Thank you Recruit Holdings. Or perhaps that should be “Arigatō gozaimashita” given their country of origin. It’s not easy nor fun writing recruitment blogs currently. To put down 700 original words on recruitment without repeating yourself when your actual life is so full of repetition is no easy task. Thankfully we have a snippet of NZ recruitment news this week which will stop me mentioning Covid or my hatred of David f*cking Seymour.

It was on LinkedIn that I spotted this update from Chandler Macleod’s young GM Oscar Dunn;

Introducing Peoplebank New Zealand! Specialist technology & digital recruitment. Peoplebank is the leading technology recruitment specialist in Australasia, and is now proudly in New Zealand. Our OCG Technology team will now operate under the Peoplebank brand and continue to provide you fantastic service, but now with added global support and a few extra tools in the tool belt to help your business find the best tech talent!

So is this big news, does it matter, and should you IT recruiters be concerned? Well first, some history. Try and keep up. Peoplebank were formed in Aussie in 1990, listed on the ASX in 2005, bought a load of IT recruitment firms, de-listed in 2009, tried to buy Julia Ross, but were outbid by Chandler Macleod, and were acquired by Recruit Holdings, themselves originating in Japan in 1960, in 2015. Chandler Macleod, themselves formed in 1959, were then acquired by Recruit Holdings a couple of months after Peoplebank, and then “merged” with Peoplebank. Chandler Macleod then started buying local operators OCG, formed in 2000, in 2007, taking full ownership in 2010. Chandler Macleod’s IT recruitment activity in NZ has largely been delivered under the OCG brand, with 5 Consultants currently listed on their website within the IT team.

So what does this mean to you IT recruiters out there? Well, this will depend on Chandler Macleod. If this “arrival” is purely a rebranding exercise as OCG Technology comes to the end of their current print run of business cards, then not much. The two biggest challenges of any IT Recruitment firm right now are as follows: There aren’t any candidates, and there aren’t enough quality IT recruiters looking to join your firm. I very much doubt that a rebrand changes any of the above. However, and this is where it could get interesting, if Chandler Macleod go full tilt to launch Peoplebank in Aotearoa, they have the clout to make some waves. There was a time when Peoplebank owned contract recruitment in Canberra. Perhaps they still do. Not the sexiest business, and probably not paying the best margin, but if you have the infrastructure to deliver the volume (and carry the debt), then it’s some pretty sweet dollar. Kiwi Boutique Recruitment firms are great, but many would struggle to deliver the scale that Peoplebank would have experienced in their home country. If they want to make the commitment to build something similar here, and if Oscar has been given the budget for (very expensive) staff and marketing, then this could be a big deal. A firm with the resources to run at a loss for a signigicant length of time is always worth worrying about. And Recruit Holdings are the fourth largest staffing firm in the world. If, on the other hand, this is Australia overestimating their own brand equity, and underestimating the plucky kiwi upstarts, then they’ll struggle to grow past what OCG Technology currently represents. However, it’s unlikely that Australians would ever be so arrogant right? Right??

I’m all for competition, and I like Oscar Dunn. He’s a good operator and he laughs at my jokes, so I hope that Chandler Macleod really push Peoplebank. If nothing else, it’s given me something to write about in an increasingly painful lockdown. And I should also add that this vindicates the opinion shared in this blog by our own Nostradamus Jon Rice, who in 2010 suggested we’d be seeing Peoplebank over here soon, but that 2011 may be a “bit too early”. Well it only took another decade and even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Have a good Friday folks.

^SW

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