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Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

Meet the Talent

HOST works with employers in several cities across Aotearoa New Zealand to foster better inclusion of refugee and migrant background jobseekers through training, advisory and bridge building activities such as Meet the Talent that bring together employers and refugee jobseekers. 

Under the banner of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, HOST has developed a programme called Meet the Talent to address a gap in employer engagement with jobseekers from refugee and migrant backgrounds.


Meet the Talent is a series of events to bring together jobseekers, community, and students from refugee and migrant backgrounds to connect with employers.


Employers and prospective employers may not have worked with employees from refugee or migrant backgrounds before and may not understand their barriers to employment, so these events provide an opportunity to engage with jobseekers directly and better understand their backgrounds and talents.


Barriers to employment are varied as refugee and migrant background jobseekers may not be familiar with the recruitment processes, understand Kiwi workplaces, know how to present themselves and their skills in the best way, or have social and professional networks to draw on.


The Meet the Talent initiative is targeted at engaging and encouraging employers to have a fresh perspective and think about how they become more inclusive, while giving refugee and migrant background jobseekers the opportunity to engage and learn more from Kiwi employers.

For jobseekers

The Meet the Talent events provide you with the opportunity to learn to network and find out more about potential employers in different industries. You will be able to talk to them, find out about their recruitment practices and what type of skills and/or qualifications they may require. This might help you better align your skills to the job opportunities available.


The purpose of Meet the Talent for jobseekers:

  • To provide you with an opportunity to proactively engage with potential employers, such as recruitment managers or hiring staff, in a safe space;

  • To give you a voice promoting yourself, your work experiences and the challenges you face in the New Zealand job market;

  • To learn the art of networking and how important professional networks are in New Zealand;

  • To gain an insight into a business or employer’s perspective, and the skills or qualification requirements they have;

  • To learn how you may be able to better present your skills in the current job environment;

  • To provide opportunities for discussion around topics such as inclusion in the workplace; and

  • To explore potentials for work experience (internships) and/or employment.

For employers


These events will provide recruiters and hiring managers with the opportunity:

  • To learn more about the challenges and barriers refugee and migrant background jobseekers face in the New Zealand labour market;

  • To better understand how you may be able to adapt your recruiting activities to meet the needs of diverse background applicants;

  • To better understand refugee and migrant background jobseekers’ rights of working in Aotearoa New Zealand and learn more about their transferrable skills, experiences and qualifications;

  • To provide opportunities for discussion around topics such as inclusion in the workplace;

  • To consider some of the challenges and opportunities to address barriers to employment and make workplaces more inclusive; and

  • To provide refugee and migrant background jobseekers with the opportunity to talk to you and get to know you and your business in a safe space.

HOST can also provide guidance and coaching to work alongside community members with business start-ups.

Past Meet the Talent events

2020 HOST NZ Meet the Talent.jpg

Reflections and feedback from employers:

“It was our pleasure to be part of such a great event. We were impressed with the organisation, facilitation, and such engaged students/jobseekers. We would be more than happy to support any further events etc. that you are involved. We have connected further with a number of candidates who have registered their interest with us.”


“I was inspired by the energies, passion of the people that we met. What appeared to matter most for jobseekers was the values of the company. The big take away for them was to think from a resourcing perspective, and to think about how they could open a career pathway. We will talk to our Human Resourcing team about we could get that up and running.”

We are currently exploring a series of Meet the Talent events for 2023. Watch this space!

In collaboration with Voice of Aroha and Victoria University VIC.Without.Barriers, HOST was able to hold several in-person Meet the Talent events.

These events were attended by local businesses, larger companies from different industry groups, tertiary institutions, and Government departments.


Outcomes included new connections, invitations to meetings, contacts for sending through CVs and follow-up conversations as well as the opportunity for internships to gain work experience and/or employment.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Meet the Talent events had to move online instead, and we held successful online events last year in partnership with SEEK New Zealand, Xero, and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Over 150 people have attended these events.

Some jobseekers have secured job outcomes and others have developed knowledge and networks that have helped them advance their career or focus their efforts. Employers have been able to critique their recruitment practices and review their assumptions about former refugees.

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