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Hiria Rae

Talent Acquisition Consultant

I am a Talent Acquisition Consultant, part of the Air New Zealand Talent Acquisition Team.

Our role is to work in partnership with business managers to identify candidates who have qualifications, experience, drive and passion that makes great Air New Zealanders. The opportunity to be involved in this side of the business is great, I am a real people person and love the relationship side of my role, I also relish the need to understand different parts of the business especially in the technical areas. (I think my engineering skills are coming along nicely).

The highlights for me are finding the right fit for candidates and seeing them happy in their roles and teams down the track. I also get to work with up and coming students involved in areas such as aircraft maintenance (Aviation Institute) and students studying engineering degrees at our local universities. It is great to see students having worked so hard to achieve their qualifications and then welcome them into the business.

It’s not always easy though, considering we have a fraction of vacancies compared to the number of people expressing an interest to work with Air New Zealand every year, I have to say no an awful lot and still provide a positive experience.

Where did your journey start?
I started with Air New Zealand in February 2005 as a Customer Service Agent. Prior to this I had spent close on 25 years in the Scuba Diving Industry. My motivation to join Air New Zealand was to be able to indulge my love of working closely with customers while combined with a fast paced operational environment and the airport definitely did not disappoint!

Where’s your journey taken you so far within Air New Zealand?

From CSA I moved on to Team Leader Baggage Tracing / Baggage Makeup (AKLI). I was privileged to work with some absolutely great teams. One of the things I loved about the operational environment is the way that everybody pulls out all the stops to get our aircraft and passengers away on time, it is a great sense of team achievement. While I enjoyed working in the airport environment I have always enjoyed recruitment and when the opportunity came to work within the team at Air New Zealand I couldn’t say no. I love the team at Engineering and the support that everyone gives considering that I don’t have an engineering background. It is an incredibly interesting area full of people who are extremely proud of what they do and who they are.

I have also been involved in a few different areas in the business; I was lucky enough to be selected to be a part-time Ambassador for the B777-300 introduction which saw a team of us show trade and consumers through Hangar 9 and the aircraft itself. A great opportunity to show off our product and find see our customers experience the aircraft first hand. I also worked with the Rugby World Cup Ambassadors which was a scream, a great way to be part of the Rugby World Cup and play a little part in making sure that passengers got a good Kiwi welcome.

Air New Zealand has offered me so many opportunities, it sounds trite but it is great to be able to say that I am an Air New Zealander.

Where do you hope your journey will take you?

I love what I currently do and I love the area. I’m not sure!

What Air NZ value do you feel you best represent and why?

Hmmm Welcome as a Friend – because the relationships we establish shape the way we are. Interacting with friends is so much better than interacting with strangers and the result is that we will have a positive, enjoyable and productive environment.

What’s the best story you’ve been able to tell after a day at work?

A candidate stops me with a big smile and tells me that they love their role and their new team.

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