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Photo shows (from left to right) Work and Income Work Broker Kayne Obsborne, Kmart Zone Manager Jason Picard, Kmart Richmond Manager Camrin Holmes, Work and Income Employer Services Manager Lianne Nichols, and Kmart Stores General Manager Paul Walkden at the opening of the new Kmart store in Richmond ont 7 November.
A successful collaboration between Work and Income Nelson and Kmart resulted in Work and Income clients representing close to half the total number of staff hired for the retail giant’s new Richmond store.
In February this year, the Work and Income Employer Services team in Nelson heard a rumour that Kmart was opening a new store in Richmond (near Nelson) sometime in late 2013. Seeing an opportunity the team developed a plan that would put them first in line with a recruitment proposal to fill the 80-100 roles needed to run this new store.
The Nelson team got in touch with Kmart, put forward their recruitment proposal and the rest, as they say, is history. Kmart made Work and Income their exclusive recruitment agency for finding full-time, part-time and casual staff required to work in general merchandise apparel and service areas. The positions were advertised through Work and Income’s “find a Job” site, local work brokers and promoted widely through Work and Income service centres.
The team briefed Work and Income case managers on the staff qualities required and then set about finding suitable candidates - these included both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.
Identifying the right referrals was critical. Work and Income Work Brokers made sure their Case Managers were aware of the qualities required. The job opportunities were promoted to staff as part of face-to-face presentations, particularly those in the front-line, to help raise excitement about and buy-in to the project. They also informed partner course providers in business, hospitality and retail, who then sent Work and Income clients they were training to attend Work Search seminars specifically tailored to support this project.
The best qualified candidates were prepared for job interviews by making sure they fully understood the expectations of Kmart, their CV was of high quality, they had support to hone their letter writing skills, and that they presented themselves well to their prospective employer.
A final pool of 150 applicants was seen in groups of 30. From there a shortlist of preferred applicants attended one-on-one interviews. Of the 87 staff Kmart hired, Work and Income placed a total of 65 employees – including 39 clients. It also assisted in the recruitment of students, screening and shortlisting the applicants for other part-time, short term employment. Kmart hired 22 students.
Working to reduce welfare dependence is one of several priorities that matter most to New Zealanders. Being innovative, collaborating more with others, taking the initiative and trying new things are some of the ways we can achieve a better life for kiwis.
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