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Recruitment gets a new player with new vision

By Nicholas Bryant

Friday 21st July 2000

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ASX-listed company Recruitment Solutions Australia has acquired a majority share- holding in its local namesake, Recruitment Solutions New Zealand and intends to be a frontrunner in this market.

The Australian recruitment and human resources company aims to become a leading operator in the local market within three years. To do so it plans to complement its existing market share in the finance, construction and engineering sectors and compete in the accounting, insurance, sales and marketing and IT sectors.

Within the next year it will expand into Wellington and Christchurch, through acquisition or organic growth, to complement its head office in Auckland.

"It is not very often a company can break into an overseas market and acquire exactly the same brand name, therefore benefiting from over six years brand awareness," Recruitment Solutions Australia managing director John Mac Smith said.

The local firm's founding principals Chris Heswall and Mike Sanders will remain as shareholders, directors and in control of operations.

"Recruitment Solutions Australia is investing heavily into the future strategic direction of the sector, paying close attention to the growing reliance of internet technology and web platforms," Mr Heswall said.

But he warned other recruitment firms which formed their business strategies exclusively around internet applications may come unstuck.

"We believe it's vital to understand recruitment and human resources is still very much a people business.

"Clients don't want to be pushed away at arm's length and asked to conduct the process through a keyboard.

"We believe the key to success for any recruitment company in the future is to enter the on-line recruitment race by adopting a clicks and mortar approach."

The Recruitment Solutions approach will be to use traditional methods, such as media advertising and direct personalised contact with clients and candidates, while simultaneously implementing a recruitment model which allows access to the recruitment process through an electronic channel. In addition, as the Australian and New Zealand labour markets continue to suffer from an acute skill shortage, the attraction of candidates to its web-site for database registration and subsequent career development, is one of the key issues Recruitment Solutions will be addressing through further development.

A glimpse of the future shape of the local market is the significant trend in Australia toward the establishment of electronic trading hubs. These are websites where electronic trading communities of clients and suppliers are in the process of implementing a single point of purchasing online - thereby streamlining processes and controlling costs.

The move toward electronic trading hubs is an interesting one for the recruitment sector, according to Mr Heswall. His company is developing an interactive web site where candidates will receive direct benefits for registering their resume online into Recruitment Solutions. The new web site will give registered candidates direct access to discounted products and services, often provided by the firm's clients.

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