Skip to main content

Technology Enables Recruiting in the Craziest of Places

By January 17, 20135 Comments

Happy New Year Whiteboarders and welcome back to my squeaky-clean new expanse of whiteness for 2013.  I’m sure that many of you, like me, are beginning to grow weary of the client meetings and candidate calls with seemingly endless salutations of new year well wishes sparking off the conversational exchange.

But when is it acceptable to stop saying “Happy New Year” all the time?  Surely nearly three weeks in is more than long enough, right?  Especially if you’ve already had the initial conversation and got that sentimental necessity out the way.  But what if you get to the middle of next week and talk to a client or candidate for the first time this year?  I mean it’s almost February!

Such great imponderables we recruiters have to ponder as 2013 unfolds…

So I’m making a statement right here and now that I’m done.  No more well wishing for good 2013 tidings and all that jazz.  Please don’t take offence, even if you wish me a happy new year and I mumble something about the weather instead.  Right?  Good.

And just so you all know, for one last time, yesthankyouverymunch I had a lovely break over Christmas and New Year.  My parents visited from England.  My sister visited from Australia.  My 2 and 3 year old children, and wife, got to see lots more of me.

And it was bloody knackering

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to finally get back to work last week, surrounded by sane people, orderliness, professionalism, and start explaining once more to clients why a discount wasn’t an option, to candidates that they ideally needed to exhibit some recruitment experience, or at least some sales…and to return calls like the one from Peru on Boxing Day from someone wanting my help securing them a job offer in New Zealand so they could get a visa.  Absolute bliss.

So you can imagine my surprise when yesterday, nearly 2 weeks back into the old work routine, I found myself negotiating a rather delicate offer and acceptance between client and candidate, with a 3 year old in undies and sandals, festooned with bright, red spots, demanding we kick a football around the back yard, a washing load half slung onto a line as the schizophrenic weather toyed with my emotions, and a 2 year old screaming that Dorothy the Dinosaur had finished and skipped across to Bob the Builder, which apparently simply wasn’t good enough, not to mention her teddy bear appeared to be literally hung out to dry.

I won’t bore you with all of the details.  That’s what Facebook is for after all.  Suffice to say my encouragingly productive-looking day took a turn for the worse when I was informed by my wife that the kids had suspected chicken pox, must be collected from daycare, and because she had a new staff member starting yesterday it was all down to me.

Anyway, my thanks go out to the eternal patience of both client and candidate who beared with me, and came to a swift and pleasing compromise resulting in a great candidate returning to the recruitment industry from next week.  With a combination of cloud-based technology, mobile communications, and joint will to make things happen, a great outcome was achieved all round.  Despite the bedlam that doused my short-lived joy as a DVD player froze, a ball sailed over the fence, and the heavens opened onto a hastily-pegged stuffed toy.

There were tears.  And no…not of joy.

So I suppose 2013 holds a great deal of interesting times for us in recruitment.  The past few years have hardly been placid and predictable, but 2013 could really go either way.  Certainly, the sentiments I’m hearing from the cutting edge of the recruitment trenches (internal and agency) is that hiring is happening and things are looking up.  Let’s hope it continues and turns into more revenue for us all.

Factors will continue shaping the way we recruit too.  You will see and hear a lot more about technology, mobile, and flexibility in 2013.  All of those came into to play for me yesterday afternoon. And it worked!  But if I’m being honest, it’s the kind of flexible work/life balance I don’t need to experience too much of this year, if you don’t mind.

So let’s get The Whiteboard up and running for 2013.  Dig out your marker pens, twist off the caps, steal a waft of peardrop smells, and place your comments there for us to all to see, share, debate and enjoy.

What’s the craziest times and places you’ve ever concluded a placement and secured an offer?

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.


  • Iain MacGibbon says:

    Best Team story. The wonderful @bernielyonsnz JV with another recruiter from Louisiana, Client in Paris, Candidates in Australia and other places, job in French New Guinea. All conducted via Skype until a final face to face at the very end (neutral ground in Singapore). Got to love the internaut….

  • Sean says:

    Not so much closing a deal, but I do know of a recruiter who swears by pitching candidates to senior hiring managers over the phone whilst walking around naked at home. Apparently it brings out the “alpha male” in him…

  • Mark Fisher says:

    Mine was on holiday whilst on a train from Rabat to Marrakesh in the middle of the Moroccan desert, 45 degree heat and a cabin full of locals who all smoked! Never forget it….

  • Kylie Goodwin says:

    Mine is – I offered at Auckland International Airport boarding a plane – got the acceptance at Changi Airport, Singapore in the transit lounge.  23th Dec 2011.  Good way to end the year!

  • Kevin C says:

    Jingos Jonathan, I’ve been shouting about this for years.  You’ve just proven you don’t need an office.  Just a door you can close!!  And talking about closing, closed a deal on the side of the road, car packed to the gunwales, somewhere south of Levin, just before Christmas.  Certainly not as exotic as Mark’s location! 

    Mind you being a visual person and imagining some of the people that grace our industry, the thought of what Sean mentions makes me want to run for the little room…..  Thanks for sharing Sean (NOT…)