The SME market is your market, recruiters told

Source: Shortlist
Rather than chasing business with big employers who give out less and less work to agencies, recruiters should sharpen their focus on SME customers, according to a panel of recruitment leaders from the big players.

Speaking at the RHUB New Zealand conference last week, Air New Zealand head of recruitment Keith Muirhead said that 10 years ago about 50% of the airline’s roles went out to agencies, and now that figure was less than 3% and “ever diminishing”.

He pointed out that those 3% of roles had already proven extremely difficult to find, “so the ones the agencies are getting are kind of rubbish anyway”. Muirhead (who has had stints at TMP Worldwide and Adcorp, and was head of Trade Me Jobs before joining Air NZ in 2010) said the question needed to be asked, “do agencies see a future with corporates, as their in-house models reach a state of maturity?”

He said he believed that “from an agency perspective, the SME market is increasingly your market”. Auckland University HR solutions and recruitment manager Alan Ward said SME clients were “easier” for agencies to work with, put up fewer barriers, and allowed consultants to “engage with lead decision-makers”.

He said agencies should be asking whether they were “branding themselves correctly” to target SME customers.

So what can recruiters still do for the big companies?
Fulton Hogan national talent development manager Matt Pontin said agencies targeting the big end of town should focus on up-to-the-minute knowledge of candidate markets.

(Like Air NZ, Fulton Hogan is currently sitting on 3% of recruitment volume passed out to agencies.)

“What you do, we pretty much do. You advertise, we advertise; you source, we source.

“But what we don’t really have a lot of time to do is market mapping. We try, but we’ve got other bits and pieces to get on with all day long… succession planning and mobility of talent, designing assessment centres, leadership development, looking at competencies. All those sorts of wider HR things that are sometimes boring, but very important,” Pontin said.

“So we don’t really have that in-the-market knowledge that we would like to have – but you guys are in the market 100% of the time.”

Muirhead agreed that deep market knowledge was attractive to Air NZ.

He added that, “the thing I value in the [external] relationships that I’ve got is the crusty old recruiters around the place, who’ve been in the market for 20 years… who’ll look at my shortlist and say, ‘Chuck those [names] off, put those on.’

“I think that’s the thing in-house can never replicate.”

Bank of New Zealand talent acquisition manager Victoria Hayward said diversity recruitment was another area the agency sector should be taking seriously, as pressure increased on employers to change their workforces to more accurately reflect society.

“There’s a niche in there to tackle, not just around ethnicity but also gender diversity.”

Sourcing the top priority
Hayward said BNZ (which is owned by National Australia Bank) had been reinvesting in its recruitment function over the past 18 months, with a strong focus on building up internal sourcing capability.

She said following “some significant cutbacks” to the in-house team after the GFC, the bank had been running “a highly transactional, low cost low touch model”, but this was now changing.

“It’s about getting a lot smarter with using the resources we have at our fingertips.

“We have a huge recruitment database which historically we haven’t done very much with, and we have 20,000 unique candidate applications a year. So there’s lots of talent in our midst.”

Hayward said the bank was becoming “more clever around how we reach out to [the talent in the database], thinking about target roles we want to be building talent pools for, and how we recruit for specific roles”.

And Air NZ’s Muirhead added that for a large, attractive employer such as the airline, particularly one whose candidates were its customers, a lot of sourcing was about getting “fewer, better candidates”.

“In the last month we had 35,000 applications. And what we don’t want is 15,000 to 30,000 candidates whose only experience with Air New Zealand is: ‘Sorry we don’t want you to work for us’.”

He said he didn’t want his team spending their time giving constructive feedback to unsuccessful jobseekers – “I want them to be sourcing”.

Social media was big part of the airline’s strategy, he said, including a LinkedIn careers page, a YouTube channel, and Facebook and Twitter presences.

He said the long-term objective was to build “an organisational skillset” based around developing connections, networks and communities of talent, that was shared by everyone in the company, not just the in-house recruitment team.

Perth Airport rejects NZ ads targeting FIFO workers: agency

SOURCE: Shortlist
Perth Airport declined to host a series of poster ads attempting to recruit FIFO workers in WA for NZ jobs, says the employment marketing agency that created the ads. Speaking at the RHUB NZ event last week, Hamish Price of HainesAttract said the company had developed a campaign for NZ regional economic agency Venture Taranaki, which was hoping to lure NZ expats working in WA, to return. Read more

What do NZ employers expect from recruitment agencies?

Influenced by a wide range of factors, including the development of in-house recruitment capabilities, the relationship between buyers and sellers of recruitment services continues to evolve. Can employers do without the help of agencies? Can agencies provide new compelling services that will be valued by employers? At #RHUBNZ, some of the biggest employers in NZ will discuss their ongoing relationship and expectations of talent solution providers. See details below:

Inhouse teams and RPOs now dominate recruitment within major corporate and public sector organisations, and many recruitment centres and talent teams are involved in market mapping, succession planning, workforce development, onboarding and internal mobility programmes, thereby reducing the reliance on traditional agency services. What role, then, is left for recruitment agencies? How has the typical agency model kept up with these changes, can it provide strategic solutions to major organisations, or is it about to become irrelevant outside the SME market?

These and many other questions about the implications of shifting dynamics will be answered by our panellists, who are local leaders of in-house recruitment and talent teams. They will reveal how their models currently supply their in-house needs and share their thoughts about the future of external staffing service providers. Learn about how agencies can find new ways to create value in tailoring recruitment solutions to adapt to a changing landscape.

How Important is “Culture” to Recruiters?

Hello everyone.  I’m  writing this guest post with exactly 2 weeks to go before #RHUBNZ kicks off at the Floating Pavilion in Auckland.  As someone who actively agitated, coerced and cajoled to have this cool event make the trip across the Tasman, I’m hugely proud of the way things are shaping up.  It’s going to be an event not to be missed for anyone passionate about recruitment in New Zealand.

I will be talking about the power of positive culture in recruitment teams and how it can be developed to attract, and retain, the best recruitment talent to your organisation.  Phillip has kindly slotted me into the 2pm slot so I will be doing my best to rouse the delegates from their post-lunch torpor while attempting to resurrect the agency flag after a morning dominated by the internal recruitment galacticos of New Zealand.

In preparation for my presentation we at Rice Consulting conducted a survey of the recruitment leaders, owners and managers across New Zealand.  From the 84 responses I have put together a whitepaper on what factors the firms with the best attraction of recruiters, and lowest turnover of recruiters, have that point towards their positive cultures, so that others can see what does, and doesn’t work.  I thought this might be a good platform to share a part of the whitepaper, and then there is a live poll on LinkedIn where you can go and have your say too:

The Attraction of Culture

In its Quarterly Global Workforce Benchmarking Report for Q1 2012, the Corporate Leadership Council revealed the Top 10 EVP Drivers of Attraction by Region.  The number one factor in a Global sense is Compensation, but that doesn’t feature until number five in the Australia & New Zealand Region:

Rank Global Australia & New Zealand
1 Compensation Work-Life Balance
2 Respect Respect
3 Stability Location
4 Work-Life Balance Stability
5 Location Compensation
6 Future Career Opportunity Ethics &   Integrity
7 Development Opportunity Future Career Opportunity
8 Recognition Recognition
9 Ethics &   Integrity Product /   Service Quality
10 Vacation People   Management


Whilst the importance of culture can be seen in a global sense with Respect, Recognition and Ethics & Integrity all featuring, it seems to be of even greater attraction to us in Australia and New Zealand.  Many factors come above Compensation, including Respect.  A greater importance is placed on Ethics & Integrity and then the culture driving factors of Product/Service Quality and People Management make an appearance in the top ten as well.


Why is Culture So Important?

Agency recruitment firms with the best workplace cultures are consistently able to attract, and retain, the top recruitment talent in the market.  A strong organisational culture fosters strong engagement from the recruiting staff, leading to better productivity, more effective collaboration, more innovative thinking, a tighter control over retention of talent and intellectual property, ultimately leading to better financial results and a more attractive employer brand.

When you have the right mix, you will have a business that can acquire and attract top talent, with a culture where success breeds success.


“Effective culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in performance when compared to “culturally unremarkable” competitors.”

The Culture Cycle, James L. Heskett


How Important is Culture to Recruiters?

We have seen how important culture is to the wider workforce in our region.  But how important is it to recruiters, who are often in possession of quite different drivers, personalities and characteristics to the general workforce?

New Zealand’s Recruitment Leaders were asked what they believed to be the main drivers of attraction for top recruitment talent to join their teams.  The 84 respondents produced a top five as follows:

Rank Driver of Attraction
1 Overall Compensation Package
2 Corporate Reputation & Culture
3 Work-Life Balance
4 Future Career Opportunities
5 Stability


Whilst culture was only narrowly beaten to the post by overall compensation package, it is apparent that New Zealand’s recruitment leaders have adopted the more global viewpoint when it comes to attracting top recruiters.  To their mind it is just as important, if not more so, to offer a competitive compensation package than it is to establish a positive workplace culture.

But what about the actual recruiters themselves?  Do they share the same viewpoint on drivers of attraction as their Directors and Managers?  Results of our recent LinkedIn poll might suggest otherwise:

Click on the link above to have your say on what you, as a recruiter, find to be the strongest driver of attraction in choosing a new employer.


To all of you attending the conference I look forward to sharing my findings in more detail, including how the firms with best cultures do it, and some essential tips on what you can do right now to improve the culture of your firm, and thereby improve your ability to attract and retain the top recruitment talent in the market.  See you at the RHUB Social on 17th October!

Introducing Kirsti Grant

We are pleased to announce that the conference chair and MC for RHUBNZ is Kirsti Grant.

Kirsti is a social recruitment expert and has recently launched SocialSauce, New Zealand’s first 100% socially powered Talent Consultancy and Social Media for Recruitment Specialists. Check out her profile here and what she had to say about the event.

Hi and welcome to the first post for RHUBNZ!
I am Kirsti Grant, I am the MC for this amazing event and right now I’m supposed to tell you a little about myself, how this great conference has ended up on our shores and why you’d be silly to miss it.

It’s likely that if you’re reading this and you know me that it’s been through my previous jobs with 2 of the top 3 job boards in New Zealand. If you don’t know me, here’s a little bit of my background and what I’m all about.
Since 2008 I have been working in the Online Recruitment space firstly at TradeMeJobs and later on at with Social Media for Recruitment being that thing I can talk about until the cows come home.
Taking that into account, on July 4th 2012 SocialSauce was born. SocialSauce is NZ’s first 100% socially powered talent sourcing consultancy and social media for recruitment specialists. I spend my days consulting businesses not only on the development of social & sourcing strategies but I’m almost ridiculously involved in the execution and training of clients – making sure that the strategies we develop are successful. I am beyond enthusiastic about the level of innovation and evolution the recruitment industry is facing and being a part of an event totally focused on those two points is a great opportunity.

I don’t know about you but I’m kind of the jealous type and if there’s one thing that drives the green monster in me a little mad it’s seeing all of these amazing Recruitment Conferences all over the world, seemingly everywhere BUT New Zealand. With the increase in the use of Social Media in the Recruitment space it’s become even more obvious just how much we’re missing out on.

We have two people to thank for RHUB coming to NZ. Firstly Phillip Tusing who launched RHUB in Australia and then secondly and most fortunately, Jonathan Rice for attending that conference and then coming home and talking about it on The Whiteboard.

Fortunately with Jon coming back and raving about how great it was whilst questioning where the rest of us Kiwi’s were, enough interest was exposed to prompt Phillip into bringing it over and here we are. It’s happening!

What makes this event unique is how it brings together agency and internal recruiters. There are two networking events, TWO! One before (the RHUB Social) and one after so plenty of opportunities to mingle, reflect on the years you’ve had, the event itself and inspire one another in planning for the futures of your businesses – all over food and drinks!

RHUBNZ’s focus on innovation and change within the recruitment industry is apparent in the speaker line up and agenda. Prepare yourselves for very real insights into how agencies can best work with their clients in the future, innovation in sourcing & strategy and a whole lot of that networking thing I know you recruiters love.

Next week we’ll be posting more specific information about the event with some further details on each speaker and their topics. If you have any questions about the event be sure to write them in the comments or tweet us with the #rhubnz hashtag.

I look forward to meeting you all there!


We are pleased to announce that the MC/Conference Chair for RHUBNZ is Kirsti Grant.

Kirsti is a social recruitment expert and has recently launched SocialSauce, New Zealand’s first 100% socially powered Talent Consultancy and Social Media for Recruitment Specialists. Check out her profile here and what she had to say about the event.

Read more

#RHUBNZ Conference 2012 Venue – Floating Pavilion

The 2012 #RHUBNZ will be held at the floating pavilion.

The Floating Pavilion is an all-purpose event space, conveniently located in the lively Viaduct Harbour precinct of Auckland, right in the heart of the CBD. It plays host to many iconic events and has received recognition for its excellent facilities and services, thereby providing a modern, comfortable atmosphere suitable for corporate conferences.

Address: Gate 1 – Hobson West Marina, 220 Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, 1010.