I write this with great pride as it is one of those moments where you “literally changed someone’s life”.
The Task – ‘Go out and find me an RF Design Engineer’
The Customer – Deltec Telesystems
Location – Tawa, Wellington
When – I think it was either 1999 or 2000
Chances – Very Slim
I was relatively new into the IT Recruitment game – maybe 1-year deep and I was largely bringing UK people into NZ for the IT market. In this instance Deltec Telesystems played in a very niche space which was the design and manufacturing of RF Filters and RF Antennas.
In short, the NZ and Australian marketplaces weren’t places I was going to find these people, so we went looking and advertising in the UK and Europe. Remember back then there was NO LinkedIn. We were largely reliant on Job Boards, Referrals and Networking.
To ensure this won’t be a novel I found (he applied for a role) a candidate who was working and living in Kiev, Ukraine. Alexander had a tremendous background, well educated (master’s degree) but could barely speak English and had no idea where New Zealand was. Our first few interactions had to be over email as communicating verbally was a struggle.
I found that he had a wife and two kids and was earning the equivalent of $50 USD per week. He was living in a tiny flat with his in-laws, so his lifestyle was quite different to a NZ way of living for someone of his expertise.
In short, I organised for Deltec Telesystems to speak to him over a Video Conference (try organising a VC facility from Wellington in Kiev). Before that he and I would speak morning and night, working on his English, working on his knowledge of NZ etc.
Deltec Telesystems to their credit ended up offering Alexander and his family a remarkable salary and relocation package which allow him to move his family to New Zealand. Getting him and his family the appropriate work visas was a real challenge given I don’t think there was a NZ Consulate / NZ Embassy in the Ukraine.
I remember when I picked up Alexander from Wellington Airport and took him to Lyall Bay as he hadn’t been to a beach before and him saying “one day I want to buy a boat”.
I’m pleased to say that Alexander is still happily working in the Wellington marketplace.
How far have you gone to source someone?