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Movers and Shakers – Recruiting in Christchurch

By September 9, 2010No Comments


To those recruiting in Christchurch, we salute you…

When the earthquake rumbled up from 10km under the Canterbury plains last Saturday morning the lives of many New Zealanders were thrown into disarray and panic.  But what has followed in the days since seems to be far, far worse.  As the aftershocks keep on coming (I heard there’s been over 200 now) it has been impossible for many to find sleep or peace of mind, or any level of relaxation whatsoever.

Whilst 2010 has been a welcome year of recovering economies so far, it has still been tough going in recruitment, a real challenge where survival of the fittest is still very much the watchword.  But the events over the past week in Christchurch really puts all that into perspective.

Naturally most recruitment firms in Christchurch have their offices based in the CBD, usually several stories up.  Some, such as Enterprise Recruitment, who were based in Radio Network House, will probably never return to their condemned building which is still up to 10 weeks away from being accessible again.  They have been able to continue business as usual (sort of) by retrieving the server from the 12th floor and shacking up with their IT providers who got them networked up to 6 computers in their office, and are now looking to move into more “boutique” CBD offices, not so badly affected by the quake, next week.

Kelly Services, whose New Zealand HQ is based in Christchurch, have followed the example set by PricewaterhouseCoopers and occupied a space in a hotel for the duration, continuing to work via remote access to the network.  The stairwells of their offices in the PWC Centre are unsafe and it will be at least 1 week of clearing up before they can inhabit their desks again.

With the aftershocks it must feel like walking up a descending escalator and getting nowhere.  Farrow Jamieson’s offices in Forsyth Barr House withstood things better than others and apart from a displaced water cooler and a light dusting from the ceiling tiles, the 9th floor was in good nick.  The building was due to re-open yesterday but the big aftershock has put that back until it can be re-inspected again.  Luckily they all have remote access to the network so can carry on some form of work while they wait.

Of course the personal and emotional impact is of far greater consequence than the professional one.  A couple of the Hays team have had their houses severely damaged and will surely not be the only recruiters affected in this way.  One of Madison’s new team members, recently arrived in New Zealand, has seen the hotel she was inhabiting damaged beyond repair, quite an experience to tell friends and family back home the other side of the world.

In Auckland and Wellington it is pretty well business as usual in the world of recruitment, which must seem surreal to our fellow recruiters in Christchurch.  Of course we all work in a highly competitive industry where it is in our very nature to seek to beat our rivals and attain top spot – but this is still our industry and we are all in it together – so I just wanted to doff my cap to you recruiters down in Christchurch who must be having an unbelievably tough time of it right now.

Further Movements


In movements of a different kind, Inside Executive Recruitment have announced the recent appointments of Brendon Carian and Charlotte Cottrell to their Wellington business.  Both will be focused on increasing the company’s Executive Leasing offering across all disciplines.

It was also reported in Recruiter Daily last week that Carl Robinson and Lisa Cooley have joined the Auckland offices of Absolute IT.

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.