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Grinding Gears

By May 30, 2019No Comments

I’ve been a bit crook this week but fear not, I’m at the stage where I have successfully transmitted my cooties to those around me. Working in a shared space is awesome, when you’re sick it’s like that scene at the end of The Planet of The Apes; where the pilot gets a nose bleed and travels to different countries spreading the illness far and wide. While the illness was in its inception, I was doing the British thing of soup, Lucozade and grapes: the holy trinity of wellbeing, while of course binging an array of television. It was at this point my soon to be Mrs put me on to ‘Hughesy loses it’ which was a segment on the Australian TV show Rove in 2007. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about think Peter Griffin’s “You know what really grinds my gears” segment but sponsored by Victoria Bitter.

click here for explanation 😊

His ‘he’s saying what we’re all thinking’ attitude inspired me to air some grievances about our industry. To be clear, these aren’t my issues. Think this blog the washing line for an array of dirty garments provided by many a consultant through time. My aim is for some sort of cathartic release in knowing that you Mr/Mrs. Consultant are not going through this alone!


Databases are like ars*holes, everyone’s got them! I could draw more comparisons but that’s more of ‘Sean type’ blog. It’s considered a selling point to tell Mr/Mrs. Client that the database contains over 100,000 candidates just waiting to be plucked, dusted off and placed into their organisation. The reality is often very different. If the database is not ‘coded up’ it is just a collection of names and numbers like the Titanic manifest, with candidates as old as The Queen of The Ocean herself. Your managers’ shrill cries to fill in all the fields may be slightly more understandable as it actually does have an effect in the long run.


As Bob Dylan penned back in 1979 “you’re gonna have to serve somebody” but with any luck that ‘somebody’ won’t be a total ball breaker. I’ve been lucky in that all my managers have been upstanding, innovative leaders but I’m well aware that isn’t the case for a lot of consultants. But what is the magical sorting hat for managers? Does a manager courageously pull a whiteboard marker out of stone? Are they born with a P&L in their DNA? The truth is actually far more boring and infinitely more counter-intuitive. The highest biller shifts their attention from the relentless pursuit of fees to the gentle nurturing of fledgling recruiters, never understood it, probably never will.


This is a personal grievance! Before embarking on my rec to rec journey I was blissfully unaware of the reputation of rec to recs worldwide, to put it lightly; sh*t. It goes, snake oil salesman, volcano insurance brokers, second-hand car dealers, double glazing seller and then rec to rec consultant in terms of perception, certainly in the UK. It’s something I notice when a UK consultant will ‘ghost’ me only to be bumped into in a bar when they realise that Auckland isn’t London. Thankfully for me, Jon Rice did a stellar job in the market, working with integrity, establishing and maintain healthy business relationships paving the way for me to hopefully not fu*k it all up. Recruiters still get a bad rap and to me, it’s totally unjustified. I’ve never got anyone a worse job for less money and I think you’ll be hard pushed to find that true in any recruiter. We help people, their families, their hopes of staying in this country, and don’t you forget that!


But Scott, what’s wrong with a wee bump in base? A nice title? A potential carpark? Absolutely nothing is wrong with that BUT once your responsibility switches from billing money to building a team you may start noticing a bit of a gradual slowdown in your total earnings. Then it happens, your associates start making more money than you! A bizarre mix of pride and jealousy consumes you, you’re responsible for the results but the fruits of your labour have turned to ash in your mouth.


Not mine! My clients are gems, total gems. I’m talking about that client who plays fast and loose with the term ‘perfect’ as in “we like her, she’s perfect! But we would love to see a few more like her” It’s a response that makes you want to run to Look Sharp, buy some novelty glasses with fake nose attached and throw yourself into the interview process! If they just want to see people to compare then why not!?


That’s probably enough for one day, my Friday is usually more of a joyous affair with the inevitable pie and a pint deal getting tanned at Brew on Quay. I must say, this did make me feel better. Like that first violent double blast of both nostrils in the shower to expel all the boogers from the night before, did I mention I’ve been ill? If you have emotional boogers you would like to expel then feel free to hit me up as I might make this a semi-regular feature at the risk of Hughsey legal team coming at me with copious copyright lawsuits.