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Meet Mainu Huirama – part of the Humans of NZ Recruitment project

Recruiters come from all walks of life, with a rich variety of backgrounds, experiences, and interests.

RSCA’s New Zealand Manager, Rebecca Clarke is on a mission to uncover what unites us and what sets us apart. She has launched an exciting project to amplify the voices of professionals within the recruitment industry and highlight some extraordinary stories while revealing the diversity within our industry. The Humans of NZ Recruitment is a 100-day project that will feature 100 career stories within 100 days. A core driver of this series is to provide a platform to debunk industry myths – after all, how do you change perceptions, but through one person at a time. This series is designed to give an insight into the challenges and rewards of a career in recruitment, as well as what it takes to be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Meet one of the Humans Of NZ Rec, Mainu Huirama as he openly talks about humility and his passion for helping people find mahi. Read what drives him to help others and his inspiring career journey.

Kia ora I’m Mainu.

(Hi I’m Mainu)

Ko Pirongia tōku Maunga

(Pirongia is my mountain)

Ko Waikato tōku Awa

(Waikato is my river)

Ko Te Papa o Rotu me Waingaro ōku Marae

(Te Papa o Rotu is my Marae)

Ko Tainui tōku Iwi (Tainui is my tribe)

Ko Tainui tōku Waka (Tainui is my waka)

Ko Huirama tōku Ingoa whanau

(Huirama is my family name)

So how did I get into recruitment twelve years ago and what keeps me here?

Short and sweet - I love to awhi any whanau into meaningful mahi. Helping whanau find work, retaining mahi and growing within, is cup-fulfilling and drives me to continue to love this industry. One huge myth I love to destroy about our particular way of working within recruitment is that most, if not all, of the awesome recruiters I have worked alongside of, aren’t here to clip tickets and genuinely have a care for their mahi.

I was studying a Business Management degree, majoring in HR. My study gap year turned into about five. I was enjoying my work experience too much. One of the jobs I got through a recruitment agency, and I was one of about 50 temps working in a factory. It was that experience that made me think, what an awesome industry to get into. If I can supply “x” amount of people to a wide range of companies and businesses, that is awesome.

The other thing that I thought was really cool is that when you apply for a job that can be pretty nerve-wracking, so when you have someone in your corner, who can go to bat for you and shine a good light on you, or support you into work, that is a way you can really make a difference. Especially being Maori and being humble; it’s not natural to be sell yourself and talk highly of yourself – nobody wants to be known as a showboater.

So this industry for me felt like just the right one to really make a difference; you have the keys to lots of great jobs, in volume, and you can decide who you put into those jobs. So you can really awhi and give opportunity to people who may need a little extra help to get started. We are like the filter too; we can help you until you are able to help yourself, or get you a job in a company that you wouldn’t be able to get yourself.

When I was studying HR and Business Management, there were people who would rather be in HR than to do what we do in recruitment, so I’d like to shed more light on this as a career. In recruitment, we really focus on people’s ability and helping them grow through their work experiences – we really have an awesome opportunity to improve people’s work situations, every day.

When I'm not working (which in my line of work can look like a lot of things that may not seem like hard-out work - networking for example, lol), you will catch me coaching & playing Rugby, Rugby League, Touch and spending time with my whanau and four kids.

We all dream of a career that either helps, changes, or saves lives, and from working within the industry for 12+ years, I can say I have experienced the lot daily, and this is why I’d recommend recruitment as a career. Finding mahi is something we all have in common at some stage of our lives so a mutual goal is we can achieve something together.

If I could give any advice to someone joining the recruitment industry or profession, I’d say respect all walks of life as you can learn and grow off everyone, and trust me you will definitely experience meeting people from all walks of life. Embrace the roller coaster, the rewards are priceless.

If I could be known by three words, I’d like them to be, “that good dude 😊”.

To thrive in recruitment in 2021, I’d say you need these skills:

  • Diversity: being able to adjust, adapt and to be open minded.

  • Innovative with old school values: Don’t lose where you came from or where you’re heading, but be the change that’s needed.

  • Leather-skinned: You will weather some emotion; embrace it and learn when to park it.

  • Smiling more than not; your day’s always better than someone else's somewhere, be grateful.

  • Loving (Say less!)

And as for my celebration song, it has to be “Yes I Do” by L.A.B. And yes, there is also a HumansOfNZRec playlist – check it out here

If you know anyone who has a story to tell about their career development in recruitment, or if you would like to take part, please reach out to @humansofNZRec on Instagram or email Rebecca at

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