Q&A With Pip O’Connell, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

0ba564dWe caught up with Pip O’Çonnell from MBIE and asked her a few questions about her upcoming talk at #RHUBNZ

Q. Can you tell us a bit about your background and current role at MBIE?
Both Jeff McDonald and myself have worked in the recruitment industry as recruitment consultants and key account managers. As Senior Procurement Analysts – Recruitment, we bring our industry experience and knowledge to the All of Government (AoG) contract. We are currently at a stage where we are gaining a more detailed understanding of how the All of Government contract is working for both providers and agencies in order to continually consider the on-going impact and improvement.

Q. How does procurement contribute to recruitment efficiency?
Procurement contributes to recruitment efficiency by following a consistent approach and leveraging on the total purchasing power of the New Zealand public sector. This is enabled by:
Effective contract management;
Negotiated rates;
Risk management (a consistent approach);
Reduced cost of engagement for both government agencies and providers;
Reports on spending and satisfaction (agencies and providers);
Standardised Terms and Conditions

Q. It’s been a year since MBIE started the AoG panel, can you shed some light on how it’s going?
After one year the success of the All of Government (AoG) Contract – Recruitment can be measured in its calculated savings and agency uptake. We currently have 68 participating government agencies – 72% are top 25 (government agency spend) and we regularly receive enquiries from eligible agencies about becoming participating agencies.

One main challenge is to increase the understanding of how the All of Government Contract – Recruitment works and what the benefits are. Our account management approach with both government agencies and providers allows us to effectively deal with issues raised and plan for the future.

Q. What will you be speaking about at the event?
At the RHUB conference Jeff McDonald and I will include the following topics in our presentation:

  • Development of the All of Government – Recruitment contract;
  • The process involved;
  • Where we are now / current status;
  • What people are saying/asking / feedback received, FAQs; and
  • Future planning.

Pip O’Connell and Jeff McDonald will speak about the role of procurement and the AoG experiment at RHUBNZ on 9 Oct.

Move to internal recruitment pays off for IT company

Source: Shortlist

One of the biggest barriers to moving to an internal recruitment model is convincing hiring managers who are used to picking up the phone and ringing their favourite recruitment company, to support the new system, says Certus Solutions Australia and New Zealand talent manager, Carol-Ann Hickmore. Read more

How to improve your Twitter sourcing

Once you’ve found the passive candidates you’re looking for on Twitter, don’t jump in too quickly and try to sell them your job, says social sourcing expert Kirsti Grant. Grant, who is head of talent at NZ software start-up Vend, told the NZ Sourcing Summit in Auckland yesterday that recruiters often joined Twitter, then found that getting started was hard. Read more

Global mobility program boosts PwC sourcing

Source: Shortlist

Also speaking at the Summit, PricewaterhouseCoopers recruitment manager Amy Gregory said PwC in New Zealand benefitted from a significant global mobility program, which delivered 40% of its hires.

“We’ve got a lot of people over here on secondment from various territories around the world. So we try to tap into their networks – as soon as someone starts, we promote the employee referral program in their induction meetings.” Read more

Recruiters: Can you demonstrate the value you create?

Source: Shortlist

Internal recruiters should look for ways to demonstrate the value they bring to their company, otherwise they risk being viewed as just another “overhead”, says Deloitte New Zealand talent acquisition manager Paul Smith. Speaking at last week’s NZ Sourcing Summit in Auckland, Smith said that when he reported to his bosses at Deloitte, the conversation was focused on value and competitive advantage. Read more

Engage with candidates to create recruitment advocates: ASB Bank

Source: Shortlist News

Maintaining a dialogue with your candidates can turn them into passionate advocates for your business, says Mark Sumner, talent sourcing manager at New Zealand’s ASB Bank.

Speaking at the NZ Sourcing Summit in Auckland yesterday, Sumner said ASB used LinkedIn and other social media to create talent communities where it engaged with skilled workers – sharing information, showcasing its culture, and alerting them to opportunities. By keeping candidates warm even if there wasn’t a specific job in the mix yet, the company built valuable relationships. As an example, Sumner said that about a year ago a top banker had relocated to New Zealand from South Africa, and had joined ASB’s talent community. <more> Read more

Clients no longer buy into recruiter value: Savage

Source: Shortlist, 18 October 2012

Employers throughout the world now have a “very deep pervasive cycnicism of the value of third party recruiters”, Firebrand CEO Greg Savage told a conference today.

The veteran recruiter told the RHUB meeting in Auckland today that he had spent the past year visiting heads of recruitment and HR at media, marketing, PR, retail and finance companies, and all had a similar message.

“In boardrooms across this country and the world there is a universal intention to drive cost out of recruitment as much as possible.”

Cost-cutting was nothing new, he said, but among recruitment clients it was increasingly “accompanied by a very deep, pervasive cynicism of the value of third party recruiters.”

Savage recalled a time in the past when he met with a CEO who bemoaned the cost of photocopying, seemingly without realising that he was spending $1 million a year with Savage’s then company, Recruitment Solutions. That sort of “non-recognition” of the cost of recruitment was long gone.

He said companies didn’t believe agency recruitment added value, and saw the rise of social media sourcing as “a godsend… a channel to cut you and me out”.

At the same time as margins were being driven down, business leaders were also more focused than ever on the value of getting the right talent.

While this was good news, he said, it also meant “we won’t be able to slip under the radar anymore”.

How to build an EVP for a business undergoing big change

Source: Shortlist, 19 October 2012

How can a business build an effective, all-inclusive employment brand, when one of its divisions is in structural decline but others are undergoing rapid growth?

This was the dilemma New Zealand Post faced this year when developing a new employee value proposition to support its recruitment marketing, the organisation’s head of recruitment Tina Morgan told the RHUB NZ conference in Auckland yesterday.

The company has over 7,000 FTE employees, and filled 99% of perm and fixed term roles through its internal recruitment centre in 2011. So far in 2012 it has filled 98% in-house.

Morgan said that NZ Post’s long-term forecasts indicated a decline of 40% in revenue in its traditional mail business between 2002 and 2018.

While its mail processing staff were likely to be negatively affected by changes to the business, the company was actively recruiting in other parts of the business including the thriving Kiwibank brand, its parcel service, and a number of new online services.

Morgan said focus groups had shown that people saw NZ Post’s brand as trustworthy and secure, “a great employer that looks after its people” – but not very exciting.

She said the organisation had developed a “People for Change” tagline to represent its employer brand, to highlight the fact that transformation was occurring in the business. This had an upside as people were attracted to the idea of being part of something new.

“As an external recruitment piece, the context is: Come and join us, be part of our evolution, come and help us make it happen.”

She said developing the branding had involved walking a fine line in talking about the great opportunities in the business, when the news wasn’t universally good.

“We’ve had to play it safe with our EVP messaging because while on one side of the business we have cool stuff happening, on the other side the mail processing changes aren’t so exciting, and could have a negative impact on people.”

Morgan said NZ Post would soon launch the new tagline in its recruitment marketing, and had already introduced some updated branding as part of a current campaign for 34 professional roles.

The campaign was being promoted through social media, ads on news websites, a dedicated microsite, and “jobgrams” – small, poster-style ads with their own URLs that could be linked from other sources.

“Generally with a project like this we may put 30% to 40% [of those roles] out to agencies. At the moment we have five of them listed with agencies, and we actually filled one of them ourselves – so about 10% this time and we believe that’s through the success of the online campaign.”

Culture is key to agency performance; A prophesy of the death of sourcing and HR

Source: Shortlist, 19 October 2012

Culture is key for high-performing recruitment companies
With more employers doing interesting and creative recruitment work in-house, the agency sector faces increasing competition to attract top talent, and the best way to do this is through culture, says Jonathan Rice of NZ rec-to-rec Rice Consulting.

A strong culture delivers good results, Rice told the RHUB NZ conference yesterday, and skilled or high-potential recruiters are attracted to success.

“Recruiters like joining winning teams, and they stay.”

As well as low staff turnover, another marker of an agency with a good culture was headcount growth through employee referrals.

“That means the people in your team are out there talking to their personal networks – they believe in your culture so strongly that they’re willing to risk a friendship in bringing someone into the business.”

Rice offered a number of tips for agency owners and managers to improve their culture:

Ask clients how they perceive the culture of your team, and then ask your team. “If there’s a big difference you’ve got a problem.”

Praise loudly and publicly, criticise privately.

“For God’s sake, please give your recruiters access to social media! Did you know you can use it to recruit?”

Encourage employee referrals. Have a formal referral program with rewards for referrers.

Whatever you do, don’t treat the top biller differently. “It’s a tough climate, but treat staff with the dignity they deserve.”

Remuneration matters to recruiters. Wherever possible you should ensure your consultants have the opportunity to earn a total package in the six figure range.

A prophesy of the death of sourcing and HR
Sourcing, and the HR function as a whole, are on the way out, claims social recruiting and employer branding specialist and Jobgram director, Paul Jacobs.

Speaking at the RHUB event yesterday, Jacobs made some bold predictions about changes to the recruitment landscape between now and 2020.

He said by 2020 “everybody is going to be a recruiter”, and cited the example of Deloitte Australia, which has said publicly it wants all 5,500 of its employees act as its recruiters and sourcers.

At the same time, Jacobs said, the growth of big data and the use of pre-programmed search algorithms to comb through this data meant that dedicated sourcers would no longer be needed.

“My theory is that we will see the death of sourcing and the death of sourcers. What we’re doing with Boolean searches and stuff like that, at the moment, I actually think will be all done in real time, automated and personalised – information will come to us.”

He added that he believed that HR as a business unit would also be dead by 2020, through its own failure to innovate.

“[Internal] recruitment is going to remain but HR is going to die – I don’t think HR is spearheading ideas or championing collaborative tools, social media tools, and so forth. I don’t think they are keeping up, I think they are becoming irrelevant.”

Jacobs said his experience was that social media, marketing and communications experts had better ideas for HR initiatives than the HR community itself.