Everyone likes a wee flutter. Be it the annual bet on the National or a habitual pull on a pokie, the chance to make a lot out of a little is an alluring prospect. One that has seen many a deadbeat dad push a myriad of brass instruments across a poker table on the strength of a sure thing. If we strip back the flashing lights and pleasant noises that play on our child-like psyche prompting the swift release of endorphins, there’s still the excitement of risk vs reward. Recently there’s been a collective loss of bottle, it’s probably the most risk-averse it’s ever been out there. The market used to be more carefree like that free-spinning wheel in the lobby of a glamourous Las Vegas lobby, it’s now got the air of a game of Russian Roulette in the basement of a Yakuza stronghold. People are pretty happy to see the ‘what you could’ve won’ carousal pass them by with relative ease. The washer/dryer combo of opportunity left to gather dust next to another glamourous yet dead-eyed model.

The veil of normality slipped only slightly for us in Aotearoa but it paved the way for some pretty Soviet thinking. The rejection of any type of decadence is revered and even celebrated. People coming out of hard times are craving stability and I get that, but we’re in the land of Meadowfresh Milk and Manuka Honey! Client confidence is back and there are jobs aplenty across the board in all industries. So why are people drawn to the siren call of the status quo? Like a bachelor party that’s gone awry; there’s a pesky dead hooker to take care of. Once you’ve successfully got rid of the body there’s the obligatory vow to take this to your respective graves. I imagine that once the dread and paranoia has subsided there is a feeling of comradery and togetherness that is unparalleled to your run of the mill escape room. In agencies across the land, there are metaphorical bodies buried and the bond formed off the back of that is very strong. There’s also the fear that if don’t toe the party line you could very well join Cinnamon in that shallow grave. So, people tend to keep their heads down and their mouths shut.

I made the point a couple of weeks ago that new blood seems to fire up the market, with overseas candidates acting as a catalyst for on the ground recruiters. They certainly seem to add grease to the revolving doors on our industry, as movement internally has definitely decreased in frequency. A lot of people are taking the devil they know approach to their careers against the fear of the unknown. You would’ve seen any number of biopics of your favorite singers or rapper when they reach a certain point in their careers. Do I stick with Ol Hershel who got me my first gig in the working man’s club or do I go with Max Steel of Global Talent Inc? Like the Cube’s or Gaga’s of the world they wished for a certain level of stardom, one that gives them opportunities; selling out stadia around the world. In a recruitment sense, there are positions that represent a significant step up in responsibility and salary that are readily available in the market. However, it seems that loyalty to the old guard has scuppered stardom. Those budding artists that didn’t capitalize on their momentum joining teams that give access to world-class producers or distribution networks sadly faded to obscurity.

Let’s also be realistic. You can’t expect your candidate to make a move without the right incentives; security, flexibility, salary, etc. Candidate’s expectations are high and so are clients but, if clients want the best there is they need to have the best opportunity. The reward needs to outweigh the perceived risk, the good thing is; the rewards are out there and the risks aren’t that bad. We have the benefit of being further away from COVID times than anyone else. It’s like seeing a person fill up the puggy machine with coin after coin and then give up, she’ll payout and we’re in the best position for a jackpot! The steady stream of coins is already here in the form of a plethora of jobs and opportunities. The ball was in the business owner’s court for all of 6 months, it is now back to being candidate led. Most businesses are in a ‘rebuild’ phase with some good foundations made a month into 2021. It’s still going to take heaps of hard work to get back to where things were. So, to all potential candidates out there, what I would say; make sure you are fairly compensated for your time and energy. What may be seen as a risk to join a new organization can be met with huge rewards for your efforts.

I’m reminded of Tim’s quote from The Office;

“If you look at life like rolling a dice, then my situation now, as it stands – yeah, it may only be a 3. If I jack that in now, go for something bigger and better, yeah, I could easily roll a six – no problem, I could roll a 6… I could also roll a 1.”

In no way should you be representing an opportunity that is a 1 to any candidate, even a 3. Your job like mine is to give 4 and above. That’s the good thing about the current market it’s like being at a craps table; there are two dices and the very real possibility of rolling a 12!

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