Techweek kicks off on 19 May and over the next nine days, there is a whole calendar of events in and around Christchurch (and the rest of the country) in support of New Zealand’s annual festival of innovation. If you’re looking to get out and make the most of next week’s events, take a look at what’s happening in the city during Techweek. When we were looking at the line-up for the upcoming week, there was one in particular that caught our attention.

Recruitment Risk in Business

In an increasingly complex and changing environment, the event, “With New Innovation Comes Great Risks”, looks at the transformational journey in business, and the value killers (or risks that have the greatest impact on tech companies). Reading over the summary got us thinking about some of the risks in the recruitment process when hiring – here are a few that are having the greatest impact on tech companies, and how to avoid them:

Six Recruitment risks

Relying on the Current Job Description and Previous Data

Does the job description actually reflect the current demands of the role, let alone the future challenges within this role? A job description and previous hiring data are great places to start, but you need to go beyond this to consider where the business is going, what problems you’re trying to solve and what skills are really going to get you there. This could be a very different proposition altogether.

Wanting to see a Certain Number of People

Having a number in mind to aim for may seem like a reasonable approach to ensure you’re seeing the best in the market, but it is more important to find someone who meets your expectations, whether they happen to be the 2nd person you’ve interviewed, or the 5th. Especially if you’re after a specialist IT skill that it’s short supply! Being clear on essential and desirable criteria from the outset and having a flexible shortlist will ensure you don’t risk missing out on a great hire simply because you hadn’t seen enough candidates, and they’d moved onto another opportunity by the time you realised.

Only Considering People Who Respond to Your Job Advert

Relying on a single approach (such as job adverts), will provide an inaccurate representation of available candidates in the market, resulting in many candidates being overlooked. Instead, open your search up to a variety of different channels. Have you reached out to your network, or asked for referrals internally?

Forsaking Culture-Add for Culture-Fit

We are big fans of culture-fit, in fact we’ve written a blog on this topic before.  The benefits of diversity have been widely talked about, so our cautionary tale would be to check that you’re not hiring “sameness” in the guise of culture-fit. Be rigid on values-fit but embrace different thinking and seek this out.

Only Considering Candidates with the Best CVs

If a CV is the key determinant for success, why bother with an interview? Although it may be tempting to restrict your search to certain criteria found on paper, it pays to open up the competition and consider a wildcard candidate. Ensure you have phone screening in your process, it might just help you uncover a gem!

Moving Too Slow or Too Fast

In the race to hire top IT talent, speed to hire is vital. A lengthy process with impractical steps, multiple interview stages, work tests and samples can often lead to a process that take weeks, even months before a final decision is made. Dragging your feet will only see the best candidates picked up by more nimble competitors. It’s a balancing act, though, as not having enough rigour in your process, can be costly.

Judgement Reigns

Although there are definitely a few risks to avoid, there are also some that can be worth taking. It might be a job history with too many temp or contract jobs, or a lack of industry/New Zealand experience. On the surface, they may seem like red flags but digging a little deeper often pays off when new capability is gained through global IT experience, new industries and challenging IT projects. Consider how this will add value to your business.


If people are the greatest asset in any organisation (and we think they are!), recruitment risks remain the most important yet often the most challenging aspect for any leader. There is no one right answer, and there’s always going to be an element of risk in hiring, but by reassessing some of your hiring processes, you can avoid getting into some of the traps discussed above.

“With New Innovation Comes New Risks” is just one of the many events taking place across Christchurch during Techweek. If you’re going to be out and about next week, see the full programme here.

To get the most out of the events, check out our resource guide, here.

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