, i.e., professional development/mentoring, great leadership, flexibility, cultural safety. I would say a culturally safe work environment is one of the biggest factors our people would move for.

  1. Most talents I find for businesses are sitting passively in companies rather than looking. Don’t rely on ads going up and getting success from what I would call a passive approach. Especially for pakihi Māori, there’s no warmth in that approach. Put some comms together (not even a traditional ad) about the role, highlighting your EVP as a company and push them out to your trusted networks to spread the word. It’s time-consuming but it works and people feel valued as well as it’s a much better experience for your brand.

  1. Always respond to candidates. This is your brand. Technology can provide some great tools to help you with more efficient ways to screen and respond.  

  1. Make sure people can find ‘about you’ on your website or LinkedIn. Update your profile and share a bit about yourself. People are drawn to the values and qualities of a leader.

What should an EVP include?

At the very least, an EVP should be an internal list people roll out in kōrero and communications. Some corporates put together a branded one pager highlighting theirs. But it's all in the substance right!

Here are some components to consider:  

  • Hybrid (or remote) working options
  • Flexible working (although as mentioned in this kōrero with Junelle, this should really be a given these days)
  • Health insurance/life insurance/income protection insurance etc.
  • An extra week of leave per annum
  • Paid parental leave (in addition to the government subsidy)
  • Professional development initiatives
  • Paid time-off for volunteering (some companies do one day per year, for example)
  • Wellness days (some companies do paid wellness days)
  • Sustainability and environmental initiatives - highlight your company's commitment to sustainability through eco-friendly practices, green initiatives, and efforts to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint
  • Mentorship and coaching
  • Diversity metrics and goals i.e., % of female leaders, % of Māori workforce/leadership and any goals in this space
  • Employee appreciation events and perks i.e., regular events, celebrations, or perks to recognize and appreciate employees' contributions, such as company-wide outings, milestone celebrations, or surprise rewards

Junelle Kunin is the founder and managing director of Mana Mahi, a kaupapa diversity employment company, specialising in kaupapa Māori recruitment. To discover the offerings and services of Mana Mahi, visit their website. To stay up to date on the latest roles Junelle’s hiring for, follow Mana Mahi on LinkedIn.

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