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EmploymentHuman ResourcesRecruitment

Wage Against The Machine

By February 14, 2019No Comments

I’ve been in NZ for 6 years, 5 of which have been spent in this topsy turvy industry we call recruitment and although placements have been made in Wellington, Auckland is my focus and also my home. Not to alienate the Wellington readership but Auckland is amazing; gateway to the north, not too bad winters, mean food and lovely people. However, it’s pretty expensive ay? I mean it is the 20th most expensive place to buy property IN THE WORLD. Thankfully we have fallen down the list in recent years having previously been firmly in the top 10 and with Auckland house sales prices hitting their lowest in three years brings a glimmer of hope to any firstbuyerino’s out there.

As a person who asks the question “what motivates you” on a daily basis I always have to remind people that money isn’t a dirty word. It’s the big green elephant in the room. The truth is I wouldn’t be sitting in this plush office talking to you (Mr/Mrs. Consultant) if I wasn’t being paid for it! I’d be at home tanning my way through my FIFA Ultimate Team gorging on Ferrero Rocher. The old adage is that it makes the world go round, it at the very least keeps the cogs on society turning. Other than showing off to friends your annual salary has other purposes; keeping you fed, housed and warm. So are you being paid enough?


Starting out in the industry is always going to be tough, you’re at the start of your journey and as one of my candidates eloquently put it; some years you earn and some years you learn, this is the learning year. However, that doesn’t mean that after work you should go back to under bridge with Dirty Mike and the gang foraging for kindling for you steel bin. It’s 2019 and it’s Auckland, a $45K salary is not exactly a death sentence but it is a no life sentence. Having sprung big time last night on a couple of snack size pizzas from Hells, which if you don’t know are the size of a digestive biscuit, I was charged $20! Now, I’m lucky that firstly, my girlfriend is a salt of the earth Kiwi as appose to one of those Hepburn types who likes pizza on Valentines Day and secondly that I’m in a position that it won’t break the bank.

Now in the same breath if you are starting in this industry at a later time in your career you must understand a few things. I didn’t tell you to leave your comfortable store manager position and change vocation, although I agree that there are a number of transferable skills the truth is it will be some time before you are profitable. As a result, a dip in salary is expected, although very rarely well received. I have no qualms in telling candidates how much I earn, not wanting to make it a matter of public record mind. It is usually a good perspective giver when I explain I have 5 years of local experience over a number of industries, that perhaps their expectations are a little lofty. My clients are also interested greatly in salary, not wanting to be known as the skinflints of the industry. I feel sometimes I am a glorified salary guide for consultants and candidate managers but as a person who sits atop the market, I have a good idea of what is fair and what is ridiculous. We see an inflated salary in in-demand industries as you would expect such as IT & Construction. With salaries post $80K for senior consultants when the average would sit between $70K– $80K.


Now the difference in our industry is the C-Word; commission. I will always tell people that the higher the base the higher the threshold, some people can handle that and some people know that they can earn much more if they choose the lower salary. It’s sort of like when Noel shows you a low number on Deal or No Deal and you’re chuffed. The higher salary will also demand a pound of flesh so if your base is high your output better match. In conclusion, money is important, in this city more than ever but what I would stress is if you back yourself and your ability then look past the monthly salary and focus on the potential. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to buy more yarn to fashion a new outfit for next week 😊