It's a phrase Kiwis are all familiar with, farming after all is in our DNA and part of New Zealand's story to the world. So when the cry for help came from leading New Zealand meat works, we answered, and did just that, got in behind. Ensuring communities were connected with careers. And we mean careers, not just jobs. After all, this industry's export revenue was $9.2 billion in 2020 alone. Like many industries in New Zealand, the major employers had relied on a mix of talent, including migrants. And going into the season with over 2,000 people short, forced us to look at how we help them attract and increase work-force participation rates from New Zealanders.
Whether it was attracting candidates who were returning for another season, sports teams looking to build muscle, friendships, and bank balances, dispelling the myths about the work and ensuring a more diverse work places were created, we did it. And ensured that an industry that employs over 25,000 people and is also core to the livelihood of our farmers (and Sunday roasts) managed to continue in a turbulent time.
Defining a story that was true, that helped drive content, referrals and trust was key. As was a multi-channel attraction campaign. We're talking digital & social media, national and local press, radio and community engagement. All of which needed to be super-flexible, the nature of this business means that recruitment challenges can move location or skill requirement with little or no notice. We mustered the talent required.
To say we're proud of how we have helped to support this industry, and connect it to New Zealanders who may not have considered it, is an understatement.