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Recruiter Photos: From the Airbrushed to the Bizarre

By July 28, 20112 Comments

Are you one of those recruitment companies that parades the photos of your team across your website?  If you’re in the UK perhaps not.  Over there it seems that stealth recruitment is more the watchword with the mugshots of your team members hidden away from nosy clients, bothersome candidates and preying rec-to-recs.

But here in New Zealand and Australia it is pretty common practice.  Following that trend, the team here at Rice Consulting has recently grown and so, later this morning, we will be procuring the services of the photographer Ann Orman to attempt to create some images of our new team members that might hopefully be fit for public consumption.  Always willing to nibble at the boundaries of acceptable norms, we have also allowed Ann, who is quite the creative type, to be…well…creative.

The willingness and alacrity with which she has snatched this opportunity has me a little worried.  Results will no doubt be thrust out there into the social media domain in no time, so you’ll be able to judge our stupidity bravery for yourselves.

One thing I will definitely not sanction is the airbrushed beauty pageant that some recruitment firms have tended to opt for in the past.  You know who you are, although some of you are coming to your senses a bit more now.  You can’t wash away the sins of unreturned candidate calls, poorly prepared cold calls and continual lack of follow up with a teeth-dazzling panoply of sharp-suited and blemish-free prom queens.

I know we are in a sales industry, but this is recruitment, not modeling, and if Lancome aren’t allowed to do it then we certainly shouldn’t in recruitment!  So, clients and candidates beware, please don’t base your decision to use a particular recruiter solely upon their digital appearance.  Digging a little deeper will produce far better results, I can assure you.

Of course, it is also possible to take things too far the other way.  Whatever became of Pirate Recruitment here in New Zealand?  A little eccentricity can go a long way, but I suspect the decision to dress the recruitment team up as pirates for their website snapshots was just a little bit too weird for the conservative New Zealand business community.  I would usually link to the company website at this point but the most relevant search I could find on Google produced a story about Somalian pirates with the Meta Description:

6 Nov 2010 – Pirates recruit children since they have a less developed sense of danger. — International news and analysis, includes message board,

This tells its own sad story really.  Unless Pirate Recruitment’s SEO is so poor that their website comes further down the list, but I’m afraid I don’t have time to click onto the next page of results (does anyone, ever?)

OK then, let’s see what giving a creative photographer a little more free rein can do….Have a fun Friday and no doubt our faultless (or gritty realism) new visages will be with you all soon.


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.


  • Mikek78 says:

    One other thing to consider is only use original photo’s that you own the copyright for. According to Google images the photo you use on your website of the guy with the red tie and his arms out-stretched also appears on 187 other web sites!

    • Anonymous says:

      That photo was from an online marketing stock and we purchased right to display it, my post is more talking about the actual employee photos, but I take your point and thanks for making it.