Our Work

Next Stop New Zealand with ACE


130,000 visits, 3,000+ applications, 150 interviews, 30 hires so far, 20% female hires


Following the pandemic, engineering consulting businesses faced a dire need for talent. At the time there were 3,229 vacancies across 135 New Zealand firms, with 90% of these having difficulty recruiting, 66% getting no domestic applicants, and only 28% trying to recruit from overseas (normally 81% would do so).

We met with various businesses across the engineering sector. The consensus among all participants was a shared frustration—they were struggling to find suitable candidates to fill their roles, particularly within New Zealand.

Recognising that this was a collective sector challenge rather than an isolated problem, we, along with other businesses in this field, realised the importance of uniting our efforts to attract talent internationally on a sector-wide level. HainesAttract has a long-running history of international attraction campaigns (see here), so we knew we were the right people for the job.


We brought together 14 engineering businesses and collaboratively pooled resources to create a solid media budget. Our aim went beyond selling individual businesses or the sector; we were marketing New Zealand as a whole. The goal was to amplify NZ's presence in the global market, broadcasting the message that Aotearoa New Zealand was ready and open for business.

We proposed that the sector work together with HainesAttract to share effort and risk, to the benefit of all. Our commercial model requested that each business make an initial contribution of $8,500 (refunded on first placement) and provide roles that were open to international candidates. This crowdsourcing approach allowed us to fund an international advertising campaign, with digital marketing across social, professional networks, and niche sites, as well as search activity.

Utilising our media budget, we devised the 'NextStopNZ' with our partner, The Association of Consulting and Engineering New Zealand (ACE), strategically addressing the pandemic in our creative approach. The campaign's slogan, 'We are Open,' emphasised New Zealand's openness to engineers and professionals globally. With targeted advertising, we showcased these job opportunities in the countries identified by the companies for recruitment, ensuring visibility to the right talent. The campaign spanned approximately two months, running through October 2022.


Recognising the time-intensive nature of international recruitment, we understood it was a lengthy process. Moving countries involves significant decisions for candidates, impacting their lives, careers, and families. Our commitment extended to providing support at every stage of this journey. By January 2023, we began making placements, marking the culmination of six months of dedicated efforts. This timeline allowed for our recruited candidates to arrive in New Zealand and settle into their new roles.

Data was crucial to monitoring and optimising campaign performance. A campaign report was issued to all partners monthly. The result was 130,000 candidates visiting our website, more than 3,000 applications processed and 30 hires across 10 businesses, 20% of which were women.

As a result of the campaign, HainesAttract expanded its partnerships with business associations, such as ACE, and the government agency New Zealand Story Group. The aim was to tailor and scale the solution according to demand. This initiative led to two additional campaigns in 2023: one for the tech sector (SeeTomorrowFirst) and another for Construction & Infrastructure (BuildYourFutureNZ), both following the same model.

Through these efforts, we have garnered the support of an additional 15 partners, reaching over 20 million people globally with our campaigns. Furthermore, we have engaged in conversations with more than 800 potential candidates.

Helen Davidson, Chief Executive of ACE NZ, provided a compelling testimonial capturing our collaboration. “ACE NZ was proud to partner with HainesAttract to solve a key issue for consulting engineering businesses in New Zealand; how to attract high-quality talent from around the world in the midst of a significant skills shortage and when there was a perception globally that New Zealand's borders were still closed.

The team at HainesAttract worked extremely collaboratively with us and our members. They took time to understand our member's needs, create a compelling campaign that spoke to our key messages as well as the desires of potential candidates, and develop an innovative process where all firms knew they were being treated fairly with regard to candidate referrals. HainesAttract's collaborative solution meant our members could engage in international recruitment at minimal risk. The campaign had wide reach in that it attracted candidates for the whole sector and led to the Government providing funding through the Construction Sector Accord for a larger sector-wide campaign.”

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We understand that not one size fits all, that's why we offer solutions tailored to suit your specific recruitment challenges. Find out how we can help you attract and engage the talent you need with a free consultation.