A survey by recruitment firm Manpower has found one in three New Zealand firms are looking overseas to fill skill shortages.
It found 39% of employers are looking outside New Zealand to find workers.
That compares with a figure of 35% for Australia and a global average of 24%.
Manpower's sales and marketing general manager Chris Riley says the skills gaps domestically and internationally are in engineering, specialist technicians and IT and software specialists and cross a number of sectors of the economy.
He says since New Zealand's skills gaps are very similar to the rest of the world, it makes it harder for firms to fill vacancies.