Promoting Rookie Recruiters at RHUBNZ

New recruits to the industry are critical for the long-term health of the recruitment profession. Needless to say, our industry need to attract and compete for new talent.  We want to encourage those just starting, or planning to start, their career to learn from industry leaders.  We are announcing two new subsidised rates for those just starting their career as recruiters and also uni students still studying, to participate at RHUB.

If you have recently taken up a role within HR/recruitment (twelve months or less) or currently studying at Uni with an interest  in pursuing HR/Recruitment as a career you can take advantage of our special price. Our industry need new voices. Join us.  Register now 

RHUBNZ Speakers Preview – NZDF

The New Zealand Defence Force is one of the largest employers in NZ. The Force comprises of over 14,000 people. This includes around 9,000 Regular Force, 2,200 Reserve Force, and 2,900 civil staff members across the armed services of Navy, Army and Air Force. Each year 1,900 new hires are made.

NZDF is undoubtably one of the most innovative recruiters in the country, utilising a wide range of tactics and strategies. Interactive and engaging, the defence career site is probably one of the best employment websites in NZ.

NZDF also widely used social channels like youtube, Linkedin, facebook and Twitter.  Their recruitment videos, in particular, are done very well.   We love this video from NZDF.

At RHUB Wendy Wright and Xanthe Prentice will shed light on the recruitment practices at NZDF.





Announcing RHUB 2014 MCs

We are delighted to announce not one but two MCs for RHUBNZ 2014 – Troy Hammond from Vend and Richard Long from Madison.

Both Troy and Richard are well known personalities in the NZ recruitment scene.  Troy recently moved from Candle to join VEND. In contrast Richard joined the agency world (Madison) after a long stint with Deloitte and Shine Lawyers.

MCing an event is one of the toughest gig at a conference.  Both Troy and Richard are also past speakers at RHUBNZ and IT18.  We are delighted both Troy and Richard can join us.

Troy tweets at @troyhammo & Richard at @RichardLongNZ

Can Design-Thinking Solve Recruitment Problems? Q&A With Kelly Ann McKercher of Optimal Experience

What can recruiters learn from designers?

One of the focus at RHUBNZ this year is to highlight the different ways recruiters can learn from other industries and develop a fresh outlook. Enter ‘Design-thinking’ a different way of looking at how business problems can be solved. We caught up with Kelly Ann McKercher of Optimal Experience to find out more about design-thinking and how it can be applied to recruitment.

Q. What is human-centred design and why does it matter?
Human-centred design is a process in which the needs, wants, expectations and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given extensive attention throughout the design process. We didn’t make it up, human-centred design is a professional discipline with a focus on understanding how people and products/services/processes interact. We define the design process as having several distinct stages; research, co-creation, testing and implementation. Nothing is created without first testing it with representative users.

Why does it matter? Organisations can no longer compete on technology, brand, price, services or products. Instead, they must compete on experience.  A deep understanding of users, their tasks and the environment they exist in enables us to craft solutions that really work for them, ensuring experiences are useful, usable and satisfying. This in turn creates a climate for customer preference, loyalty and advocacy.

People love telling their stories and are empowered when they have a hand in creating something they will use in their personal or professional lives.  Still puzzled? Check out

Q. Can you shed lights on your clients/projects you are doing. What problems are you currently solving with human centered design?
In recent months I’ve helped:
–        A major insurer understand the end-to-end experience their customers have in buying their products. Also, the experience had by their staff in delivering the service in order to identify and address pain points for both parties.
–        A tertiary institute to solve students problems in accessing student services through researching, designing and testing a responsive self-service portal.
–        A government organisation understand the wants, needs and habits of their employees in order to design a tool to support them to carry out their work in efficient, cohesive and delightful way (which they were previously unable to do).

Q. Can the human-centred design framework be universally applied in solving problems across different industries  including recruitment?
At it’s core, human-centred design is about better understanding peoples’ needs and designing solutions that meet those needs. It can be applied to solving many human problems across industries – from the creation of policy, addressing social challenges, the creation or transformation of a public or private service or the ongoing improvement of processes within an organisation.

It’s a great approach for solving big, wicked problems that need many minds.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up with your current role?
I’m both a designer and social anthropolgist, a purpose-fit background for the kind of research and design work we do at Optimal Experience. I joined the team three years ago after attending a presentation on the work Optimal Experience had done in researching and testing the design of the Air New Zealand Skycouch.

I’m passionate about spreading the message of human-centred design across public and private sectors, with a particular emphasis on the application of human-centred design for addressing social challenges.

Outside of my work at Optimal I run a monthly forum for woman interested in, or practicing human-centred design, mentor start-ups in the social good space, as well as speaking about and teaching human-centered design to students and professionals.

Q. What will you be speaking at RHUBNZ
Suzanne and I will be delivering an interactive workshop where participants will learn practical skills to enable them to use the human-centered design process in solving problems they encounter.  Participants will learn about; conducting user research, ideating solutions based on user needs, testing ideas with users and iterating ideas based on users feedback.

Kelly Ann McKercher & Suzanne Cross will conduct a workshop on design-thinking on day one of RHUBNZ

#fearlessrecruitment = My reality!

It’s come to my attention that there’s been a bit of a grumpy flavour in my last few posts, sorry about that. It’s not normally my style, but sometimes, just sometimes stuff needs to be said.

So here’s a change up then.

I’ve been pretty excited of late. I’ve been challenged with what I think to be every Recruiters Dream. My MD came to me and said “Dan, enough of this “just in time” Recruitment” (insert Dan’s gulp here) “Find me some stars, convince me, and we’ll hire them”. This was later reformed to… “Find me some stars… hire them… you know what we want. Pull the trigger. Go for it!”

Carte Blanche… Pretty cool huh?

Here’s the kicker. Even more so than normal, it really is my responsibility. We’ve all worn the “Who’s hired this person game”, getting blamed for the hires that just don’t work out (don’t pretend you haven’t had any, I won’t believe you) and yet never got the accolades for that super star hire that changed the course of the companies success for the years to come. Time to put up or shut up I suppose.

There’s lots of talk in the HR or Recruitment sphere (OK more HRy type people who worry about these things) about wanting a “seat at the table.” You know, that table where your decisions count, that table where you get instant validation for your career and profession. As a Recruiter, you can normally comfort yourself with the fact that most decisions made are a product of “Group Think”. Many people get a say in the process and the final decision is normally the person signing the cheques. However the ball is squarely in my court. There will be questioning, there will be people giving their opinion to the positive and to the negative, and it will be my call.

Talk about exposed. Pretty exciting huh? I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but we’ve tested the theory already, with others trying to influence my decision. (including said person who has historically made those calls and will still be signing the cheques) I’m standing firm, and finally officially wearing the result. Help!?

The evolution has begun.. Would you be brave enough?



“Diplomatic Immunity” in Recruitment

What would you do if you had a corporate “Diplomatic immunity” of you could Recruit, engage, hire with no fear.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 12.03.02 am

My boss told me a secret, which I’ll share with you, if you promise not to tell anyone. He would tell me if he asked the Legal people if he could do things, they would tell him all the reasons he couldn’t. He said the same went for his HR people, if he asked them if he could do something, they would just say all the reasons he couldn’t. So he changed the question. He started to ask them to find a way he could do something, and forwent that question.

Looking for solutions. It’s a cathartic way of looking at things. The world keeps changing, technology is advancing, disrupting markets and industries in the way we’ve always known them. The world is shrinking, the war for talent is blurring the lines, eroding boundaries. Are you keeping pace or being left behind?

So…. What would you do? Firstly, I’d hang out with someone like Paul Jacobs. This man’s brain astounds me. He’ll think of something you’ve never thought of.  He’s going to Gaming conferences for inspiration and has been known to draw inspiration from the porn industry.  (not to mention snapchat etc)

Using wearable technology maybe? GPS to recruit.

Hacking into the competitions internal databases of staffing lists?

Setting up a stand outside of your main competitors office?

What form of social media can you manipulate to your advantage? Surely there is a loophole to explore?

I personally loved these two articles of late about Job fairs in Australia for returning Kiwis and the new face of Recruitment

What could you do? Possibilities are endless…

RHUBNZ Conference is back

RHUBNZ is back! We are delighted to announce RHUB CONFERENCE 2014. This year’s event will be held over two days on 17-18 November at the iconic Sir Paul Reeves Building, at AUT university.

This year we will have speakers from a wide range of industries and backgrounds – marketers, technologists, designers, researchers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, HR professionals and of course recruiters.  Some of the companies presenting at #RHUBNZ include – Fonterra, IBM, FutureStep, TheWarehouse, Inland Revenue, NZ Defence, Minter Ellison, AUT, TalentWire, TradeMe, Vend, ASB, HR2Go and more. Have a look at our line-up of speakers (more will be added soon).

This year’s theme is FEARLESS RECRUITMENT and we will look at everything from privacy issues, to big data to grad recruitment. We will explore advances in sourcing science, the state of RPOs, branding, recruitment technology and candidate behavior. A lot of the focus will be on personal development and equipping recruiters to face the future. Over two days we will celebrate and highlight innovative NZ recruitment stories. The content will be shared in different formats – multiple breakout sessions, unconference, workshops, discussions and general sessions. Check out the agenda and format for this year.

The event promises to be bigger and better than past RHUBNZ events. If you are new to RHUBNZ conference, have a look at what past delegates have to say

We hope to see you in November again. Follow our progress using the #rhubnz hashtag on Twitter or join our Linkedin group or Facebook Page.

We have added an extra day but the price remains the same as last year. As a bonus, take the opportunity to grab early bird price. Register now!


Recruiting calls for rhythm, routine and “business within a business” mindset

Source: Shortlist

Former New Zealand Post recruitment manager Rory Walker says overseeing the recruitment of hundreds of posties and mail sorters taught him the importance of rhythm and routine when supervising a team of recruiters. Walker worked in a range of senior roles at NZ Post and is now NZ sales director for HR software firm SilkRoad. Speaking at the RHUB conference in Auckland this week, Walker said his top tip for managing recruiters was giving them a rhythm to work by.

“At New Zealand Post, we had a team of people who were very fragmented, they were chasing around hiring managers, chasing around candidates, and they were trying to cram all of that into a fragmented week, so it was just really stressful for them.”

NZ Post was recruiting hundreds of the same types of roles over and over again, Walker says, and he realised that he could use that high-volume scenario to his advantage by breaking up each recruiter’s workload into structured parts.

“So maybe on Monday the recruiter is doing screening, on Tuesday they are doing telephone calls, on Wednesday they are doing interviews with the hiring manager, on Thursday they are doing reference checks, and on Friday they are making offers. “It sounds really simple, but when you’ve got someone who’s trying to do all of those things 10 times in one day, it’s much easier for them to do it all in one day, and get some rhythm in.”

Secondly, Walker says, companies that have a high-volume recruitment workload can also benefit from examining the patterns in their work, when they have a seasonal hiring peak or a major project.
Once they have established their business-as-usual rhythm and routine, they will have reliable data on how long it takes to get someone into a role. “Then you work backwards from your project completion dates and you know exactly when you’ve got to advertise, when you’re going to be screening, when you’re interviewing, and you let your managers know.  “Tell them they need to block out two hours or four hours… this week or next week, and it is going to keep happening. Start to get them into that culture of routine as well.”

Teach your consultants the “business within a business” method. Business coach and former recruiter Bernadette Logue told the conference her top recruitment tip is to encourage consultants to treat their desk or portfolio as if it were their own business.

Logue, who co-owns personal and business consultancy Pinch Me Living, says her first boss in recruitment instilled in her the idea of operating “a business within a business”. Consultants needs to think of their desk as “a microcosm that depends 100% on you to thrive”, and work in such a way that if the agency around them disappeared, their mini-business would continue to run smoothly.

For the recruiter, she says, that means being proactive, and developing an individual networking strategy and marketing strategy, beyond what the larger business does. “If this was your own business, these things would be top of mind because your livelihood would depend on it on a whole different level.”

Logue says in her recruitment career she built relationships with magazine journalists and provided commentary for articles on the contracting sector. “Where you’re an expert in your area of the market, what are you doing to get your name out there and build your brand?” Managers can also encourage recruiters to champion their own professional development, look for operational improvements, and nip problems in the bud themselves rather than wait for their team leader to step in, Logue says.

“If I’m running my desk like a business within a business, I want that thing humming, so I will do what I need to do to make sure [problems] get fixed. And if that means creating my own little fixes – that stay within the rules – then I’ll do that. “And when issues come up I’ll stamp them out and get on them early. When you know you’ve done something wrong, own up to it really quickly, because when you do that you get so much respect from the client.”

Recruiters must be champions of the employer brand: Aon Hewitt

Source: Shortlist

After a six-month honeymoon, engagement among new hires drops off in most organisations, so in-house recruiters must be “internal advocates” for keeping employer brand promises, says Aon Hewitt’s Simon Rudd. Rudd, client relationship manager in Aon Hewitt’s New Zealand talent and reward practice, told last week’s RHUB NZ conference that global data from the company’s Best Employers program shows that 83% of companies that meet the Best Employer criteria have a formalised employer brand, compared to 39% of other organisations.

“No one would disagree that a compelling employment brand is essentially the promise that an organisation makes to employees about what they can expect from the organisation. “Dissatisfaction, disillusion and disengagement is what kicks in naturally when that promise is broken.” Aon Hewitt has analysed the engagement levels of employees at different stages of tenure, Rudd says, and has found the employer brand promises made during recruitment and onboarding clearly cause an early engagement boost. “Hats off to internal recruiters and agency recruiters because we’re all here creating this hype around the employment brand, but come that six-month point, you can see that engagement falls in [non-Best Employer] organisations by 20%.

“The honeymoon is over because employment branding is simply used to get people in the door.” By contrast, at Best Employers the engagement level typically stays high throughout the employee’s tenure, he says. “And that’s because they live their employment brand.” Corporate recruiters, Rudd says, should be playing a bigger part in making the employer brand stick well beyond the employee’s first six months, by championing the importance of keeping recruitment promises. “The recruiter has to be an internal advocate for the EVP or the positioning statement that is sold to the candidate at onboarding time.

“Don’t exaggerate [the EVP] in the first place, of course, but a better approach would be to really act as advocates with your HR team, to ensure that employment promise continues [into] that crucial six-month-to-two-year period.” How the best employers keep their promises, and why it matters Making engagement a priority is not just about meeting corporate social responsibility requirements or being “nice”, Rudd notes; engaged workforces produce better commercial results. (In 2012 Aon Hewitt studied 94 global employers with nine million staff, and found that for each percentage point increase in the proportion of engaged employees, the organisation would derive an extra 0.6% in revenue.) Rudd says the company has identified a number of consistent practices by Best Employers that help uphold the employer brand and maintain high engagement levels after the honeymoon period is over:

  •  They consistently deliver on the promises they make to their people.
  • They “shamelessly” pay high performers significantly more than low performers.
  • Highly-engaged employers give top performers a 13.2% annual pay rise, on average, compared to a 1.2% raise for low performers. The pay differential between high and low performers at low-engagement companies is much smaller.
  • They are more likely to present employees with an exciting vision for the future of the organisation.
  • Their executive teams and senior leaders are visible, accessible and authentic.

“We’re out of [the GFC] but there’s still a lot of corporate change around, so that visibility is absolutely crucial.”

In-house recruiters “not as trusted as we should be”; agency roles changing

Source: Shortlist

In-house recruitment teams are constantly competing with other business units for influence and credibility with senior leadership, say top internal recruiters, who also reveal where agencies can continue to win their business.

Speaking at the New Zealand RHUB conference in Auckland yesterday, Keith Muirhead, group recruitment manager of NZ’s largest listed company, Fletcher Building, said one of the biggest challenges for internal recruiters is developing credibility inside the business.  Fletcher has about 30 internal recruiters, 19,000 staff, and expects to hire between 1,400 and 1,500 people this year.

Muirhead says in-house recruiters often have to battle with marketing and communications teams, for instance, to develop their employer branding and social recruitment strategies the way they want them. Recruiters also frequently find themselves excluded from key business discussions, he adds. “The connection with organisational development teams… is generally kind of weak; we tend to be kept away from succession discussions, and we don’t necessarily understand where high-potential talent is.

“I think, generally, we’re just not as trusted as we should be, considering that our role is the face of the business and we’re among the first people that [potential employees] connect in with. It’s a real shame and a challenge we need to fix.”

Amanda Tolley, recruitment manager at casino Sky City Auckland, says internal recruiters often find themselves asking, ‘Why didn’t you think to talk to us about that?’ Sky City has 3,000 staff, a team of nine recruiters and makes about 1,600 hires a year – some 38% of which are internal appointments, following a campaign over the past two years to increase internal mobility. Although internal recruitment leaders do need to encourage the rest of the business to see them as having a strategic role, the fight for a seat at the table doesn’t necessarily stem from the recruitment function not being taken seriously, Tolley says. “Yes, it’s a constant battle, but I think it’s because of the pressures on each business unit to perform, usually while having less resource and requiring more [output].”

What is the agency’s role?
Asked how agencies, particularly perm specialists, can keep winning business from big employers that are increasingly self-reliant when it comes to recruitment, Tolley says managing the candidate experience is something agencies can continue to offer. “It will be about how they sell the candidate on the opportunity, and how they court them through the process. For us as a business, it’s very much in a specialist skill area and we may not have the volume or the ability to manage it.”

Tolley says Sky City recently completed a search for a senior leadership role, in which it came up with its own shortlist, but asked one of its external suppliers to reach out to the candidates. “I knew we didn’t necessarily have the brand to attract them, so I engaged an agency, one of our key partners, to make that approach for us.” Referring to Andy Headworth’s comment at the conference that most big players are striving to directly recruit 80% of their hires, Muirhead says that in most large New Zealand companies with their own in-house recruitment functions, the figure is closer to 95% or 98%.

In-house teams focus on economies of scale and aim for the “easy stuff”, he says, so there will always be a place for boutique specialist agencies. “The challenge is in how they position themselves in terms of knowledge. “If the organisation is really, truly looking for the best person in the market, and that’s going to take two weeks of research, we don’t necessarily have the resources to do that. So [for recruiters] it is a case of figuring out what those roles are… that the internal models are going to struggle to fill, and focusing on those markets, because the low-hanging fruit is all gone.”

Muirhead says he looks for agency recruiters that have tenure in their niche.  “The people who understand the reputations of all those people in their market, over a long period of time, that’s the real value and that’s something internal models will always struggle to replicate.”