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LookSee's solution for how to attract more top tech talent to Wellington: Pay for them to come - UPDATED

A new global talent search initiative called LookSee Wellington is aiming to address the shortage in Wellington’s fast-growing IT industry for talented tech workers – by paying for them to come to the Coolest Little Capital in the World. And it's gone viral.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) and Workhere New Zealand, which specialises in global talent attraction, are encouraging interested employers to sign up to be part of the initiative. LookSee Wellington will see 100 pre-screened IT professionals from around the world come to Wellington, with their flights and accommodation paid for, for a series of pre-arranged job interviews with employers who have roles that match their skills. Their visit will also coincide with TechWeek 2017 in May, a series of events which showcase Wellington’s tech industry. The professionals brought to Wellington will also be supported by Immigration New Zealand and NZTech.

The initiative has been picked up by major media from across the globe. And that's led to serious interest. WREDA says in the first 24 hours, more than 11,000 people completed a LookSee application, and 55,000 are in the process of applying. So, yeah, it's popular.

WREDA chief executive Chris Whelan says employers are “crying out” for mid to senior level tech staff. “There’s a distinctive creative spirit in Wellington that’s fuelling incredible innovation in everything from film technology to software. But capitalising on the momentum depends on having enough top IT talent to meet demand. LookSee Wellington is about being proactive in meeting that challenge head-on.”

Open to all New Zealand businesses with tech operations in the Wellington region, there is no cost to employers to participate unless and until they make a hire as a result. The cost associated with a successful hire is a flat fee, which LookSee says is significantly lower than market rates for conventional recruitment agency selection for mid to senior-level IT professionals.

Xero chief executive Rod Drury is a fan of the initiative. “Living in Wellington affords people the opportunity to have a gratifying career that’s right up there globally, and enjoy an awesome lifestyle at the same time.”

Whelan is also quick to talk up Wellington’s lure as a place to have a high quality of life as a opposed to simply a place to do a job before relocating elsewhere. “We know that once people have been here and seen the opportunities on offer and experienced the lifestyle, they are blown away. So employers shouldn’t miss the opportunity LookSee Wellington presents to convince more of the world’s top tech talent to advance their careers here in Wellington.”