Skip to main content

In 1983, 61 year old Australian sheep farmer Cliff Young ran the 875km from Sydney to Melbourne in 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes. The T30 Tower, a 30 story hotel in China was constructed in 360 hours. McDonalds once built a 75 seater Drive-through in 24 hours. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the 2006 Holocaust novel, and now a major movie, was written in two and a half days. I have sorted my sock drawer out twice in the last 6 months. It’s safe to say, that when humans put their mind to something, incredible things can happen. I spoke to a recruiter yesterday who sourced and placed 28 industrial temps in one week. He didn’t do it for the commission – he did it to break the company record. In all walks of life, the difference between good and average is typically motivation + perspiration. As countless Western Military Generals have found out, from Vietnam, to Afghanistan, a highly motivated group of humans can put up quite a scrap against those who join the army for free travel and a hot uniform. Failure, delays, and poor performance is often based on excuses that those with an indomitable spirit rarely voice. In the words of Sean Connery in 1996’s cinematic classic “The Rock”, “losers always whine about “their best”. Winners go home and f*ck the Prom Queen”. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

And this brings be on to today’s topic. Regular Whiteboard readers will be well aware of my “AoG” series, however, those who aren’t can waste your day reading Part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 here. To summarise, MBIE run a tender for recruiters wanting to supply government. MBIE, without any consultation, think they can totally change the way that recruitment works. Everyone tells them it’s not possible. The RCSA use the official information act to ask them who they “consulted”. MBIE sh*t themselves and make a massive climb down. All of MBIE procurement quit. Procurement contractors go back to the old model and send out a tender full of spelling mistakes. Recruitment agencies begrudgingly send in tenders whilst pretending to like the absolute c*ck-wombles at MBIE. And that brings us up to speed.

Let’s now look at the timeline as defined by New Zealand Government Procurement:

Steps in the RFP process                                         Date
RFP released on GETS                                                     
05 August 2022
Provider briefing webinar                                               
10 August 2022 10:00am
Deadline for intent to respond                                       
12 August 2022
Deadline for questions from respondents                    
25 August 2022 4:00pm
Deadline for proposals                                                    
02 September 2022 4:00pm

So here’s the first thing. Many of you Wellington recruiters do not have a job if you aren’t on the AoG panel. This isn’t like trying to be a supplier to PGG Wrightson. This is paying your mortgage or having to find a new career. Heavy sh*t. And yet, MBIE initially proposed a totally new way of funding and providing contractors (and when I say “totally new”, I mean “never seen anywhere else on this planet ever” – largely because it doesn’t work), and then gave businesses less than a month to be briefed, ask questions, and put together a presentation explaining how cheap they’ll work, and how they’ll fundamentally change their business model and recruitment practices. No wonder people where somewhat perturbed.

Thankfully, after much uproar, the deadline was (slightly) extended, and then, the whole “new model” was scrapped. This now brings me back to the next part of the timeline:

Supplier presentation sessions                                       
19 September 2022 07 October
Longlisted respondents notified of the outcome          
Mid October 2022
Meetings with longlisted respondents                           
Late October/ Early November
Contract award                                                                  
December 2022
Debriefs for unsuccessful respondents                          
January 2023

So all done and dusted by December 2022 right guys?


Unfortunately for those who tendered, and fortunate for me who has a blog to write every Friday, these timeframes were somewhat ambitious. Not ambitious for you poor folks who had to sing for your supper, ambitious for those procurement wankpuffins at MBIE. This week’s correspondence reads as follows:

Thank you for responding to the Talent Acquisition Services tender opportunity which closed December 2022.
NZGP has sent a recommendation for approval which includes the final panel composition. We are very close to final sign-off and would like the thank each and every respondent for your patience in this process.
We are planning to send the outcome letters to respondents early/mid-May which will indicate whether or not your response has been successful.

We are planning for the solution to Go-Live in early June with a transition period of 3 Months for participating agencies.

And there we have it. A process that was meant to be concluded in December of last year has dragged its sorry arse into June of this year. A 61 Aussie sheep farmer could run from Sydney to Melbourne over 50 times in that timeframe. And before anyone says “but yeah, it was recruiters who asked for longer to respond”, well yeah we did, but only because Government Procurement wanted to implement a totally unworkable funding model. Something they later admitted. And here’s the thing about projects that blowout deadlines; they always blowout budget. And whether you’re intending to be a government supplier or not, you’re a tax payer  – unless you’re not, in which case, chin-up, next quarter will be better.

That’s enough AoG chat from me, at least until the panel is announced. Don’t worry – we’ll leak it earlier if we find out ahead of time. On a more positive note, and some shameless self-promotion, we’re super stoked to introduce our latest business. Joining the Rice and JOYN whānau, please meet superHUMAN Software. For a number of years now, we’ve been building our own recruitment and HR software, and after being asked by several of our clients to build them equally cool stuff, and delivering a number of project, we’ve decided to “make it official”. We’re now open for business and can build, integrate, automate, and customise almost anything in the people space. Check out our new website, let me know what you think, and hit me up if you think software built by those who know recruitment could fix a problem and put a smile on your dial.