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Recruitment Rollercoaster: 2012 in Review

By December 20, 20125 Comments

What a year.  Recruitment is always a rollercoaster but I nearly lost my lunch a few times in 2012 with the amount of ups and downs experienced.  We are all in incredibly interesting, fast-changing, ever-shifting times in recruitment these days and it can be hard to keep up.  For many of you this will the last day recruiting for 2012 and I’m sure many of you are more than ready to wind down for a couple of weeks.

And so, to help you on your merry way, I bring you the Rice Consulting Whiteboard Review of 2012, looking back on the posts that most caught your attention, the recruitment related happenings that affected us the most, and some notable milestones for us as a business too.  If you’re not planning on doing much work today, there’s plenty of reading material ahead to keep you informed and entertained!


Not a great deal happened in the first month of 2012 really.  Being an immigrant myself, it still amazes (and charms) me, that New Zealand pretty well sacrifices an entire month of economic productivity every year in January.  But then now I’m almost a Citizen, I must admit I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The most popular post looked at the embarrassing ways recruitment firms choose to celebrate their placements.  Sadly, I think for many 2012 yielded rather a lot less placement dances than in previous years…



Welcome Vanessa!  Yes that’s right, our very own Communications Manager “Ness” joined the Rice Consulting fold in February and our social media output, administration and events organising has been rapidly improving ever since.

Many of us were also treated to SEEK’s bash at the Auckland Art Gallery.  This was most notable for the civilised affair in which both agency and internal recruiters rubbed shoulders without rubbing each other up the wrong way.  Times certainly started a’ changin’.



We welcomed the incomparable Ross Clennett to New Zealand to deliver an evening seminar and run two days of recruitment training sessions here at Generator, our workplace that many of you have since visited.

Pretty soon after that I attended a conference known as “RHUB” in Sydney.  The post I later wrote at Sydney Airport “Can We Bring Recruiter’s Hub to New Zealand?” generated plenty of commentary and was emphatically answered by the NZ recruitment community in October.


GETS (the Government Electronic Tender Service) invited tenders from industry suppliers for the “Provision of Recruitment Services to All Of Government” and the circus was finally underway….


Plenty of debate and controversy was stirred up with the post “Silencing of the LinkedIn Lambs“.


A winter escape to Samoa meant the inmates took over the asylum with guest posts on The Whiteboard from Sean and Estelle.  Sean’s post “The Internal Recruitment Pie: Do You Really Want a Slice” attracted plenty of interest, not least for his Stephen Hawkins-esque flow chart…

The end of June also witnessed the birth of the very first Rice Consulting Quarterly Social Recruitment PowWow networking event…handily condensed by Paul Jenkins into the far more manageable #RicePowWow!


The All-of-Government tendering process kicked off in earnest with a “live Dutch auction” style e-tender.  This caused plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth and the gentle bump of pants being dropped could be heard all over Wellington.  It also gave rise to the most popular Whiteboard post of 2012:  “All-of-Government Recruitment a Bitter Pill to Swallow”



Some in recruitment see LinkedIn as a threat to our industry.  Many more see it as a useful tool that recruiters are best-equipped to harness and use effectively.  I lean towards the latter, believing that agency recruitment must change to remain relevant and viable and LinkedIn useage is just part of that.  If it is their intention to one day overtake the role of some agencies, just make sure you’re not one of those agencies.  In the here-and-now though, they are courting us like lusty teenagers and they kindly put on a breakfast in Auckland parading their new corporate solutions tailored to agency recruitment use.

This was also the month that it was announced that Graham Henry became a Recruiter


Auckland’s social media club #SMCAKL ran their monthly session and this month focused on recruitment in social media, or social recruiting as we now like to refer to it.  Quick-fire talks from the likes of Ben Irving, Kirsti Grant and Angela Farrelly were supposed to be added to by my own voice, talking about blogging in recruitment.  Unfortunately my voice decided to disappear in a blaze of tonsillitis.  Fortunately Sean Walters stepped into the breach, and even more fortunately completely ignored my notes and just ran with his own thoughts – probably far more entertaining.

The rest of this month was extremely busy with the written word.  We released our own whitepaper on Culture in Recruitment. Soon after I released the names of the successful firms who had made the final panel for recruitment suppliers to All-of-Government, a bit earlier than the official announcement, which led to some knicker-twisting comments including calling me a dickhead and a “nob” [sic] which was nice.


Of course, October was all about #RHUBNZ, the largest and most successful recruitment conference ever held in Auckland.  A wide range of local and international recruitment speakers and thought leaders entertained and informed the 150 delegates, all kicked off in style by Greg Savage.  There were lots of learnings to be had, probably none more so than that holding a conference on a floating pavilion on a stormy day the morning after a pre-conference #RHUBSocial party is probably an experiment not to be repeated (unlike the coffee and pastries which repeated on many people, many times).

We were also extremely proud to launch our new offering to the internal recruitment market, virtualRPO 🙂


SEEK held their annual Recruitment Awards in Auckland and announced the 2012 winners as:

  • Synergy Consulting
  • Alpha Recruitment
  • Adecco
  • Buzz Recruitment
  • Ultimate Recruitment
  • Retailworld
  • Rann IT
  • Talent International
  • RecruitIT

Popular Whiteboard post of the month: Throwing Sh*t at a Wall and Calling it Recruitment.


And so here we are in December,  at the end of a crazy year.  You all enjoyed reading the 10 tips to survive your recruitment firm’s Christmas Party.  Did it come in useful?  I must admit I haven’t heard anything too scandalous, unless you count a recruitment CEO waxing his chest for a bet, but I think that’s quite proper really….

And we welcomed Bill Boorman to New Zealand for the first ever #truNZ (the recruitment un-conference) hosted by our very own Paul Jacobs.  Bonus reading from one of the more engaged and enlightened delegates Hassanah Rudd here.


So there we have it.  Time to sign off for the year and wheel the Whiteboard back into its dusty broom cupboard for a well-earned break.  I would like to thank all of our clients, candidates and friends of Rice Consulting for their support and involvement during 2012.  To the delegates and attendees of all of the various events, the Ross Clennett Masterclass, the RicePowWows, RHUBSocial and RHUBNZ, and various other sporadic events throughout the year, I salute you.  And especially our very own pioneering v.RPO “Rods” (Recruiters On Demand) thanks for your sterling work too!

Have a tremendous Christmas and New Year break, rest up, and come back ready to rock ‘n roll in 2013.

We certainly will be.


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.


  • Chris Jeffery says:

    Have a Great Christmas Mr Rice and thanks for the entertaining blogs throughout the year!  As for your football team – well you can keep them:)

  • Mike Duncan says:

    Have a good festive season and break Jon, keep the blogs up in 2013.

  • Paul Heath says:

    Time spent digesting your blogs is the most worthwhile time spent…. any week of the year.

    Best wishes

  • Kevin says:

    Have a great Christmas and enjoy the break and keep it up in 2013! (which I’m sure you will….). Cheers

  • Lesley Hardy says:

    Thanks Jonathan, that was a fantastic summary and a great read.  I passed some of it on to my manager here and he loved it.  Keep up the amazing work.  Ive loved watching you grow.