Tag Archives: Absolute IT

Happy Easter Recruiters and there’s a birthday next week…

Pop!  That surprised you didn’t it?  Like an early hatching Easter chick, here is this week’s Whiteboard post, poking its fluffy white head out of the internet eggshell to wish you an early Happy Easter.

Well what with it being Good Friday tomorrow, and The Whiteboard traditionally getting its weekly stroll around the exercise yard on that very day, I thought I’d better give you all something to read a day early this week rather than posting something as well read as a Hays Social Media policy.  Speaking of which, my rubbish usually gets collected on a Friday morning around the time I post The Whiteboard, so can anyone tell me if I’m supposed to chuck that up the end of my driveway a day early too?

Truth be told, I have little to report this week.  It’s a short week.  It’s been a frantically busy start to the new financial year here in New Zealand and all seems to be picking up very nicely indeed out there in the wider Asia-Pac region of recruitment.  The Auckland office of Absolute IT have invited me to a local bar to watch Spurs (pronounced bleurgh) v. Arsenal but I have unfortunately booked myself out all morning in a meeting of which you will hear more about further into the future.  Plus almost the entire office supports Spurs, having very recently farewelled their lone Arsenal supporter, and the way Arsenal are playing I’m not sure it sounds like an enjoyable prospect.  If you guys are reading this from smartphones at half time then cheers to you and go the Gunners.  [Update: Arsenal are 3-2 up at half-time, sorry I’m not there now!]

Honestly, if you’re an IT recruiter looking for a new home, and sad enough to support Spurs, then speak to those guys.  You probably wouldn’t even need an interview 😉

But wait!  I do have a small piece of news to impart.  This is the 51st posting on The Whiteboard, where I have published a fresh blog post every Friday since it all kicked off on 22nd April 2010 with the following thoughts:

“…if you are an agency or internal recruiter, particularly in New Zealand, or perhaps a recruitment Director or company owner, you might like to check in with The Whiteboard every now and then.  We should be posting something up every Friday and hoping to lighten the mood towards the weekend, as well as keep you informed of news, articles, opinion and gossip from the world of recruitment, with a definite leaning towards the Asia-Pac region that is our hunting ground.”


Yes next week will be The Whiteboard’s first birthday and I hope that some of my plans and aspirations for this blog have come true over the past 12 months.  It has been a pleasure to write and comment upon various goings on in our world of recruitment but most edifying of all has been your growing support, from reading numbers, subscriptions, comments and general word of mouth comments made to me.  Thanks for your support and keep those comments coming.  I look forward to ever more vigorous debates over the coming 12 months.

For a birthday present I am taking The Whiteboard on a designer shopping spree.  Watch out for the new-look Whiteboard next week and if its bum looks big – don’t be afraid to say so.

All that is left to say is Happy Easter to everyone out there in recruitment and I hope you all enjoy a well-earned break.  But mainly to the New Zealand recruiters, not because I live and work here, but because you jammy Aussies have such a prosperous economy your Government can afford to give you Tuesday off for ANZAC Day as well.

At least that’s an extra day’s revenue on temp margins for the New Zealand recruitment firms.  Clutching at straws?  You’ve got to look on the bright side!


The Trade Me Jobs Double-Wammy

Is Trade Me Jobs, the self-styled “#1 job board in New Zealand”, having its cake…and eating it?  Certainly that’s the opinion of Absolute IT  Director Grant Burley.

I spoke with Grant earlier this week and he expressed grave concerns at Trade Me Jobs’ practice of placing adverts inside the body of their customer’s job adverts.  If you’re not sure what I’m on about, hop onto Trade Me Jobs  and click into a job ad posted by a recruitment company (I looked in IT and checked out ads from Absolute, Beyond and 920).  In the top-right corner is an advertisement tile which currently seems to be solely the domain of either Open Polytechnic or Fisher Funds, depending on when you happen to upload the screen.

To be fair to Trade Me clicking on the ad doesn’t navigate you away from the screen, but it does open a new window right in front of the job ad that the viewer is supposedly going to be interested in reading and perhaps applying for.   But is this really fair to the advertiser who has paid Trade Me to post their job ad?  Isn’t the revenue from the advertiser sufficient for Trade Me?  Do they really need to compromise the quality of the job ad by distracting the attention of the jobseeker away from the job ad itself?

And a distraction this really will be.  As New Zealand’s biggest web site Trade Me would be the first to tell you that people read web pages left to right, top to bottom.  The greatest number of click-throughs will come from links in the top left corner, followed by the top right corner (where these tiles are positioned), and lastly the bottom right corner (where their paying advertiser’s logos are situated).

I’ve had a look through some other major job boards in New Zealand and Australia and Trade Me Jobs seem to alone in doing this.  I also don’t ever remember seeing a billboard advert with another smaller advert covering part of the main one, or a TV advert with a bit in the corner saying “press the red button to see a message from our other sponsor”.

So is this fair?  Apparently Trade Me Jobs’ response to Grant was that no-one else had complained about it so they didn’t regard it as an issue.  So I thought I would put it out there to The Whiteboard readers to comment on this and express their opinion, for the benefit of Trade Me Jobs if nothing else.

Your thoughts?  Come on don’t be shy…

Lastly, apologies for my absence last week, especially to Chris at DG&A who called me in a panic to see if I was OK as he hadn’t seen my Linked In posting!  The Whiteboard was on holiday while I went to Australia to be the MC at my sister’s wedding.  Two observations about this.  Firstly, Australia has become incredibly expensive since I was there in 2005, well it has in Sydney and the Central Coast anyway.  Secondly, recruitment consultants must make pretty good MC’s, as I spoke to 2 other recruiters last week who were also Master of Ceremonies at various weddings.  Certainly my organisational skills came through when setting out place cards, my assessing the market skills when choosing background music, my negotiation skills when ordering more wine, and my persuasion skills when telling the band to get out of the bar upstairs NOW and play the frickin’ bridal waltz!

And could I close the deal?  You know it – well done sis.

Movers and Shakers – Recruiting in Christchurch


To those recruiting in Christchurch, we salute you…

When the earthquake rumbled up from 10km under the Canterbury plains last Saturday morning the lives of many New Zealanders were thrown into disarray and panic.  But what has followed in the days since seems to be far, far worse.  As the aftershocks keep on coming (I heard there’s been over 200 now) it has been impossible for many to find sleep or peace of mind, or any level of relaxation whatsoever.

Whilst 2010 has been a welcome year of recovering economies so far, it has still been tough going in recruitment, a real challenge where survival of the fittest is still very much the watchword.  But the events over the past week in Christchurch really puts all that into perspective.

Naturally most recruitment firms in Christchurch have their offices based in the CBD, usually several stories up.  Some, such as Enterprise Recruitment, who were based in Radio Network House, will probably never return to their condemned building which is still up to 10 weeks away from being accessible again.  They have been able to continue business as usual (sort of) by retrieving the server from the 12th floor and shacking up with their IT providers who got them networked up to 6 computers in their office, and are now looking to move into more “boutique” CBD offices, not so badly affected by the quake, next week.

Kelly Services, whose New Zealand HQ is based in Christchurch, have followed the example set by PricewaterhouseCoopers and occupied a space in a hotel for the duration, continuing to work via remote access to the network.  The stairwells of their offices in the PWC Centre are unsafe and it will be at least 1 week of clearing up before they can inhabit their desks again.

With the aftershocks it must feel like walking up a descending escalator and getting nowhere.  Farrow Jamieson’s offices in Forsyth Barr House withstood things better than others and apart from a displaced water cooler and a light dusting from the ceiling tiles, the 9th floor was in good nick.  The building was due to re-open yesterday but the big aftershock has put that back until it can be re-inspected again.  Luckily they all have remote access to the network so can carry on some form of work while they wait.

Of course the personal and emotional impact is of far greater consequence than the professional one.  A couple of the Hays team have had their houses severely damaged and will surely not be the only recruiters affected in this way.  One of Madison’s new team members, recently arrived in New Zealand, has seen the hotel she was inhabiting damaged beyond repair, quite an experience to tell friends and family back home the other side of the world.

In Auckland and Wellington it is pretty well business as usual in the world of recruitment, which must seem surreal to our fellow recruiters in Christchurch.  Of course we all work in a highly competitive industry where it is in our very nature to seek to beat our rivals and attain top spot – but this is still our industry and we are all in it together – so I just wanted to doff my cap to you recruiters down in Christchurch who must be having an unbelievably tough time of it right now.

Further Movements


In movements of a different kind, Inside Executive Recruitment have announced the recent appointments of Brendon Carian and Charlotte Cottrell to their Wellington business.  Both will be focused on increasing the company’s Executive Leasing offering across all disciplines.

It was also reported in Recruiter Daily last week that Carl Robinson and Lisa Cooley have joined the Auckland offices of Absolute IT.