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Regular readers will know that I often find myself scraping around for a blog topic on a Friday morning. Not so today. Following the blog hotline ringing off the hook this week, here’s a snapshot of FIVE big things that have happened to the industry. Think of this like a hand printed left-wing newsletter handed to you by an anarchist outside of Tottenham Court Road tube station in 1978. It’s probably equally reliable.

Randstad Digital make everyone redundant

Well, almost everyone. Following on from one Recruiters “falling down” moment as highlighted in the blog two weeks ago, my sources tell me that yesterday the entire original Randstad Digital team have been made redundant. I say “original” as apparently, those IT recruiters who came from the Finite acquisition two years ago will be keeping their jobs. This comes after two years of turmoil as both teams bickered over account ownership to the point of distraction. As always, it’s easier to make redundancies than to performance manage people, and with the majority of their big billers sitting Finitie-side, those unlucky Randstadders got their marching orders yesterday. Sadly, with a dead Wellington market, I’m not sure how many of these recruiters will be scooped up.

Waka Kotahi add insult to injury

On the subject of Wellington, could it really get any worse? Of course it can! Apparently, Waka Kotahi (or “NZ Transport Agency” as three racist men want us to call it) have engaged with a third party consulting firm to advise them on saving even more money. This Consulting firm is no doubt incredibly expensive, with grads being charged out at partner rates. Their solution is to disregard what was promised to Recruitment firms during the tender process, and “backdate” the new agreement to include contractors who started before the contract came into force. Long story short – they tried to convert a load of contractors to “pay roll only” about 2 years early. And some recruitment firms bent over and took it. Waka Kotahi claimed the contract didn’t explicitly say they couldn’t. The RCSA complained. MBIE sent an email to government agencies which won’t be read.

Collar Group make everyone redundant…in a very Aussie way

Collar Group. Ever heard of them? No, me neither. Probably because they were only founded in 2021 by a man who looks immensely punchable. And yet, in a slow market grew to over 100 recruiters across 9 offices. Only in Australia right? Well, unsurprisingly, growing a solvent recruitment firm isn’t as easy as recruiting a bunch of English coke-heads. The firm now finds itself in administration, with a third of the recruiters already getting their marching orders. Of course they were sat down individually by their line managers, the situation was explained in a sympathetic manner, and they were provided with outplacement support. I’m joking. Their logins to Microsoft office were inexplicably cancelled one evening and they were then emailed notification of the redundancy to their personal email accounts. Stay classy Brizzy.

Accordant announce a $10m loss

Perhaps unsurprising in the current economic “headwinds”, the Accordant Group lost a fair chunk of change last financial year. $10m may sound a lot, but listed businesses lose money all the time, often for many years. Recruitment firms are just at the whims of a particularly tough set of circumstances. What’s more surprising is that they only made $2m in profit the year before. That’s about one and a third Brian Bernards. Someone told me that Hays would pull out of New Zealand if they only made $2m. Well Accordant aren’t Hays, and maybe they don’t want to be. I think we all agree that we’re screwed for the next 6 months, but it will be interesting to see if Accordant can turn the corner before FY24/25. They only need to find about 7 more Brians.

The RSCA got MBIE to write a letter

Back to Wellington, and the RCSA have been meeting with MBIE to moan about sub-panels. Their argument is sound; agencies may not have dropped their pants so far if they knew they would be doing it again for another procurement process. And the whole business model for the original rates was based around receiving volume from all potential government agencies. The use of sub-panels could mean that you’re a government supplier with zero accessible government agencies to recruit for. What an absolute shambles. Fair play to the RCSA for trying, but MBIE have clearly lost control and should be catapulted into an active volcano.

Anyway, a lot to digest there, but at least you have the long weekend thanks to that awful “King”.


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