Recruiting ideal workers

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Friday, March 4, 2016

A publicly funded job scheme is benefitting an East Tamaki business that is growing as quickly as it can find suitable staff.

Seedling NZ produces and distributes interesting toys and innovative activity kits for children, with its export business now extended into 20 countries.

Seedling was founded by chief executive Phoebe Hayman in 2007 as a home business and has expanded to an East Tamaki commercial premises that is manned by 32 staff members and includes a retail store.

Finding suitable employees is always a challenge for businesses, though Seedling has had many successes using the CadetMax scheme, says general manager Brenda Margot.

Leah Gates, the general manager employment for the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, says CadetMax is a partnership programme between the chamber and the Ministry of Social Development that aims to place young people into entry level and work experience positions.

“CadetMax matches businesses with talented young people who have a positive attitude, strong work ethic and the ambition to succeed,” she says.

An interested visitor to Seedling recently was the Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley, who was on a busy day’s tour of the Botany electorate arranged by MP Jami-Lee Ross.

They met Ms Margot, Ms Gates and former CadetMax placements and now staff members, Lauren Mascalle, Reuben Manuel and Leah Salt.

“Anne and I were intrigued to see how the cadets were working out for Seedling,” says Mr Ross.

“What we found is it’s a win-win situation for the employer and the cadets. Seedling gets the ideal employees it’s looking for, and the cadets get the good stable jobs they’re searching for.

“Seedling is an encouraging and supportive employer. It wants its staff to be happy in its work, which leads to very positive results in productivity.”

Ms Gates says CadetMax is a free service to chamber member businesses, which includes pre-employment screening, assessment and training to ensure the candidates are work-ready. They also receive ongoing mentoring in their first year of employment.

CadetMax has helped more than 700 young people get their careers started since 2008.