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A Decade of Recruiting Recruiters – Rice Consulting Turns 10

By November 29, 2019No Comments

My fellow Director Sean Walters has chosen probably the best possible week weather-wise to go camping this week and so, rather than immersing you into a triple-dose of the young la’ Scotty’s blogs, I’ve decided to prise the lids off my old Whiteboard pens and see if there’s any juice left in them.

As it happens, the timing is quite providential, as this is the last of our weekly blogs before Rice Consulting turns 10 years old next week.  Yep, a decade of rec to rec (and more besides) in the amazing #NZRec community of New Zealand!

So it’s a very proud day for me personally and I’d like to thank all of the staff past and present, clients, candidates, partners and suppliers who have contributed to our wild rollercoaster of a decade serving the NZ recruitment market.

Rice Consulting home office 2009Like most recruitment businesses we started out with very humble beginnings:  Me, a computer, and a phone (and in the picture here also my son, who is also now 10, obviously, and rapidly gaining on me in height).

Whilst hardly the most creative name for a business, I was labouring under the illusion that my name actually meant something in the recruitment market of 2009, having spent a couple of years doing rec to rec here for an Australian firm.  The timing was far from ideal too.  Ever the optimist, I was certain the post-recession green shoots of recovery were stretching and flexing, ready to propel the NZ economy back into a good place in 2010.  As it happened, there were at least two more years of sluggish growth as the global economy licked it’s wounds and NZ bobbed around, powerless on the seas of global economic uncertainty.

My wife was also expecting our second by this point, with our daughter arriving in 2010, and so despite the economic conditions, I basically had to make it work.  On reflection, perhaps there is something to be said for diving in the deep end with no choice other than to swim, as make it work we eventually did.

I wanted to build a recruitment business that had good people, provided superior service and kept the quality high without taking itself too seriously and, with the help of Sean, I think we’ve done that.  I also wanted to be the champion for our industry, extolling the virtues just mentioned and, by recruiting quality recruiters for quality firms, help NZ businesses to improve their outlook and their relationships with the recruitment industry.  In this part I think we’ve largely failed though.  It’s not gotten worse, it just hasn’t really improved that much, in my opinion.

A decade is a long time in recruitment and there are many milestones that I can look back on with immense satisfaction.  Too many to mention them all, but I should highlight the first post on The Whiteboard in 2010, our blog for the NZ recruitment industry, where we have posted every Friday for almost 10 years with all the laughs, laments and lawsuits that have come with it.  Moving into our spiritual home Generator and the arrival of Sean in 2011 (un-bearded, un-tattooed and looking about 12).  The first #RicePowWow in 2012 and helping bring the first RHUB Conference to NZ that same year, complete with pole dancing entertainment during the lunch break (nice one Ness!).  The development of our virtualRPO brand in 2013, and it’s evolution into what is now JOYN, launched in 2017.  And then our recent move out of Generator this year (after over 8 years and countless other recruitment firms had passed through their doors) to our own digs on High Street.

Our logo has evolved over time and is probably coming up due another refresh soon.  In 2016 we conned a surprising number of people on April Fools’ Day by “announcing” I was stepping aside and Sean was taking over, revealing the logo for the new business (hat tip James Blake for sorting that while at Adcorp!)

But really, we’re a people business, and we’ve had some awesome people do us the honour of joining us on our journey in the past 10 years, kudos to you all…

Well that’s enough nostalgia from me for now, suffice to say thank you for having me, it’s been a blast growing and developing Rice Consulting in the market here, and I hope we can continue to grow, evolve, and deliver to you all for another decade to come.

Thanks to all of our supporters for egging us on, and also our detractors for egging us on even more.  But I’ll finish off with thanks to my wife Jayne who knows a bit about recruitment herself and has shown incredible patience, faith and support for the mission we’ve been on over this past decade.

We love recruiters, it says so right here, hopefully see you around.

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.