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More Recruitment PR Stunts Please

By August 13, 2010No Comments

The Whiteboard made an appearance on New Zealand TV last weekend when it was aired on the current affairs programme Sunday.  But, alas, not this blog, that will have to wait for another day.  No it was the whiteboard belonging to Queenstown based medical recruitment specialist MedRecruit.

A fine whiteboard it was though, with the title ‘Ave it August emblazoned across the top and the company’s Director, Dr Sam Hazeldine, writing up a nice $21k fee onto it.  You can view the whole programme by clicking here .  Click on “Cut and Run Part 2” for the bit with Sam and MedRecruit in it.

The article is looking at the exodus of kiwi medical talent to Australia for better working conditions, weather and pay etc etc (you’ve heard all this before, whatever sector you might recruit for).  What struck me was what fantastic exposure and PR this was for MedRecruit though.  Most press releases and PR guff in New Zealand tends to centre around the big globals such as Hudson, Hays, Robert Walters etc, who attach their executive management’s name (Marc Burrage, Jason Walker, Richard Manthel respectively) to the same old bland press releases from Aussie PR departments.  Don’t get me wrong, these guys do a pretty decent job of presenting their “findings” to the media, but it’s never anything new, almost always concentrating on skills shortages or increases in job orders, just couched in different ways each time.

But it was great to see something new from a smaller kiwi boutique player (at least currently – Sam has been going 4 years and is already up to 12 staff and making plans to open offices in Australia).  I spoke to Sam earlier this week and he does get some PR support from his wife who is PR and Marketing qualified, but he was directly approached by TVNZ to feature in their Sunday programme, by virtue of his well-known name in the medical recruitment field and its’ relevance to the topic of their piece.

I was also impressed to see Jane Kennelly of Frog Recruitment getting her company onto the headline article of One News last Friday night.  Again, click here if you want to see the whole video.  I have to say the article was kind of lacking in “newsworthiness” especially for a leading article (but much more welcome than hearing about terrorist bombs, floods and snubbed ageing footballers you might get leading the UK news).  But again it was great to see a kiwi boutique firm getting some national exposure through their PR efforts.

There is a lot of good things going in recruitment in New Zealand but I think that many of us tend to hide in our shells a little, especially as we are natural targets for the usual criticism traditionally hurled our way.  Well done to Dr Sam at MedRecruit and Jane at Frog Recruitment – be proud of what you do and get your name and brand out there.

And remember – the big globals don’t always get it right – just ask BP who originally claimed that the oil spill was not their fault, it was their contractor’s fault.  Or the hilarious “PR-off” going on between HP and their recently booted CEO.

It would be great to see a lot more positive PR from the New Zealand recruitment sector – anyone else got some good PR stories or things coming up?

Jonathan Rice

Director of New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice & Co, co-founder of freelance recruiter platform JOYN, and people-centric technology firm superHUMAN Software. Recruitment innovator, agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.