Building Our Team

Posted 20 Mar 2015

Recruitment Initiatives Take on a Public Face

Milton - With a staff 400+ strong and a workload that continues to grow, Calder Stewart’s HR Team is having a fresh new look at its recruitment strategies.

If you asked Recruitment Coordinator CHERYL JENKINS and HR Manager DENISE COOPER what is the biggest challenge in bringing skilled labour into the Calder Stewart workforce, they’d likely tell you it’s the keen competition. “Everywhere you look, there are any number of companies looking for skilled workers to fill construction roles - especially in Christchurch. But competition is strong in the North Island market as well. At the end of the day you simply have a short supply of qualified workers available and that makes recruiting a considerable challenge,” they explain. 
“This shortage has required companies to find new relevant channels to get their recruitment message out”, mentions Cheryl.

In the case of Calder Stewart, Internet specialist QJumpers has been brought in, connecting Calder Stewart’s job vacancy listings to high traffic employment websites such as seek.co.nz and trademe.co.nz. This allows Calder Stewart job openings to be made visible to a much larger audience. “Our visibility has expanded significantly and we are getting a better pool of candidates directly applying for Calder Stewart positions,” mentions Cheryl.

Another approach of getting the recruitment message out in front of the public has been our recent billboard and advertising initiatives. By putting a friendly face on the Calder Stewart name and brand - our distinctive image as a builder is reinforced - setting our message apart.

And when the HR team has not been able to fill skilled positions from the national pool - they have looked overseas - with encouraging results. Working with outside service providers, a core group of skilled workers from overseas have been brought into the Calder Stewart fold - enabling us to meet the needs of our busy divisions. The success of these overseas initiatives is thanks in large part to the efforts of Calder Stewart’s new Settlement Coordinator JO WILKINSON, who has teamed up with Cheryl. Together they are handling all the particulars of bringing workers into New Zealand which include issues related to immigration, job permits and settling into local accommodations. Thanks to the programme a number of vacancies at Calder Stewart Precast have been filled by a hard working group of immigrants, who are having no problems learning the ropes from our experienced staff and getting accustomed to work in New Zealand.

“With Calder Stewart’s future outlook looking good, it is no wonder we’re attractive to those looking for a long term stability and opportunities for career advancement”, mentions Support Services General Manager DARREN EVANS. “Even our Employee Referral Policy has proven successful, where referrals are on average more experienced - since our staff recognise key candidate qualifications. Seen as a whole, our recruitment efforts has been a team effort”.