Trevor Vas, Director of ATC Events chats to Peter Osborne, Head of Jobs at Trade Me, the largest internet-auction website operating in New Zealand and upcoming sponsor of the Sourcing.Social.Talent event in Auckland on the 17th of November,on how they help employers and candidates in this competitive market.
TV: Peter, good morning and thank you for sponsoring our Sourcing Social Talent event in Auckland. As you are aware our audience is from both New Zealand and Australia. For your Australian cousins, can you tell us a little about Trade Me Jobs and can you indulge me in the reasons behind the name. Do you REALLY trade jobs?
PO: Good morning Trevor! Trade Me is ubiquitous in New Zealand, and right up there with Air New Zealand and the All Blacks in terms of brand recognition. We are a trading platform covering a broad range of verticals, so think of Trade Me as being like eBay, realestate.com.au, Carsales.com.au, Stayz and the employment sites all rolled into one. While it might be hard to fathom how one site covers so much territory, Trade Me has remarkable reach, with half the population using us every month and two thirds of all domestic web traffic going through our site. I knew a fair bit about Trade Me before I arrived here from Melbourne to take on the Head of Jobs role, but I never appreciated just how ingrained the brand is.
Trade Me Jobs is essentially a jobs classified site, so we don’t really ‘trade’ jobs. We are looking at more ways to become actively involved in helping our members (we are a member site) to find their perfect role, and helping employers find their perfect candidate. Like other classified sites we’re moving with the times
TV: What do you think is your greatest value of Trade me Jobs to employers and candidates? Also can I please ask what is it that makes you different? I know that can sometimes be a little be intangible but I understand Trade Me Jobs is as fiercely New Zealand as the haka, am I right?
PO: We work, and we work cost effectively. While no sourcing channel fills all roles all the time, we cover a big part of the market and a huge chunk of people turn to us to look for a job. We have our own unique culture and way of doing things. I know everyone says that, but I’ve been around the block a few times and this is the first place I’ve ever worked where the values and ways of working we’ve adopted are truly entrenched and believed.
This extends to the way in which we service our advertising clients, design and build better products and treat our members.People who use Trade Me are not products they’re real people with real feelings, and we never forget that. It’s what makes us unique and so loved by Kiwis. People’s faces light up when they find out you work for Trade Me, and that’s something incredibly powerful.
TV: You seem to have specialised in IT is that correct? I rate Kiwi IT skills, do you let Australian companies advertise for more Kiwis to come across the ditch and work here as well? By the way but what are my chances of getting an Agile Python Developer, the Melbourne Zoo needs one really bad?
PO: We’ve been putting a lot of effort into attracting more IT talent to Trade Me lately, but I wouldn’t say we specialise in the IT sector, it’s purely because there is a real structural IT skills shortage in New Zealand and we’re doing our part to engage with and deliver talent to our advertisers. With half the population using the Trade Me site every month we have a real opportunity for advertisers to reach a talent pool that perhaps aren’t actively looking (at least on Trade Me Jobs), so this is a huge focus for us at the moment.
There are plenty of IT jobs here so our focus is on the local market, plus Trade Me don’t really allow overseas advertising which is a policy we have to protect our members from phishing and scams (not that Aussies would do that!). The trend for Kiwis to head over to Australia has stopped too. At its height, migration peaked at 11,000 kiwis a month going over, now Kiwis are returning home with net migration to New Zealand now at a record high levels. Things here are really quite peachy.
TV: Peter, lastly, I know that Matt Ponting advertised himself on Trade Me Jobs, did anyone buy him?
You’d have to ask Matt whether anyone bought him, but I thought it was a cracking idea. Matt’s a damn good guy and there was certainly a lot of interest with his ad attracting over 1600 visits, a few giggles and lots of conversation. I’m not sure if he paid Mark Sumner to review him as “Best. Boss. Ever” though…
TV: Thanks so much for the interview, and thanks also for taking it in the spirit of a little humour.
Peter will be presenting a session at #SST2014 in Auckland where he will share his researched based insights into job hunter profiles, and the key behavioural and attitudinal difference in the working population of New Zealand. You can view the whole agenda here.
You can also submit your applications to purchase Matt Pontin, co MC of #SST2014 at the event.