The importance of 'Networking and Celebration' at the RCSA
A key strategic channel and focus of RCSA’s renewed member centricity is Networking and Celebration. It can be perceived as those in the industry simply having fun, letting their hair down, and enjoying themselves, however, I see it differently.
I see Networking as an opportunity to link great people with great ideas, with great aspirations and great leadership. Networking is about how we support each other in the industry and how we inspire one another to achieve something greater than we did last week or indeed, last year.
(Charles Cameron at the 2017 RCSA Winter Ball in New Zealand)
Networking opens our minds to different ways of doing business and allows us to respond to the changing world, whether it’s technology or sourcing, for example, or how we can assist candidates.
Celebration is further recognition of great practice and great people, and continuing to inspire others. When we talk about celebration at RCSA, it’s very much that our membership is inspired by celebrating the successes, celebrating our values and what we stand for. A good example of that was after the New Zealand Winter Ball & Industry Awards Night.
I received commentary on social media around my statement that there is “no better time than now to stand for, and indeed stand up for, something.” The following day, a social media post was published by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, which was an audio recording of a so-called recruiter who had berated a candidate in relation to his racial background. The so-called recruiter claimed that the individual should not receive the same treatment as a New Zealander. In response, we made a very clear statement about what we stand for as the RCSA, what we stand for as professionals and those who are of a higher order. And that requires celebration. It also requires us calling that commitment.
There’s a lot of opportunity costs that come with being committed to a higher order and standing for something. It means investing more time in terms of the background checks, the interviews, the feedback, the communications, the client liaison, or advising candidates what they can do to upskill in order to improve their chances of success next time. If we don’t celebrate and if we don’t stand up against those who misunderstand or try to misrepresent our industry, then we are failing as the peak industry body.
The New Zealand Human Rights Commission incident was a fantastic opportunity for RCSA to actually live what we stand for. We’re interested in holding an open forum in New Zealand for members to articulate what standing up against racism looks like. It’s even allowed us to approach the New Zealand Herald to articulate how we will work with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission to jointly promote how we as an industry can be ambassadors for good practice and stamp out racism.
This leads to another key channel that is part of our strategy and focus on member centricity, which is the Promotion and Protection of our industry. There is no better way to protect our industry than to promote where we are making a genuine commitment to better practice and indeed, foregoing profit for the purpose of promoting great people, great candidates and client service. Interestingly, the networking and celebration and promotion and protection strategic channels work very well together, and I’m committed to inspire our Members to be really proud of what they do. This will ultimately feed greater success and a greater standing in the eyes of candidates, clients, government and stakeholders, and given the focus and spotlight upon non-traditional work and labour hire or professional contracting (whether it’s labour hire inquiries or whether it’s racist rants), there’s absolutely no better time for RCSA to stand for something.
This article appeared first in our RCSA Winter Journal