QJumpers launches new AI candidate search software
QJumpers has announced a new tool to help businesses find potential new employees to fill skill shortages.
The AI Talent Sourcing Tool scours publicly available information and uses artificial intelligence to find, rank and engage highly qualified, passive job candidates.
It is an offshoot of another product launched two years ago, which was embedded
into the QJumpers Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Because of client demand, QJumpers has released an improved version that can be used independently of the ATS.
Recruiters can either paste a job description into the tool and let the AI generate its own candidate search specification, or they can create their own.
AI Talent Sourcing then presents a list of candidates ranked by how well they match the search criteria.
Candidate profiles are created by combining pieces of information from publicly available data, such as networking sites, social media, company websites and blogs.
Preferences such as location, skills, education and years' experience can also be specified.
QJumpers co-founder Simon Oldham said it means the sourcing and recruitment software provider can sell into markets they previously could not access, such as staffing agencies and enterprise clients "anywhere in the world".
"With low immigration and low unemployment rates, competition for talent is really tight.
"You either need a big brand or a big wallet to lure in talent."
Rotorua business cracks Chinese consumer market
Rotorua business Kiwiseng has now launched into the Chinese consumer market.
Kiwiseng produces of wild-grown ginseng in New Zealand. It has more than 15 years' experience and its products will now be sold in China.
Health supplement business in China, Alpha Group, announced the new Kiwiso store opened in Xiamen in the Fujian Province on September 4.
The store will feature more than 30 New Zealand wellness products including natural foods, personal care, skincare, intimate care, and mum and baby products.
Alpha Group chief executive officer David Gao said Kiwiso enables New Zealand businesses to get their locally made wellness products into the Chinese market.
Kiwiso commercial lead Mike Arand said New Zealand suppliers were able to sell their products to Kiwiso in New Zealand.
"We then take care of the logistics, customs clearance and marketing to the
Michael Zhang, acting New Zealand Consul-General in Guangzhou, said the opening of the new Kiwiso store highlighted the benefits of New Zealand's strong relationship with China.
"New Zealand's relationship with China is one of our most significant and trade has been a particularly successful story within that relationship.
"It is great to see new channels opening up to allow New Zealand products to make it into the hands of Chinese consumers."
How being online got Katikati artisan producer and Greerton retailer through lockdown
With farmers markets closed in lockdown, local artisan producers who rely on markets for income turned to digital commerce to sell their products.
Small retailers felt the pinch as level 3 and 4 restrictions demanded contactless options or no trading at all.
But two small Bay of Plenty businesses are relieved their online stores have helped them through the lockdown.
Pat Ward and Anne Billing, of Katikati-based Happy Horizons, upped their digital game and got online through a free website initiative.
They say their business, which makes magnesium cream and other organic health and body care products, is much better off for it.
"We have had online orders coming through, and it feels very different to the last lockdown," Pat said.
While the artisan producers were looking forward to markets reopening, Pat said the business was progressing digitally.
"I am so glad we're getting sorted now, as there's so much more opportunity to grow your business when it's online and looking professional - the potential is very exciting."
Robyn Parker of Robyn's Cottage in Greerton took her business online during the first lockdown last year and says she wouldn't have made it through another lockdown without her website.
"I wouldn't be without it now," she said. "It runs side by side with my store."
Self-confessed as "not computer savvy" Robyn undertook the digital learning curve and her online sales grew beyond just local customers.
The added benefit was having a digital, contactless sales channel ready to go.
"It's more than just sales though, it's about presence. The whole world is stepping forward digitally, and being online keeps me in front of my customers, as that's where everyone is now."
Both businesses got online through the free websites for SMEs initiative that website design company Zeald launched in March 2020, called the Get Ecommerce Movement, or GEM.
The company has now given away more than 1000 free GEM websites, and continues to help Kiwi businesses get online, and to trade effectively through lockdowns and beyond.
Jarra Borman, Tauranga-based agency director for Zeald, said being digital enables online and contactless trading.
"It's the only way businesses are going to keep up and stay competitive in this fast-changing digital era."
East Coromandel scallop fishery to close for two years
The east Coromandel scallop fishery will close for two years from this Saturday after a request from the Ngāti Hei Trust.
The closure covers scallop fishing along the east Coromandel coastline from Anarake Pt to Ruahiwihi Pt, where Ngāti Hei exercise mana moana, and includes Opito Bay.
Other fishing in the area can continue under existing rules.
Fisheries management director Emma Taylor said public consultation on the request was done between April and May.
"We received more than 2000 submissions, with the majority supporting a closure," she said.
"The feedback from tangata whenua and the public reflects the results of recent scientific surveys, commissioned by Fisheries New Zealand. These highlight concerns around the sustainability of scallop stocks right across the northern scallop fisheries, including the east Coromandel area.
"While addressing fishing activity is part of the picture, we also know that scallops are affected by land-based impacts such as sedimentation, and by changes to water quality."
Taylor said the closure would relieve some of the pressure while work continued by central and local Government to address fishing and non-fishing-related impacts.
"A large part of Opito Bay was already closed to commercial scallop harvesting, on top of seasonal restrictions for recreational and commercial fishing.
"The new closure area is much larger and applies to both recreational and commercial scallop fishing. This will support scallop populations, across a larger area of the coastline and is part of the overall scallop management picture that Fisheries New Zealand is currently considering."
The closure follows a customary rāhui placed by Ngāti Hei on the Opito Bay area in December, to take pressure off the scallop fishery.
"Customary management tools and temporary closures such as rāhui, provide an important mechanism to support the protection of our fisheries resources," Taylor said.
The closure will be legally enforceable from Saturday.
MPI fishery officers will continue to patrol the coast supporting public awareness and enforcing the rules. Anyone with information about suspected illegal fishing should contact MPI on 0800 4 POACHER to report it.
New members reflect broader focus for Energy Resources Aotearoa
Energy Resources Aotearoa has welcomed Oji Fibre Solutions and Powerco as members, reflecting the organisation's new focus on the wider energy sector.
Packaging paper manufacturer Oji Fibre Solutions is one of the first major energy users to join Energy Resources Aotearoa.
Powerco is also one of the first energy infrastructure companies to join Energy Resources Aotearoa.
Energy Resources Aotearoa chief executive John Carnegie said he expected these new members to be the first of many to come.
"This reflects our new strategy to focus on the wider energy sector, recognising the sector is closely interlinked."
Other new members of Energy Resources Aotearoa this year include A S Harrison & Co and SenateSHJ.
Consumer card spending beginning to bounce back
Card spending is beginning to bounce back from the previous week, new data from the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) shows.
BNZ chief cconomist Paul Conway said there were tentative signs the bounce back from the lockdown was under way, with card spending up 12 per cent on last week. It is now sitting at 37 per cent below pre-lockdown levels.
"With most of the country now at Covid-19 Alert Level 2, it's expected that spending would rise, but with our biggest city and the centre of the economy still in alert level 4, that rise will be somewhat sluggish.
"There's definitely room for optimism."
Conway said at the same point in the nationwide lockdown in 2020, card spending was 61 per cent below the pre-lockdown average.
"We continue to see online spending growing too, suggesting that people and businesses may be more adept at operating online, which could be helping to soften the economic impacts."
Across regions, the hit to spending relative to pre-lockdown levels ranges from 63 per cent in Marlborough to 33 per cent in Tasman. The Auckland and Wellington regions have had spending declines of 40 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.
In the Bay of Plenty, spending was down 53 per cent.
"We're also seeing a difference in what New Zealanders are spending their money on."
Conway said spending on IT equipment and software, internet payment services, and financial services has surged well ahead of pre-lockdown levels.
Spending on hotels, travel, and restaurants has picked up from last week but was still very low compared to normal times, he said.
"As the lockdown eases and the country gets ahead of the outbreak, we hope to see these trends begin to revert back to normal.
"The pressure on businesses during lockdown is difficult, but we know from previous experience that we can bounce back quickly."
Taking pets to work could improve employee wellbeing
A Tauranga-based people and performance managing consulting business says bringing pets to work increases employee's mental wellbeing.
The business was now trialling the new pet-friendly initiative in the workplace.
Partners & Co partner Lindsey Rayner said the company firmly believes people are a company's biggest asset, therefore, supporting employees' wellbeing is essential for a business' success.
Rayner said she was apprehensive about having animals in the workplace before realising the positive impact it would have on her team.
"My team asked if they could bring their dogs into work and I initially thought, "What will our clients think?'," she said.
"But after checking with everyone first they enjoyed having pets at work. It was evident in their behaviour that they were happier when pets were there and there is something therapeutic about having a doggie cuddle."