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#hiremattpontin Campaign puts Social Recruiting Theory into Practice

By September 11, 20143 Comments

As most recruiters in New Zealand with the slightest touch of a finger on the pulse know by now, the much vaunted ASB talent acquisition team is being deconstructed into its’ component parts and decentralised into the business.  Not axed, or disbanded, or removed in its entirety as the good old recruitment rumour mill started reporting of late.  Just decentralised, as is the wont of corporates from time to time.

This has had an impact close to home, with my own wife being a part of that team, but the most talked about impact has been that on the position of the team’s highly-regarded leader, Matt Pontin.  As one of New Zealand’s most active recruitment innovators, Matt has always striven hard to push at the boundaries of the bland, the normal and the prescribed in recruitment process.  So it’s a shame that, with many of his ideas in this area remaining unfulfilled, he has become collateral damage in the shaping of the new model at ASB, and now has the shoe well and truly on the other foot, as a job seeker.

However, in a brave move that is a classic case of putting your money where your mouth is, Matt has taken to social media in a bid to secure his next work gig.  Good on you Matt.  It’s one thing to talk the talk around social recruiting, but another thing entirely to stake your reputation on the phenomenon that you’ve hung your hat on.

So, we now have here in New Zealand our very own social recruiting experiment, and one that many in the global recruitment community will no doubt be watching very closely.  Already the #hiremattpontin campaign has gained significant traction on Twitter:

hiremattpontinThis probably says quite a lot about how uninteresting the election campaign in NZ really is, but still an impressive indicator nevertheless.

You can even jump on TradeMe where Matt has listed himself under “Other Services” and describes himself as “...a Talent Acquisition and Talent management professional who loves to shake things up and do it a bit differently.

You can say that again.

So, what do you reckon will be the outcome of all this?  It will interesting to see what method does, as will surely happen, eventuate in Matt landing his next role.  Maybe a recruitment agency will come across all of this, have the perfect role for him, get his CV and secure him a job.  Or maybe Matt will prove once and for all that we are now in a brave new world of recruitment where the rules have changed, and the best recruiters truly are those that can master the complexities of social recruiting.

Once again, good on you Matt.  Brave move on your part, and now we in #NZRec can sit back and enjoy front row seats to see if this really does work.  I bet it does.  How about you?

Update: Matt apparently has secured five interviews in 24 hours since launching all of this…

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.


  • Brad says:

    I noticed the #hiremattpontin campaign earlier in the week via Trademe and thought, that takes balls. Credit where credit is due, I don’t know Matt but have a huge respect for the path he’s taken to find a new position. Good luck Matt, sounds like your campaign is paying off.

    Jon – game on to see if “old school” recruitment v “new school” social recruitment comes through a winner on the day. I can only presume a share of those 5 interviews are through Rice Consulting 🙂


  • Jayne Rice says:

    Almost three weeks since receiving the devastating news that it was proposed our TA Team at ASB was to be decentralized it’s been a rocky road of emotions. The thought of our supportive, close knit Team being taken apart and scattered throughout the business was bad enough but when it became apparent there was no longer any role for our awesome leader Matt it was gut wrenching.

    The proposal has now been confirmed and the Team are embracing the positives and between them looking to the future to ensure the new structure works for everyone. It’s sad. it’s emotional but for me I can look on the last 12 months as an awesome experience. I was part of an fantastic Team who have achieved fabulous results, not only were they my work colleagues I’m proud to call them my friends.

    As for Matt, as ever Matt never fails to surprise and come up with even more ideas, his #hiremattpontin campaign epitomizes why Matt is such an inspirational Leader. The last 24 hours have been mind-blowing, seeing before my eyes via different Social Media channels how the #NZREC community has got behind him and shared the message along with acquaintances across the Tasman into the UK and beyond.

    This is only the beginning of the journey for Matt, whilst we got so close at ASB to actually being able to deliver what we saw as our Recruitment nirvana I know Matt will be able to carry out that dream and achieve even bigger and better things with whoever is lucky enough to #hiremattpontin next. I only hope I can be around in some capacity to share that dream with him.

    In the words of my darling work Husband Mark Sumner – Best, Boss, Ever