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Happy New Year one and all. Or “HNY” as people tend to type these days. This is not to be confused with “HRNY”, although if you do receive a text saying this, your New Year will start happier than most. I’m actually on leave this week, but the nature of a weekly recruitment blog means that I’m either selflessly giving up my holiday to blog for your entertainment, or using this as an excuse to hide away from the extended family who have descended on Casa Walters over the break. You can be the judge. In reality, when you’re on the tools, it’s not always possible to step away from the desk when you’re not actually leaving Aotearoa. And it was this that saw me in the office on Tuesday talking to a client. I have this client to thank for today’s musings.

A question: Who is New Zealand’s leading recruitment agency?

It’s a big one I know, and I’m probably better positioned than some to answer it. However, there is no simple answer to this. Do we mean by sector? Generally? Specifically? Are we basing this on number of placements? Revenue? Margin? Client satisfaction? Candidate satisfaction? Reputation? We have two organisations who try and answer this question every year, and the best that they can come up with is a system of self-written, self-congratulatory submissions judged by a largely irrelevant panel. As much as we feel a SARA or RCSA Golden Goblet (or whatever it’s called) is good marketing for gaining prospective clients, the real secret of convincing people you’re the best lies elsewhere. If you want to be New Zealand’s leading Recruitment Agency, you have to write it on your website and hope that the SEO Gods favour you over the 200 other firms saying the same thing. Don’t believe me? Check it out:

As we all know, Robert Half is “New Zealand’s leading recruitment and job agency”, apart from when Adecco is “New Zealand’s leading Recruitment Agency”. Unfortunately, these guys may have to share the honours with AWF, who, in a twist of originality, are also “New Zealand’s leading Recruitment agency”. Not to be outdone, it would be remiss of me not to mention “New Zealand’s leading recruitment agency” Onestaff, although I’m starting to get a headache as I notice that “Randstad is New Zealand’s leading recruitment agency”. Adding to my confusion, I see that another global, this time Hays is “the leading recruitment agency in New Zealand”, except on Tuesdays when Chandler Macleod is the “leading recruitment agency”. Controversially, it seems none of the above realise that “Hudson is a leading Talent Management and Recruitment agency in New Zealand.” It’s not just about the big boys however. DKW is also the “Leading recruitment agency in New Zealand “. The specialists are also leading the way(s), with Potentia being the “NZ’s leading tech and change recruiter” when Recruit IT aren’t the “top IT Recruitment Agency in New Zealand”. Salt, Franklin Smith, Emergent, and about a hundred others are all also keen to lead the way. The list goes on.

What do I think of this? Well, some of these firms really are the leaders, and loads aren’t. We live in a world where the answer to everything is “Google it”, so I don’t blame any company for playing ball. We’ve probably done it ourselves. Being a leader is also as subjective as it gets, and if we believe we really are the best Risk & Compliance Recruiter in the Bay of Plenty, then why not splash it across the website? On the positive, it does mean I can continue to write “leading recruitment agency” in almost every one of my job ads, and address the whole industry in one blog post title. We’re all leaders I suppose, even if no one else believes it.

Have a good weekend and look after your pets in this heat.