I’ve spent a bit of time in Wellington this week and it has been quite a bizarre trip. Yesterday morning I checked out of my hotel room at “Ohtel” and took advantage of their breakfast buffet before heading out. To my surprise I found myself sharing a breakfast table with Kim Dot Com and his phalanx of mildly intimidating cronies. At the other end of the day I found myself starting this blog in the Koru Lounge at the airport when John Banks walked in.
Two characters in an entertaining piece of political and legal theatre, sandwiched either side of a day spent, once again, talking with clients and candidates about the “All-of-Government” recruitment tender and what it might mean for the recruitment industry in Wellington.
The questions I keep getting asked is, “Who made the panel? Who missed out? When will it go live and what are the rates?” Helpfully, I managed to obtain a leaked document that answers some of those questions. The 42 recruitment suppliers on the panel are:
Executive Appointments Ltd
Inside Executive Recruitment
The Johnson Group
Well done to those successful panellists although the mood around town is certainly what I would call restrained. Even the firms who have gained entry to the Government’s night club aren’t sure yet whether they will be able to find a good spot on the dance floor, especially as the dance floor is so crowded. The rates are, as I understand it, whatever that firm bid as their last and final price on the e-tender (nightmare to manage but a brave move by the Government, and a good one I believe).
I also understand it kicks off today so, whilst some final details are still being worked through with some firms, the Government Departments and Agencies covered by the new contract can only push jobs out to recruitment firms present on that panel.
My apologies to Steven Joyce who is lined up to announce this list in a week or so’s time, but I don’t think I’ve stolen much of his thunder really. What has been an all-consuming, insomnia-inducing affair for us in recruitment, will no doubt be announced in an off-hand manner like “Government have undertaken a robust and thorough rationalisation process of recruitment suppliers resulting in an expert panel of 42 intimately-assessed and vetted firms, expected to deliver cost savings of a third from previous years’ recruitment expenditure.” There you go, you can copy and paste that to save the bother of working on a Press Release. It might make an appearance on page 2 of the Dominion Post and perhaps page 4 of the Herald, won’t see the light of day on the air waves or TV screens, and attention will move onto cutting costs in office stationery supplies next.
So, this is what we have, and what we have to make the most of. Hudson have started agitating already, responding to their inclusion by making redundancies and slashing commission schemes. I hope it works for them commercially, but I also hope they have assessed the impact it could have culturally.
The jury is out as to whether recruitment firms can continue to deliver the same quality of service at the reduced rates. Rumblings of discontent have already started surfacing from Government Departments utilising the legal services of law firms appointed on their new AOG panel, who are now putting more junior and inexperienced (and cheaper?) lawyers onto their cases.
Kim Dot Com believes it is time for the media to move on from the whole John Banks anonymous donations scandal:
Before entering the House yesterday, Mr Dotcom told waiting media Mr Banks had been through a lot and it was time to move on.
I think the same applies to us in recruitment. AOG is done. It is here. Now we must deliver and yes, it is time to move on.