Our Mission Possible – RCSA Agents of Wellbeing


Recruitment is a tough gig. And it’s only getting tougher.


It’s even tougher to make meaningful change on your own. So, we’re growing a community of wellbeing warriors and we need YOUR help for our actions to raise awareness of psychological safety and build capability in creating workplace relationships where everybody can thrive.


With the support of WorkSafe New Zealand, we are embarking on a program (Mission Possible: RCSA Agents of Wellbeing) that means a lot to our team at RCSA to better support our members, and their respective communities. It is about doing more to support mental health in the recruitment profession, and with increasing pressures for the sector we know this would absolutely be well received by all of our workforce.


RCSA will raise awareness of psychosocial risks and build knowledge, with the aim to improve psychosocial health at work across both recruitment staff and the agency workers employed and assigned. We’re doing this by reaching out and engaging our community, identifying Wellbeing Warriors and H&S Champions to form a Wellbeing Warriors Leaders Forum. Through this team we’ll surface issues, work with experts and gather feedback to inform our resources (including specific learning and development topics) and then share with our membership community. As a participant, you will have a direct impact in curating and creating local resources and content. We won’t be reinventing what already exists, but we will be helping each other to access the info and resources you need as well as building on this with industry specific material.


Here’s why this matters.


Recruitment professionals touch the working lives of thousands of New Zealand workers each and every day, and it’s a responsibility that’s taken seriously by our professional recruitment community. From recruitment, to training, onboarding and supporting candidates and workers, our touch points of influence are many and varied. RCSA is the peak body for recruitment and staffing (provision of agency worker services). It is the body that cares and we influence professional outcomes. RCSA recruiters are agents for positive work wellbeing, and we want to support our membership as well as the 115,000 agency workers in their teams to be stronger of mind, body and purpose during these exceptionally challenging times.


Along the way, we will look to gather stories which demonstrate the impact of good practices from recruitment leaders, consultants, agency workers and/or clients.


The recruitment industry has a reputation for proven agility in responding to demanding and ever-changing labour markets and its people are often lauded for resilience and ability to perform under pressure. As one of the first industries to be impacted by a downturn due to Covid-19, it was also the first to rebound, responding to urgent staffing needs within the essential services sector. The pace of work and demands have intensified. As well as an incredibly tight (and ever tightening) labour market with border restrictions, our workforce is reaching maximum participation levels due to our low unemployment rate, there are general workplace trends towards an increasingly flexible workforce due to increased levels of business uncertainty, and workers are also looking for more flexibility in their hours to better accommodate their lifestyle.


Not only are recruitment agencies, leaders and recruiters under increased levels of pressure but so are their clients and candidates, the businesses and workers across the sectors that they support. We see this increase in stress levels, from our conversations as a team with our members, and our industry, through member feedback that we receive and through the different leadership forums we have set up to provide an increased level of peer-to-peer support. While the lens of Covid remains a constant challenge, there are contributing factors to the increased levels of stress – increased verbal aggression at the frontlines from those under increased pressures, poor organisational change processes, and increased workloads.


Our community of recruitment professionals is a key influencer on workplace design and culture as well as being a significant employer in its own right with an agency workforce of 115,000 (4.2% of NZ workforce) as well as with relationships with host organisations and contractors in businesses and industries across NZ. If we can improve sector health and connect our community to share resources and toolkits that will help agency workers and host organisations to share this knowledge and awareness with their networks, we can make a significant contribution to alleviating pressure points across the board.


By encouraging sector collaboration in what is traditionally viewed as a competitive sector, we can promote standards, better address some of the risks contained in this report and put a spotlight on good practice. This program is intended to also provide wellbeing and mental health support in the work that often sits in the shadows of the NZ wider workforce. The agency workforce cannot be forgotten.


We can’t make meaningful change on our own. If Psychological Safety/Mental Wellbeing of Employees, Change Resilience and Inclusion matter to you, please join us. We’re growing a community of wellbeing warriors and we need your help. We’ll also be looking for your stories of how you’re making a difference to build better workplace relationships. We’re after a representative from every one of our member firms as well as calling upon our individual members to join our learning community of Wellbeing Warriors to stand up for, and impact positive change. Who’s in?


Click here to say I’M IN or contact Rebecca rclarke@rcsa.org.nz

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