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A Deepening Irrelevance of RCSA New Zealand

By June 30, 20119 Comments

Has anyone from New Zealand paid and registered for this year’s RCSA “International” Conference in Port Douglas?  I put inverted commas around the word international because it is something akin to how the US national baseball league is called the “World Series”.

You can dress it up how you like but it’s not really international is it?  It’s just Australian.  Nothing wrong with that but the “A” in RCSA doesn’t stand for Australia.  The Association is supposed to represent the New Zealand recruitment industry as well.  A regular reader of The Whiteboard was moved to comment on Twitter this week:


“RCSA conference… hmmmm no kiwi speakers, sponsors or obvious involvement targeting the NZ market. Good value? Debatable”


To be fair here, this did generate a response from Ross Clennett, one of the speakers, who revealed that James Cozens from kiwi recruitment firm Attwood Cozens will be there as one of his panelists “discussing their innovative recruiting for NZ SME sector”.


Well James, we wish you a safe and enjoyable trip, for it looks like you are our sole standard bearer for the New Zealand recruitment industry.  Do us proud.


This brought to mind a post I wrote in September last year which questioned what was the actual point of having the RCSA in New Zealand.  At least in Australia they deliver some form of Government lobbying around issues affecting the recruitment industry.  You also need to be a member to tender for selected Government recruitment contracts.


Not so in New Zealand.  But apparently my post did stir the consciousness of the RCSA New Zealand board members, who (I was reliably informed) were most put out at my questioning.  Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to completely stir them from their fug and no response was forthcoming.


I noted another blog post from back in April last year, by Aaron Dodd of Mindset Group, who was querying the lack of social media involvement or innovation from industry bodies like the RCSA.  A couple of months later the RCSA appointed a new CEO, Steve Granland, who inexplicably arrived on the scene bereft of any Linked In profile.  One year on you can see how he is getting on with Twitter here.


For me, it seems obvious that the RCSA is unwilling, or unable, to respond to our fast-evolving industry and remain relevant to us recruiters.  Certainly in New Zealand we are woefully under-represented, which is a real shame, but no-one really seems to care.  Even in Australia there are panelists presenting at the event who are not themselves even members of the RCSA.


If you are a New Zealand recruiter who is attending the event as a delegate then do let us know all about it.  But I’d have to ask the question “Why?”


And I would have to ask the same question of any New Zealand recruitment companies still paying membership fees for this Association.




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.


  • Paul says:

    Well said.  NZ needs a strong RCSA to work with the government procurement people on upcoming all-of-government plans – one voice.

  •  I  will be attending this conference and I too am keen to see further lobbying with government, engagement with key stakeholders and a progressive approach that demonstrates strong representation of our industry in NZ.
    I do however believe that the only way to ensure this happens is by supporting the RCSA in NZ  through membership and engagement in such events. It is essential that this happens to ensure the desired focus of the RCSA is reflected, in all sectors and sizes of recruitment businesses.

    I encourage  all that are able to attend and ensure we have a strong NZ representation this year at conference and have the opportunity to discuss how we affect such progress!

    Michelle Visser( General Manager NZ – ManpowerGroup)

    • Ahopkins says:

      Interesting. We withdrew from Membership this year. As a company or individual I haven’t seen any value over the last 3 years – all we have received is bills and a vastly growing array of irrelevant emails. Bring back the IPC and NAPC!!!  At least the parties and Conferences were in New Zealand.

  • Paul L says:

    I have to agree with you J, I posted a comment in the HRINZ Recruitment SIG LinkedIn Group 28 days ago on this very topic and have had no comments to date… says it all really

  • Sgranland says:

    One of the fundamental keys to the success of any association is active engagement with stakeholders.  The RCSA welcomes and encourages the involvement of all industry stakeholders.  By becoming involved individuals and organisations can not only influence and drive the direction of the RCSA in New Zealand they can importantly contribute positively to the industry.
    We are looking to actively engage as many industry participants as possible to make the RCSA more relevant and a key part of this will be a visit in September to New Zealand by RCSA President Lincoln Crawley.  Lincoln, together with the RCSA New Zealand council will be undertaking a series of meetings open to current, past and non-members in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and I would encourage you and your readers to keep an eye out for this get involved.   
    The RCSA has introduced, and widely communicated, three key focus areas which apply equally to both sides of the Tasman.   These are
    –           building professionalism
    –          increasing engagement with, and relevance to, the industry – both corporate and individuals
    –          influencing from the early stages of government policy development based on bringing the right people to the table with the right data rather than merely providing submissions to what, in reality has already been decided.
    One of the key initiatives was the launch of a new individual membership framework.  Under this framework the RCSA is looking to build subject matter expertise (essential for effective lobbying and advocacy campaigns) via increased involvement with senior industry representatives with deep domain expertise at a Fellow level.  The RCSA has also recently researched and contributed New Zealand data to a global labour research project.  This project is being coordinated by the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (ciett) of which the RCSA is a member. The results of this research will be utilised in lobbying and advocacy activity when available later this year.     
    Our New Zealand Council, made up of RCSA Members who like all RCSA council members, volunteer their time to assist the industry are working hard on many fronts to build and develop relationships with government. They are actively working at the moment on a number of key projects with the New Zealand government (details of which will be provided to members once finalised).
    Jonathon, we would certainly welcome and value your feedback and suggestions regarding how the RCSA can be more relevant in New Zealand.  I believe our events team approached you seeking your input around 12 months ago and the door is still open.   I would also welcome your input with respect to all things social media.  Yes I am quite up front that Twitter at this stage is not my strong point and I do apologise to those who have opted to follow me.  Our communication focus in the last 12 months has been on building a new RCSA website and re-launching the RCSA Journal.  We will be developing a social media strategy and Jonathon I would certainly welcome your advice and suggestions. 
    Finally with respect to the RCSA International Conference, this has previously been held in New Zealand and we will be looking to return in the future.  The conference does attract delegates from overseas and we do have a good mix of international speakers.  However, the important point is not what the conference is called or where it is held, it is that the conference provides a great opportunity for all RCSA members to take part in a valuable learning and networking event.    
    I am happy to provide more information on the activity being undertaken around the key focus areas, provide information on how you can become more actively involved and influence the direction and activity of the RCSA or answer any direct questions any readers of this blog may have.  I can be contacted via 
    Jonathon, thank you for the opportunity to contribute.

    • Thedidge says:

      New website is crap. No excuse for not working on firefox, chrome and other browsers.

      Come on RCSA what is all your money being spent on? Glorious office lunches?

  • James Cozens says:

    When I was on the RCSA board a few years ago now, it was widely discussed as to where the conference was held.  We had had conferences here in Christchurch and Rotorua and they had not been as well attended as they might.  At one stage it was suggested that we rotate the conference between Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland on the basis that these centres were easily accessible by the majority of members (including NZ).  I always thought this a sound idea. I know you cannot please all the members all the time, but a conference takes time out of your business and whilst Hobart (2010) and Port Douglas (2011) are great places, the flight schedules, the lack of competition on route pricing and the time taken must surely have an impact on NZ registrations.  

  • James Cozens says:

    Perhaps all those attending the conference from New Zealand could have a formal catch up with Steve and/or Lincoln, and those RCSA New Zealand Council members attending, to make some constructive suggestions as to what can be done further in NZ?.