Accounting and Finance - Market Update 2021

Kiwis Returning Home – where are they?

There has been a lot of media hype about the influx of Kiwis Returning Home (KRH) due to COVID-19 which only got louder in quarter four of last year. But the question we keep asking around the office is, “where are they?”.

As you would expect, we noticed a bit of an upswing in volume of KRH in Q2 after CV19 took hold globally, but for the Accounting and Finance team, the difference hasn’t been marked when compared to previous non-CV19 quarters. However, the media is saying the exact opposite and it isn’t just the media, Government departments (Immigration NZ/MBIE/Stats NZ) are also singing from the same song sheet. While I am certainly not saying they are all wrong, we just aren’t seeing the anecdotal evidence. 

If they are arriving as being reported then where are they? Here are some theories. Perhaps some are returning and retiring, buying businesses, working as advisors (unlikely if they have been offshore awhile as their networks will have dried up) or perhaps they have just decided to take the summer off before seeking employment. 

Maybe looking at how many of our roles have been placed with KRH (personally only one role last quarter) is only part of the picture. Perhaps we also need to count the roles we have filled with candidates who were only available because the pandemic has prevented them from taking their careers overseas. 

Hopefully we are about to see the evidence of Kiwis Returning Home come through this quarter. This would be a great outcome as talent remains scarce without immigrants topping up the pool and it remains hard to attract due to ‘Covid-caution’.


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