This is what she said, “I can tell you, I’ve been in recruitment all my life, if I saw your CV come across the table it would go straight back down in the rubbish bin,”
She followed this up with, “There’s hundreds of Kiwis out there – there’s hundreds of Australians and British – why would we give it to you? And if we do give it you over a Kiwi, I will be the first one approaching my member of parliament.”
Still not done, she went on to say, “Despite what the politically correct say, most recruitment agencies are Kiwis – and Kiwis hate immigration, like Britain hates immigration, like America hates immigration…I hate immigration, it has done nothing for our way of life, except bring it down to a third world country like yours.”
The jobseeker on the receiving end of this appalling tirade had the foresight and courage to make a recording of the encounter and sent it into the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, who released it onto their Facebook page.
I would encourage you to listen to the below, to gain a full understanding of the levels of spite in her racist invective:
This emerged last Thursday and, to their credit, the RCSA’s rapid response immediately tackled the issue head on, encouraging other recruiters to share the hashtag #SheDoesNotSpeakForUs and writing a letter to Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy published to the HRC website.
A significant black mark on our industry that none of us should ignore. But this is my fear, that this will be another one of those things that gives rise to a flurry of righteous and indignant outrage before the next big story comes along and it rapidly fades from our conscience again.
It’s how we respond to this that counts.
This so called recruiter, this pathetic, sad, frightened and spiteful excuse for a recruiter doesn’t deserve to lie low a while before managing to get back to her recruitment games again. But she will, I bet you.
Make this recording a wake up call for your own moral compass when recruiting from now on. Use it to keep your own behaviour in check. Remember, always, that we recruiters are put in a unique position of trust, influence, and power when a client instructs us to recruit on their behalf. Remember, always, that even if you get inundated with unsuitable responses, even if your client makes casually racist suggestions about who they want, that we must use our position to extinguish, and not allow or encourage, this kind of thinking from now on.
I’m a proud immigrant to New Zealand myself and I will be using the memory of this recording to always remind me that every candidate I deal with has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their suitability for the role I’m recruiting.
I know many, many recruiters in New Zealand but sadly I don’t recognise the voice of the woman in this recording. But some of you out there will do, whether you’ve worked with or for her, been a client of hers, or had the misfortune to be a candidate of hers. If anyone knows who this is, please let me know.
And if the jobseeker on the receiving end of this reads this, and still needs help securing employment in New Zealand, please get in touch. I’d like to do whatever I can to help.