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We’re all working remotely these days. Our sister business JOYN is built on the premise that a good recruiter can sit in their underpants in Tokoroa and recruit a .net developer living in Bali for a client based out of Gore. This, over the course of over 4,000 placements, has proven itself so.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of a hotel room in Wellington. In an attempt to both reinvigorate the once-popular Wellington Recruitment “Meetup”, and also provide a pep talk to recruiters on shaky ground, I was invited by everyone’s/no one’s (delete as appropriate) favourite recruitment coffin dodger Troy Hammond to sit on a panel to discuss a topic which I at first thought slightly odd.

For those too busy watching MAFS, or not based in Wellington, the theme of last night’s Meetup was “Navigating Sh*t times with advice from those who’ve been through it”. Now it’s not often that I’m even invited to attend an event, let alone contribute, so when I received the invite (after 30+ unanswered calls from Troy to other Recruiters I presume) I was delighted to accept. Here at Rice Towers, we’ve always been semi-active in the Wellington market, and a trip to the windy city was well overdue. However, my client base, and certainly my client visits, are largely Auckland based. And here’s the thing with Auckland: in the most part, the current recession is something we mostly observe in the news. Yes we know it’s happening, and no we’re not buying boats, but the recruitment market, for most quality firms, is largely pretty darn buoyant. It may not be at the sh*t-the-bed level of busy that we were 8 months ago, but the whiteboards of almost all my Auckland clients are stacked full of vacancies.

What on earth was Hammond on about?

And this brings me back to my opening paragraph. With a 7.30am flight booked, yesterday was spent catching up with Wellington-based candidates and clients alike. Most of the clients I visited also have Auckland based operations who I have visited in the past 3 months or so. However, the vibe down here, right now, on the ground, is actually quite different from what I expected. Firstly, I should clarify that not a single firm I met with are in any way struggling. However, for the first time since seizing the reins of the agency Rec to Rec desk in December, I met with Agency clients who aren’t hiring right now.

More to the point, I was surprised just how different the recruitment “vibe” was down here. And no amount of phone calls, Teams meetings, or emails would have illustrated this “vibe” quite like four face-to-face client meetings.

Be it a combination of an election year, the seemingly interminable wait for the AoG announcement, the global recession, or easter holidays (I kid you not), Wellington has the feel of Dentist’s waiting room. Or maybe a departure gate for a delayed flight. No one is heading anywhere fast, but you daren’t take a slash for fear of final boarding. Currently, our capital city seems in stasis, with everyone waiting for something or anything to happen. And without pounding actual pavement, there is no way to understand the feeling down here. It’s one thing being told, something quite different seeing it through your own peepers.

I’m starting to think that maybe this remote recruitment lark has its limitations

Obviously, I’m a recruitment optimist – you can’t do this for a career if you’re not – and I know that within a blink of an eye, we’ll have a new government, a new AoG panel, and affordable capsicums. In the meantime however, I think it’s important to remember that things will probably get worse before they get better, not all of us are in the same boat, and as sure as night follows day, the good times will return.

Thank you to Troy for putting on a fun event and MCing whilst high on prescription drugs.




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