Four ICT recruiters make awards finalists list

Inaugural ICT recruitment award comes down to four

ICT recruitment is in a state of flux, with changing market conditions challenging the industry to focus even more on customer needs and to deliver innovative recruitment services.

Computerworld’s award for Excellence in ICT recruitment, sponsored by the Information Technology Contract & Recruitment Asoociation (ITCRA), is designed to recognise excellence in the delivery of IT recruitment services.

While the market is changing, one thing remains constant: organisations still require quality people to help them meet their objectives and succeed.

To judge these awards, Computerworld and ITCRA have designed a multi-stage process, starting with a survey of IT users, asking them which recruitment organisations they use and how they rate their performance. These data were used to inform a detailed review of entries and, in turn, to arrive at the shortlist of finalists.

At the time of writing, finalists were being put through a rigorous interview process to help establish the winner of this award, to be announced tomorrow night at the CIO Summit in Auckland.

Those interviews covered questions of differentiation, charging, ethics, service quality, staff training and development, processes and procedures, and technology used to improve recruitment services and other areas.

The quality of entries and nominations in this award was universally high and the judges had to make some close calls to find the finalists. A shortlist of four rather than our normal three, reflects that.

And the finalists are: Neal Andrews and Associates, Robert Walters New Zealand, Candle and Absolute IT.

The local

Neal Andrews and Associates is a wholly New Zealand owned and operated recruiter, established in 1997 in Wellington.

Neal Andrews provides a full range of ICT recruitment services, but also specialises in “hard to fill” roles. The firm also provides customised and unbundled services (advertising, head hunting and selection) to meet client needs.

Staff at Neal Andrews are empowered to make decisions to speed recruitment for clients, right down to negotiating customised charging. They are “trained to think like the MD” and act as if they own the company.

Ethics are actively promoted in an atmosphere of open communication and successful staff are rewarded with profit share and partnerships.

Listed in London

Like Neal Andrews, Robert Walters established its New Zealand operation in 1997, but the company was founded more than a decade earlier, in London in 1985, and is now listed on the London Stock Exchange.

All up, Robert Walters has 38 offices in 17 countries.

One key differentiator is that Robert Walters consultants are not paid individual commissions based on their billings. This delivers a strong team culture and better services for both clients and candidates, the company says.

With an extensive set of online and technology-based international channels and an active events and publications calendar, Robert Walters has rapidly built its profile and its local business.

The specialist

Candle ICT is a specialist provider of ICT personnel, covering both permanent and contract recruitment. Part of the ASX-listed Sydney-based Clarius Group, it has offices in Auckland and Wellington.

Candle has rolled out new solutions for its clients to help them fully understand a candidate’s technical skillsets and ensure there are no misunderstandings about technical capabilities. It has become a New Zealand licence holder of the International Knowledge Management technical testing portal.

Like Neal Andrews, Candle ICT has also begun delivering unbundled services to help customise its offerings to what clients need.

Staff are offered comprehensive training and induction programmes and Candle ICT embraces 360 degree performance reviews.

Portal provider

Specialist recruiter Absolute IT has embarked on a number of initiatives to add value to clients and improve its competitive position, including a free community-based portal launched in 2008. was developed for New Zealand IT professionals to allow them to easily share salary intelligence. It has achieved more than 10,500 entries throughout the country. This “live” source of data provides the kind of truly up-to-date information needed in a fast-changing market, Absolute IT says.

An international firm, Absolute IT also offers a UK candidate channel and hosts recruitment events in the UK and in Europe.

Absolute IT maintains a client-focused account management model, where consultants own both permanent and contract recruitment for individual clients.

And the winner is...

It’s going to be tough, as all the entries have demonstrated professionalism and innovation. But a winner will be chosen and announced tomorrow night. Watch that space.

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