ITCRA, the IT contract and recruitment association, has been re-launched in New Zealand after first being established here in 2001.
Richard Manthel, chairman of ITCRA New Zealand, says ITCRA has had a relatively low profile here during that time, but now, efforts are being made to boost its presence.
"We have a strategic plan and will be promoting ITCRA locally."
ITCRA is based in Australia and was already established there when the New Zealand branch was launched.
The decision to re-launch ITCRA in New Zealand was made at ITCRA's November board meeting, Manthel says and one of the first steps was to employ an administrator, Trudy Atherton (check title and role).
"Trudy will be visiting ITCRA members and working with clients and we'll see more information coming out about ITCRA, targeted at clients and candidates."
At present, there are 13 ITCRA members in New Zealand and membership is awarded on a company, not individual basis.
Manthel says ITCRA's ultimate aim is to have all recruitment consultants at member firms ITCRA-certified by 2008 and to drive up membership well beyond the current number of member firms.
"There are approximately 50 IT recruitment firms in New Zealand."
ITCRA certification involves doing an online exam and Manthel says a key feature of the revitalised ITCRA will be a robust procedure for dealing with complaints about members.
"If we receive a complaint from a candidate or client, there has to be a procedure that'll be followed."
The disciplinary committee that deals with complaints involves the Australian ITCRA board as well as New Zealand, he says.
While ITCRA membership is restricted to recruitment firms, "there's no reason why someone who isn't a member can't do the exam," and Manthel has in mind in-house recruiters at organisations that recruit IT staff directly.
Some IT recruiters in New Zealand are members of the RCSA (Recruitment and Consulting Services Association), which covers recruiters in all industries.
RCSA NZ president Jacqui Barratt says that in Australia, the RCSA is "working with ITCRA on some issues and at the end of the day, there's far more strength for the industry if there's one body.
"Our focus this year is on individual industry groups and we're focused on delivering to our IT recruiter members."
As to whether RCSA and ITCRA could work together here as they're doing in Australia, "I don't see why not."
She acknowledges that "ITCRA was only formed because there were players that felt the wider industry wasn't addressing their needs."
However, now that RCSA is working with individual industry sectors, the perception by some is that there's more strength in having one body than "diluting the power," she says.