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Sacking Your Recruitment Prima Donna

By March 26, 20152 Comments

Not a great deal to report on from the world of New Zealand recruitment this week.  The very public spat between Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC following his physical assault of a Top Gear producer is a salutary reminder that your recruitment staffers can never be bigger than your firm, no matter if they are the top biller and prima donna of the office whiteboard.  Recruitment firms seem more prone than most other businesses to excuse and condone toxic and disruptive behaviour from their star performers, without properly considering how this will be regarded by the rank and file in the trenches.

The BBC’s brave decision to draw the line at a man who, whilst supremely talented at presenting TV shows, is really a complete and utter tool, was the right one to make.  It will set them back in the short term but is the right thing to do for the long term.  The same should be done with star recruiters, even if they are million dollar billers seemingly keeping the firm afloat.  Especially if they have attained a level of arrogance whereby being presented with a plate of cold meats is greeted with a punch and a verbal evisceration.

There’s not much else to be said on it really, so I’ll leave you with this poignant video commemorating the day that Clarkson fans and One Direction fans will regard as the darkest of dark:

Another useful reminder for the more forward thinking of you recruiters came out of last night’s #RicePowWow event. The launch of the #GetIn consulting business was followed by a moving tale from the mother of a leukaemia sufferer, who recently beat the disease. However, the PledgeMe site was a nightmare to navigate from mobile devices so it was hardly the most smooth of fundraisers, and put me in mind of how hard many recruitment firms and corporate in-house teams make it to actually apply for jobs or navigate their ATS.  The lesson learned?  Try applying for your own vacancies and put yourself in the shoes of the jobseeker.  If it’s painful and time-consuming, then fix it – simple really.

Thanks to everyone who did make it along to the #RicePowWow last night, it was a top night as ever.  If you still want to contribute to the #GetIn for the Cancer Society campaign then click here, but I’d suggest doing it from a desktop computer!

Congrats to Tom Gemmill from absoluteIT who won the free ticket to the upcoming IT Recruitment conference #IT18NZ too.  You lucky Whiteboard readers can get 25% off the ticket price by entering the special code:



IT18 Conference New Zealand

Register here and enjoy what is sure to be a top conference and day of learnings for anyone in the technology recruiting space.

Happy Friday y’all and #BackTheBlackCaps!

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.


  • Matt Ponti says:

    nice as always blog Jon. Sincere sorry’s to everyone who tried to pledge at the #ricepowwow to the #Getin for the NZ Cancer Society campaign. I have contacted Pledgeme today and they are looking into the issue for the future. thanks again for having us last night Jon and HUGE thanks to everyone who has pledged so far towards our campaign!

  • Couldn’t agree more Jon, it doesn’t matter how big a star thinks they are, the show must go on without them. Canada’s equivalent to the BBC the CBC went through it recently sacking a really bad apple and is better off without our “star”. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Top Gear staff do, there are some hilarious car buffs out there and I’m sure they can find a replacement for Jeremy. I wish I could have the job order for his replacement!

    Cheers from Canada