Published on February 17th, 2017 | by john.weir0
Wellington opens doors to tech talent
New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, home to a world-leading technology industry, is welcoming tech talent from around the globe with a bold new recruitment initiative, LookSee Wellington, which launches this week.
LookSee Wellington will see 100 IT professionals selected to come to Wellington, with their flights and accommodation paid for, for a series of pre-arranged job interviews with employers who have roles that match their skills.
The innovative talent attraction initiative is designed to address the city’s IT skills shortage. It is led by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) and Workhere New Zealand, which specialises in global talent attraction, and is supported by the New Zealand Immigration Service and NZTech.
IT professionals who want to be considered for selection for LookSee Wellington have until 20 March to register and apply. The 100 candidates selected for LookSee Wellington week will travel to Wellington from 8 – 11 May. They will each have a full itinerary of job interviews and fun activities to showcase Wellington’s charms.
Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, says the city knows there is fierce competition globally for talented tech professionals, so we need to be creative in attracting attention.
“LookSee Wellington is about giving people who might be open to moving to this side of the world a chance to come and have a ‘look-see’ before deciding to relocate, and without having to pay to get here to inform their decision-making.
“It’s also designed to make it easy for them to meet multiple employers – to make the best use of their time – and to get the chance to see and experience what else Wellington has to offer,” says the Mayor.
Wellington’s tech scene includes companies that have already made a mark globally, such as Oscar-winning Weta Digital, online accountancy giant Xero, IT system builders Datacom, and volumetric virtual reality pioneers 8i, as well as around 900 start-up companies.
Xero Chief Executive Rod Drury says the company is doing world-class work in Wellington alongside its shift to the Amazon Web Services platform, which allows developers to really delve into rewarding and challenging work in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
“There are huge opportunities for talented tech professionals to enhance their careers doing work that’s right up there globally, while also enjoying an awesome lifestyle at the same time. Wellington is a great place for anyone who’s into outdoor pursuits – it has incredible mountain biking, windsurfing, and paddle boarding – and also has a thriving arts scene and more cafés and restaurants per head of population than almost anywhere else. It’s a compact city with a collaborative spirit, and is a really creative and energising place to live and work,” says Mr Drury.
One Englishman who knows the joys of Wellington is Ben Amor. From Wiltshire, Ben is the CTO of ShowGizmo, an app that helps event planners coordinate great events.
Ben has seen first-hand some world-class firms doing amazing things in Wellington.
“There’s a lot of collaboration in Wellington firms – and not just at the start-up level. The geographical remoteness doesn’t seem to be a factor in terms of taking product to the world,” says Ben.
“The community is amazing – within a year of starting work in Wellington you’ll have a really, really good professional network. It feels like everything you need is here.
“What I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of Poms that come over here to have a look and end up staying, and you get an awful lot of New Zealanders that go to London and think “Oh that’s nice” but return after a year – that says something.”
To Ben, the New Zealand culture is a drawcard and it’s very different to that of the UK.
“To an English businessman, a good year is if he can buy a new luxury car whereas to a New Zealander, if he’s spent time with his kids, experienced the country and enjoyed what Wellington has to offer, that’s a successful year. I think the New Zealand culture is a lot healthier.
“This is genuinely an awesome opportunity. You’d be an idiot not to take them up on it, so come and have a look-see.”