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It pains me to report that life for recruiters in our capital is set to get worse before it gets any better. This week, it was bought to my attention that not content in forcing recruiters to work to the dismal rates of the new(ish) AoG contract, a number of Government Agencies are going down the Auckland Council route, with at least two new “sub panel” RFPs issued. These government agencies, seemingly desperate to please a bald man who wants to control the contents of your womb, are now attempting to squeeze more blood from the stone by asking recruitment firms to drop their pants once again to become a first tier provider. Not only this, but one RFP is “invite only” and another only wants “full service” agencies – so if you’re on for common corporate, but not IT, it’s sayonara. Good news for globals, bad news for a number of kiwi-owned recruitment firms. This will not only be costly in terms of further reduced revenue for recruitment companies who do make it on, but regardless of your success, there is also the wasted time of convincing a panel that you’re actually Māori and that you have an anti-people trafficking policy already in place. Again.

I understand that to non-recruiters, complaints from recruiters sound like sour grapes from a bunch of champagne Charlies. The layman would say we’ve been making too much money for too long from placing contractors into government. There is of course a smidge of truth in this. However, asking us to work for even less when the volumes of vacancies are so low has a broader knock-on effect which is detrimental to Aotearoa.  Simply put, the current volumes and margins will not sustain a quality recruitment industry. If things continue for any length of time, only sh*te recruiters will supply government. And sh*te recruiters serve up sh*te candidates for a sh*te New Zealand.

Also, without sounding like the loony socialist that I am, high-performing recruiters are high-tax payers, as are the firms they work for. And they drink loads of coffee, and beers after work, and eat at nice restaurants, and run out to get their partners expensive presents at lunch time, and do a whole host of things that keep Wellington humming. With all the government agency redundancies, and all the miserable recruiters, Wellington is already a depressing ghost town. By the time I visit again. it’ll look post-apocalyptic I swear.

On the subject of the apocalypse, some people were lucky enough to enjoy this LinkedIn rant by a Wellington-based Randstad Digital recruiter, before the Randstad management team clearly shot him with a tranquilizer gun and deleted the post:

“***we’re truly under new management here in New Zealand***

Unless I consistently now bring in $30,000 GP successfully (every month) during this recruitment apocalypse market we’re facing, I’ll be managed out.

When the new government is reshaping, restructuring, remodeling, re-scoping. reordering its people envelope to suit the new headcount targets that are ministerially lead, vendors are needing to do the same. We saw 9,000 people in Wellington “successfully” added to jobseekers last month alone. This is apocalyptic!

Also…if I value my career in recruitment here at Randstad I have just four weeks to achieve this result before management reviews my efforts – (easy right!)

Now before everyone jumps in to help out by filling my calendar with visits and coffee’s, these calls, visits and jobs …. it can only be with meaningful contacts within my own portfolio, which is just 38.46% of my network that I had prior to the Acquisition of Finite920 and my new portfolio is now 61.53% Government who’s new budget is not out until the end of the month, with announcements of further redundancies to come.

Kia Kaha! to the public sector – This is a tough market.

If you are wanting a recruiter who is pushed into a corner, with everything to lose if he doesn’t deliver, who’s willing to sing for his own supper – here’s my calendar to connect.”

A few things to unpack here. Firstly, fair play to any recruiter working for a global agency who puts their cock on the block like this. They will join an elite group of NZ recruiters who woke up one day and said “f*ck it”. It is however career suicide, and shows just how desperate things have got not only at a Consultant level, but for those who manage the Consultants. If the above post is factually accurate, and if this Consultant has indeed been so affected by the acquisition of Finite920, then perhaps $30k every month is unrealistic right now. I also feel that if Randstad are performance managing this fella to this degree, then the recruiter has the right to state the conditions he’s working under. Is it classy, no. Does it look good, nah. However, if it’s true, and if Randstad have set this target, I don’t think it reasonable that the Consultant is forced to keep it a secret. If the target is achievable and fair, then Randstad have nothing to be ashamed of, right?

Anyway, clearly the words of a recruiter pushed to his very limit, so go easy Randstad.

On to brighter topics next week hopefully.


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