2016 was mental. Do you remember? Or is it all a distant memory already?

Mentally busy, that is, for many of us in recruitment. I know it was mental in many other celebrity-deaths, global-politics, underdog-sporting-heroes kind of ways but I’m here to talk about recruitment. Many agencies posted strong results, all the while made to work harder than ever for every piece of work alongside increasingly stretched but sophisticated internal recruitment functions.

Hiring intentions exploded while unemployment levels hit the floor. We were all busy, very busy, it’s fair to say.

As such January in New Zealand, always something of a drifting, sea-gazing, beach-walking, GDP-killer of a month anyway, is feeling excessively sloth-like this time around. And recruiters, good recruiters, don’t like sloth-like. They like quick results, fast deals, instant gratification.

But January says no…

JANUARY SAYS NO

Many recruiters I’ve already spoken with in 2017 have voiced similar sentiments: They get the sense that things are about to kick off, to get really busy, but despite all that, you know clients and candidates just don’t really seem that interested in returning calls just yet!

Recent press releases from the Chamber of Commerce appear to be putting a dampener on the unfailingly positive spirit of us recruiters too. According to their surveys Christchurch business confidence has plummeted as the post-earthquake rebuild begins to plateau. Wellington, apparently, is in a similar funk following their own natural disasters.

But in my experience it’s worth taking these things with a pinch of salt. Conflicting reports from the NZIER reveal that business confidence remains solid and I’ve always believed in the vacancies coming in and the commentary from clients of recruiters who are talking of the here and now more than any of these survey-based press releases.

The best thing recruiters can be doing right now is getting their sh*t together on their desks, their sales plans, their sourcing strategies, their market research and their industry knowledge.

Most of all now is the time to hold your nerve. Be ready because once we’re waving goodbye to Waitangi Day we’ll be cracking into another fizzer of a year. Just wait and see.

Jonathan Rice

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.

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