Skip to main content

Talent 2 beat Hudson to it…and could estate agents be recruiters of the future?

By September 30, 20103 Comments

It feels like The Whiteboard came of age this week.  The power of viral social media showed itself in a big, big way as last week’s post on the Hudson “approach” through their Linked In message spread across New Zealand and Australia and the blog ended September with over 1500 views, three times more than August.

Thanks for the interest, the comments and the word-spreading, it was exhilarating to watch and to be a part of.

Thanks also to the Australian recruitment Director who forwarded me a similar “approach” that pre-dated the Hudson one.  This one was from Talent 2 and it was sent in August, by the old-fashioned method of e-mail.  Unfortunately for the poor sender (an internal recruiter for Talent 2’s Australian RPO offering), she hadn’t done the “undisclosed recipients” thing and the personal e-mail addresses of a huge number of Aussie recruiters were there for all to see.  I say “huge number” because I haven’t the time or inclination to count them all for you.  Oh hang on…highlight…copy…paste into Word…Wordcount = 434.

434 Recruiters

That’s a lot of recruiters, especially as recruiters are exactly the type to hit Reply All with their feelings at being approached this way, which I am assured is exactly what happened.

It’s also a lot of hard-won Intellectual Property given away at the click of a button.  E-mailing can be a dangerous thing sometimes if you make a mistake!

My personal opinion on these approaches is quite relaxed.  A lot of the comments last week suggested this was lazy, impersonal and effectively nothing more than spam.  Really I don’t think it matters what it is if it helps Talent 2 and Hudson achieve their aim of growing their recruitment teams.  My only question mark would be over the quality of the recruiters that would respond in the affirmative to an approach like this, but from my experience the recruitment processes undertaken by both of these firms is long, in-depth and thorough, so there is a chance approaches such as this could end up being a wasted exercise.

It would be interesting to hear feedback from Hudson and Talent 2 on the effectiveness of the approach.



Anyway, moving on from this discussion, I heard in the news this week about the plight of New Zealand’s real estate agents with a slow moving market, falling housing prices and a new complaints facility which is already in a 3 month backlog due to the volume of complaints.

Perhaps I have a solution for these disgruntled estate agents:  Ever considered a career in recruitment?

I mean it’s practically the same thing isn’t it?  A house looking for new owners is just like a candidate looking for a new job.  And home buyers are the same as your clients.  They have a list of requirements that they want filling, and you go about presenting them with options which match most of the requirements, but usually not all, and they end up choosing one and offering less money than the house is really worth, and eventually a deal is struck and the home buyers have a new house.  Estate agents looking at a recruitment career can look at things like this:

House = Candidate

Buyers = Client

Vendor’s overvaluation of house value = Candidate’s unrealistic salary expectations

Buyers wanting a sea view, large back garden and period features = Client wanting a candidate with 8 years’ experience, a degree qualification, and the ability to type while talking on the phone

Persuading buyers to compromise on the sea view by showing a house with bush views but the sounds of the sea = Persuading a client to interview a candidate who isn’t degree qualified but does have a Diploma in an almost-related topic and specific work experience with a competitor

See what I mean?  Add to this that in recruitment that you actually get a base salary (usually – estate agents often work commission-only) and you don’t have to wear a suit and talk to members of the public at the weekends and you’ll be glad you left real estate in the first place!

I’d be interested to hear if anyone has taken on an estate agent into a recruitment role and how they have managed to transition across and perform in our industry.  Seems to me like they’d take to it like a duck to water.

Perhaps Hudson and Talent 2 could have a go at sending a blanket approach to this group instead – they might get a more positive response.

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Anonymous says:

    I was Real Estate agent and made the move into recruitment 8 yrs ago. I have never looked back. It is sales, but in a more professional environment. Thanks Risotto.

  • Stan Rolfe says:

    Ha ha.. great analogy.
    Iv’e only recently (today) come across your blog, nice work.
    they also say that in life the two biggest and most stressful decisions are “buying a house” and “job hunting/swapping”.

    Personally I think the hospitality industry is where you will find excellent recruiters. Whilst some will have natural selling ability, the majority of front of house staff have excellent customer service experience, and in the end thats what we are about. Providing a service however unrealistic at time to our patrons being clients and or candidates. Not to mention the low wages and shift work, which makes recruiting all the more attractive!

  • Justin says:

    Both industries are very similar and I have thought this many times over the past 15yrs.