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Silly Season for Recruitment Conferences

By October 23, 20144 Comments

We appear to be heading towards recruitment conference and meet up season here in New Zealand. As the sun starts to poke it’s head out again, so too are our industry’s recruitment event organisers.

There’s plenty to choose from. Some of you will have already bought tickets (or had them bought for you). Some will scoff with scorn and derision at the exploitative events raking over the same old ground. Others might be wringing hands anxiously, bamboozled by the choice, bewildered by the slick marketing and persistent imploring of industry “thought leaders”.

Some of you poor misguided recruiters might even be attempting to concoct some business case around ROI to sheepishly slide across the desk of your paymaster while the musical strands of Oliver Twist play softly in the background.

Let me explain something to you here and now:  You’re likely to count on the fingers of one hand the genuinely useful nuggets of insight and learnings that apply to you and your particular desk, portfolio, team or business. But, if you join in with positive intentions, perhaps partake in some Twitter action, get to know those around you, it will be an enlivening experience.

Because, whisper it quietly, it’s about the networking stupid. It’s the tea breaks, the round table chats, and especially the after conference drinks where the real magic happens. Well, if you actually give a sh*t about your job it is, anyway. Obviously not if you’re just attending because your boss asked you to.

So what’s coming up?

The Recruitment special interest group of HRINZ are putting on an interactive evening event at Vend’s HQ exploring Innovation and Disruption in Recruitment.

Then RHUB returns for the third year, intriguingly billed on the same day as the “Sourcing. Social. Talent” conference being run by the ATC guys (hint: enter the promo code RICE for 10% off)

Rumour has it that the irrepressible Bill Boorman is bringing his highly engaging #tru (The Recruitment Un-conference) event to Auckland around 11th December too and hey, there might even be an Un-PowWow later that evening too.

But hold the phone.  Because all of these coming events have been literally blown out of the water by something I received earlier this week.  In one of the most mysteriously bizarre emails I’ve ever received (and that’s saying something) my inbox contrived to cough up an email from someone or something hilariously called the Good Recruiters Collective:

Dear All,

This invite has gone out to a chosen few, where you will more than likely know the vast majority of those in attendance.

This is not a formal gathering. This is not a marketing ploy, or a ruse to make you part with your money – aside from procuring a drink or two perhaps.

The attached invite sums up everything you need to know.

Please RSVP to this email address.


Oooooh.  A secretive cabal of goooood recruiters.  We will certainly put the world to rights, oh yes, with talk of good old-fashioned attraction strategies and treating candidates with dignity and respect.  Perhaps.

Or wait, maybe it’s a clever ploy by a disgruntled candidate, burned and rejected by baaaaad recruiters one too many times, and the meeting place will be torched once we have all gathered to indulge in some back slapping and trough slurping. Then again, one look at the accompanying flyer belies the truth that only a recruiter could put something so fantastical together:


Is Greg Savage involved in some way?  Or is the suggestion that he should be put behind a fence?  Maybe Greg could shed some light in the comments below…  To the organiser – I acknowledge that you have asked for this not to be distributed but come on, this is pure gold, what can I do?  It’s like putting a steak dinner in front of Gerry Brownlee and telling him to just nibble on the side salad. Please…I think you’ve been reading too many Dan Brown books.  And anyway, what really makes one recruiter “good” and another one “not good”?  Billings?  EQ?  Market knowledge?  Acts of spontaneous charity?  I think you sent this to the wrong recruiter if that’s the case…

Maybe see some of you around the conference “circuit” soon then.  I hope so.  Have a nice long weekend (to those in NZ).


UPDATE:  A freshly updated version of the Good Recruiters’ Collective flyer has now been issued.  Hey, why not print off this blog and take it home for a game of ‘spot the difference’ with the kids?  Perfect for the crappy weather ahead:

GRC v2

I don’t think Sean or I are in the club collective any more.  If anyone goes please tell me if there’s secret handshakes I should look out for in future.

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.


  • Chris South says:

    Jon, good round up and very interested to see what happens to any recruiter who goes to the last one. Maybe it is one of a number of Aussie agencies who are entering the NZ market, looking to poach a whole group of recruiters in one go.

  • Greg Savage says:

    Never heard of it, nothing to do with me…

    Not sure whether I should be pleased that my mug is used to promote some unknown event, or consider it an infringement in some way. (How would Miranda Kerr feel about her ‘brand’ being abused like this, I wonder…we are similar in so many ways..)

    Maybe they put my face there to tell people this is NOT the kind of conference you will see this guy at.. but I doubt that…:)

    Oh and never one to miss an opportunity, you WILL see me at THIS event.. and you WILL pick up information that will make you richer.. from me.

  • That’s certainly one of the mysteriously bizarre ‘invite’ emails I have ever seen, and I’ve received a few in my time. I’m tipping a serious piss-take of some sort. Even the Good Recruiters (sic) Collective sounds like a name from a David Brent-type school of branding and marketing.

    Looking forward to hearing an event report from the ‘Goodies’ that attend on 24/11.