Future Of WorkHuman Resources

How to Combat the Oncoming Brain Drain

By May 10, 2022 No Comments
Man with laptop in airport departure hall

Over the past few years, squeezed borders have meant companies have been cushioned from the blow of brain drain. However, as borders around Aotearoa slowly open, the fear of young, skilled workers flying the coop on long-waited OEs has risen. Unfortunately for New Zealand companies, this fear is not without merit!

Overseas opportunities are coming in thick and fast for our young and highly skilled workforce. Higher salaries, comparative costs of living, and the enticing proximity of a French weekend getaway mean more employees are set to leave than enter. Our HR consultants are here to give some advice on how to retain your superstar talent, or at least keep in touch!

Tips to Keep Talent

The first point of call for combatting brain drain is to convince your employees your business is the best place to be. Enliven the work culture, be flexible, and invest in your employees to persuade them to invest in you.

Salaries Are Important

Money isn’t everything, but it is important. Overseas salaries are often much higher than what New Zealand averages offer. A recent NBR article writes that a newly minted lawyer in London can make almost $40,000 more than a Senior Associate in a New Zealand firm. Salaries across the ditch are enticing Kiwis away from home.

When the cost of living is relatively similar, one can’t blame workers for being sweet-talked into a bigger honeypot overseas. So, although it might seem like a bite in the short term, the cost of recruitment can mean spending more on salaries is a long-term win in the fight against brain drain.

Plus, there’s nothing like making your employees feel valued to give them a reason to stay.

Be First in Line to Welcome Secondments

There are many great points to building strong connections with companies across the world, with secondment opportunities being one of them. If an employee is giving off gateway lounge signals, the ability to give them overseas experience at another company for periods is a great way to keep them within the company fold.

Secondments can work to alleviate the itchy feel of young, talented workers who want more experience and can bring them back with skills they could never have gained in New Zealand.

Flexibility is Key for Young Workers

There really is no excuse for being inflexible about remote working. Spurred by the spate of lockdowns, most companies offer flexible work from home days and less stringent 9-5 hours.

If employees are gunning for a getaway, why not give them the chance to work remotely from overseas for a week or even a month? They can travel and get paid, and companies don’t have to bear the cost of recruitment.

Prioritise Culture & Soft Skills

Millennials, and now Gen Zers, are different to Gen X and Baby Boomer generations at work. While Xers and Boomers often think about work in terms of power and status, younger generations are more inclined to move towards soft skills such as emotional intelligence & great work culture.

As we’ve said, flexible working conditions are a great start, but try to foster even more of a culture in the workplace. Think about work perks to include free fruit in the kitchen or even the small convenience of an onsite barista machine. Time flies when you’re having fun, and your employees might just forget about leaving altogether!

How to Retain Connections with Company Alumni

Sometimes, the kinder thing to do is to release the young into the wild! Set them free to spread their wings and gain skills that will eventually boomerang back to good old Aotearoa. And when they do come back, it’s always good to have kept in contact! Such an approach could spin brain drain into a benefit for Aotearoa, in which workers bring the skills they learned abroad back to our shores. Here are a few tips on building a company alumni culture that they just can’t quit!

Create Connections with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a gem of a platform when it comes to networking and recruitment. Ensure yourself and your company is linked up to any parting talent. This way you can watch their journey, congratulate their successes, and know the best time to reconnect in real life!

Keep in Touch with Alumni Newsletters

It may seem like a stretch of resources, but curating a good alumni newsletter is a great idea for keeping companies top of mind for their emigrating employees. Even a simple monthly that recounts the success of a member, or a company win is a good way to let employees know you still care and even foster new relationships between old workers!

Get Quality HR Business Solutions with JOYN

You don’t need to worry about brain drain when you have great HR business solutions at your fingertips with JOYN’s book of HR professionals. Trust JOYN to team your business up with a consultant set to give you the advice to bring top talent on board, JOYN’s consultants are tailored to your needs with their specialist skills and experience and have a great network of potential candidates at their fingertips. Get in touch with JOYN today and be confident in your recruitment strategies.

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