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Global Recruitment Brand Dragged into the Gutter

By July 14, 2016No Comments

Again this week,  like moving from provincial rugby to Super 15, the topic of recruitment has leapt from obscure industry blogs such as this, to the mainstream press. It turns out that an ethical recruiter has gone the extra mile to help a disadvantaged candidate secure their dream role. I joke of course…. We’d never get coverage like that.

Instead I’m referring to the boozy and threatening antics of certain Michael Page employees in Australia. The full story can be found here, with accurate and informative dissection and analysis (as always) from Ross Clennett here. This humdinger even crept into the Daily Mail on what must have been a slow news day. I tend to be more National Enquirer to Clennett’s Wall Street Journal, so I’ll leave the facts to him and stick to conjecture, hearsay, and misguided-yet-verbose opinion.

To cut a long story short. Michael Page employees go to stay at a ski lodge. Booze is drunk. Noise and mess is made. Michael Page employees threaten to “kick in the heads” of the father and daughter who manage the lodge. Very unpleasant business indeed, accompanied by unpleasant photos of allegedly drunken bullies. As highlighted by Clennett, Michael Page’s SEO has gone to shit, at least in Australia, with this story leapfrogging their actual website on Google. Someone’s gonna be pissed…

According to Page, this wasn’t a “company-funded or sanctioned work trip”. This begs more questions; How did the Michael Page name come into this? If it was just a group of young Australian friends getting drunk and acting like prats, well…it’d only be news worthy if they’d actually behaved themselves. Or was the lodge booked out, without permission perhaps, under the Michael Page name? Were team leaders, managers, directors present and involved in the antics? I’m guessing “yes” to at least some of the above.

It also raises difficult questions around the tension between being an individual and being an employee, and the grey area in-between. I’m not condoning their behaviour in the slightest (you’ll see my opinion on threatening and violent behaviour below), but at what stage did it become Michael Page employees being abusive versus just people being abusive? Where do they end and you begin?

I was challenged around this question on Tuesday.

I attended an event kindly hosted by Barkers billed as an evening with New Zealand heavyweight boxing contender Joseph Parker. Being a fan of the sweet science, I was glad to attend. Unbeknownst to me, and absent from the marketing flyer, was that the evening would be MCd by sycophantic, weasel-faced, female spine-breaking shit-bag Tony Veitch. I’ve included a link for those overseas readers. Thankfully, he was off stage promptly and out of the building shortly after that. I spoke to the organisers on the night and highlighted that I felt it a bad choice, especially given the negative press that boxing has received over the years. I followed it up with a tweet, and twitter being the open forum that it is, was respectfully challenged on my actions:


Kudos to Lisa for sharing her opinion. You can follow me if you can be bothered to see my response. To answer in more detail, my actions and views are my own. They may also be the views of my business. They may not be. We are a collection of seven diverse people, with diverse opinions and views, and this collectively makes up our “brand”. Providing we hire staff with a fairly accurate moral compass, then I’m fine with everyone expressing their opinions.  Jon Rice previously blogged around diversity of thought, and it’s something fantastic to embrace. You can have an opinion which differs from the company line, and d’ya’know what? That’s OK. The likes of Page and the other globals have long tried to control the personal brand of there employees. They will lose that battle. The days of *views are my own* will soon be obsolete as the lines between work, play, social media, and real life rapidly erode. We’re in a new era where you can be yourself, providing “yourself” is a good person.

Those threatening the staff at the ski lodge are disrespectful humans. They’ll be fired (if they haven’t been already) and go on to sell IT solutions. They’ll be disrespectful humans there also.

Happy Friday everyone, and go easy on the sauce this weekend.