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The Recruitment Rollercoaster Heads Upwards

By August 8, 2013No Comments

I have to say this has been one of the most positive weeks I’ve seen the New Zealand recruitment sector go through in many years.  I’m feeling good, damn good, and no it’s not the delicious Pale Ale accompanying me through this blog writing exercise (I should point out these words are coming to you from Thursday night even if you’re reading this Friday morning…)

Why, I hear you demand?  Well the week started off with a chat with Aussie recruitment M&A specialist Rod Hore from HHMC.  Apparently the upturn in business confidence and hiring intent in the New Zealand market hasn’t gone entirely unnoticed in the Northern Hemisphere.  Recruitment businesses with global ambitions are taking a very keen interest in gaining footholds in our part of the world.  Unlike businesses in this part of the world who often prefer to gain market share by growing organically, these guys don’t mind snapping up the odd acquisition here and there to hurry things along.

Nor, seemingly, do Recruit IT who bucked the trend of kiwi organic growth by snaring IT recruitment firm Sead yesterday.  The Whiteboard received the following squeaky marker-pen scribbles last night:

Recruit IT Group Ltd today announced that it has acquired the assets of  privately-held Sead.Ltd.  Based in Auckland Sead provides permanent and contract ICT recruitment services to a broad cross section of clients including the energy, telco, insurance and software development/vendor community.  It will continue to operate under the Sead brand.

Director, John Wyatt of Recruit IT Group Ltd, described the acquisition as two well respected brands taking the opportunity to work together to work smarter. 

Sead is renowned for its referred database whereby proven contractors recommend other contractors within their network.  Sead in turn manage this network and provide proven candidates to clients accordingly.  

Wyatt said the intention is to immediately merge the respective company databases to form a pool of over 30,000 candidates, making it one of New Zealand’s largest silos of qualified ICT professionals.

Wyatt said Sead’s existing clients will benefit from access to the larger resource pool and candidates will benefit from the combined companies client reach. 

Wyatt said that given the purchase was only concluded last night, transition will be in full swing from today.  Sead’s MD Scott Groombridge will continue to stay on at Sead.

Wyatt said Recruit IT is excited about the prospect of being able to increase recruitment consultant talent within its group of companies and also the onboarding of innovative technology that will build on their successful recruitment platform.

Another highlight of the week was breakfast with Tony Alexander, Chief Economist at BNZ, kindly laid on by SEEK.  Some key messages from this were the positive economic outlook for NZ (4% growth is widely predicted), the construction boom approaching, the $40 billion sloshing into our economy via Christchurch, the growth in Chinese middle-income earners demanding better quality food (which we still produce, despite the odd Fonterra hiccup).  But the most striking comment for me was this:

There are some companies in New Zealand who are now so scared of growing and hiring more staff that they will realise too late and go out of business in the next 18 months.  Now is the time to hire, while salaries remain at realistic levels, but for some they will act too late and lose too much market share to survive.

Now there’s a pretty decent message to be telling your clients, I would think.

Another good sign?  The increasing numbers of recruiters setting up for themselves.  As ever, not all will survive, but there must be some entrepreneurial fairy dust in the air around the recruitment sector currently…

Add to this some awesome recruitment events coming up:  Greg Savage is visiting Auckland again, this time delivering a very interesting looking presentation on what he would do if setting up his own agency again in the current market.  Then of course there’s our very own #RicePowWow quarterly networking drinks on 26th September.  And then *drum roll * RHUB is back!

Plenty to feel good about, I reckon.  So get involved, get into it, get up there.  And I’ll see you there 🙂

Oh yes, and don’t forget about Tony’s advice to NZ businesses scared of making those hiring decisions… A good line for that next BD call, but remember he is talking about your business too.

Have fun out there.

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.