Recruitment Leader of the Year, Kymberly Tupai, never stops trying to improve herself


Kymberly Tupai, Manager of NZ Northern Region with Stellar Recruitment, explains why she believes she won the coveted Recruitment Leader of the Year award at the 2020 RCSA Industry Awards.

I think the “secret” to my success is that I never stop developing, both personally and professionally.

Over the years I have always sought out ways in which I can continue to develop. These have ranged from RCSA facilitated courses, leadership courses, mentorship with an organisational psychologist, maintaining connectivity with other recruitment leaders and, in general, consistently looking for new ways to challenge myself personally and professionally, through setting goals that completely take me outside of my comfort zone.

I believe in the adage “adapt or die” – the classic Moneyball concept.

Change is hard, especially when you've been accustomed to doing something a certain way for a long time. It is especially hard when there is proof that some of what you've done in the past has led to success.

One key point to note is that the world is constantly changing and evolving, so taking time to find a newer way, taking a different path or creating something entirely new and different can lead to huge productivity or efficiency gains.

I am also always looking for ways to “give back”. I believe that as a recruiter, giving back is an important part of our responsibility to serve our organisations and our communities.

I have also found that this hugely motivates me and keeps me engaged with the industry. Leadership is not only about creating a vision, it’s also about improving the quality of life of all those with whom we work and who we serve.

Being part of the RCSA Mentoring Program in 2018 and 2019 has allowed me to not only support up-and-comers in the recruitment industry but also use the knowledge and challenges that I have been helping them overcome to critically analyse the impact of those challenges on my own consultants internally.

I am always looking at ways that my team and I can give back to our community through involvement in community-based forums such as Meet A Recruiter – supporting job seekers in their job search.

This award marks a career highlight and a core milestone in my journey to create a legacy for myself and my family.

I am incredibly proud to have achieved this recognition fairly early on in my career, and hope that this serves as motivation for newcomers to the industry. This recognition is motivating and humbling— a reminder that the work I do to genuinely impact my team, candidates and clients’ lives, day-in and day-out, matters.

But I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my incredible mentors, teammates, friends, and family, so this award is equally extended to them. A big thank-you must go to them for being a part of my story.

And, so, what of the future for the recruitment industry as we continue to endure one of the toughest times in modern history?

Engaging passive talent, analysing talent data and advising business leaders will be key skills needed to survive in the recruitment industry of the future. We know these are quite important today, but with the rise in technology and employers’ accessibility to active talent, it is important that recruiters are enhancing these skills today as they will be what will set them apart in the future.

Focus on your individuality, and what it is about your process that sets you apart from the rest.

There will be a need to consult more than we ever have before, and really be the ones to push back on clients and set the strategy, rather than just follow the same old process time and time again.

My advice to newcomers to the industry is to just be yourself. Ask those around you how they do things and seek to put your own spin on them. Remember, you are your biggest selling point.

Finally, your results and success will be a direct result of your activity, so consider how can you do 1% more than everyone else to gain an edge?

For the full list of RCSA Industry Award winners click here

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