Manager sees benefit in recruitment firms’ merger

Yet another two IT recruitment companies are merging, and the Auckland manager of one of the companies believes it will have positive spin-offs for the New Zealand IT market. Robert Walters in the UK, which owns Robert Walters Associates in New Zealand, is merging with American recruitment company StaffMark.

Yet another two IT recruitment companies are merging, and the Auckland manager of one of the companies believes it will have positive spin-offs for the New Zealand IT market.

Robert Walters in the UK, which owns Robert Walters Associates in New Zealand, is merging with American recruitment company StaffMark.

StaffMark specialises in IT, medical, office, light industrial and professional recruitment, and has more than 220 offices in the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa and Thailand.

London-based Robert Walters has 18 offices in 10 countries around the world. It specialises in IT, accounting and finance.

The merger is expected to take place by the end of November. Robert Walters will become a subsidiary of StaffMark, but will keep its brand name.

Robert Walters Associates Auckland mana-ger Richard Manthel says the merger gives Robert Walters access to the large US market and other parts of the world through StaffMark’s customer base and branch network.

“It now gives us access to IT professionals around the world. If we have jobs down here for data-warehousing experts we can tap into the US market. Although the salaries will be expensive up there, there will definitely be people wanting to transfer to New Zealand.”

He says there is a lot of movement of candidates, with 50% of Robert Walters’ IT candidates this year having come from overseas, and while not all were New Zealanders, he says Robert Walters does repatriate a lot of IT-trained Kiwis.

One spin-off for New Zealand from the merger is it has accelerated the need for Robert Walters to recruit three additional IT recruitment staff, because it needs people to deal with the US. Manthel says it’s very difficult to find people with a sales background who have a good understanding of business. They don’t necessarily need to have IT knowledge because the company provides training in that.

Any new IT recruitment staff will have the opportunity to move offshore within the next two years.

The merger follows a worldwide trend of convergence in the IT recruitment industry.

Last month online recruitment agency and recruitment advertising agency network TMP Worldwide announced plans to acquire the Morgan and Banks Group (which includes Morgan and Banks New Zealand); Candle bought the Doughty Group earlier this year; UK-based recruitment company Select Appointments bought 85% of Andrews Partners; and Icon Recruitment bought Wellington’s Kelly Luxford.

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