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RCSA set to kick goals in 2022

It has been a year of highs and lows for RCSA but through it all, our community has shone through and risen above the challenge to lead in the world of work by building careers and changing lives.

As the popular adage goes – with challenges come great opportunities. There is much to look forward to in 2022 and the industry is gearing up for a bumper year.

We asked some of the RCSA leadership team: Leah Watson – Head of Finance and Risk, Jodie Radley - Head of Events and Learning, Robin Shepherd – Head of Operations and Member Services, Rebecca Clarke – RCSA New Zealand Manager and John Towey – Head of Growth to reflect on the past year and to share some of the exciting new initiatives in place for the recruitment and staffing industry for the New Year.

What did RCSA and the recruitment and staffing industry achieve in 2021 that you are most proud of and why?

“I am proud of our industry’s ability to scale up to rise above the challenges of COVID-19 so quickly,” Leah said. “For example, our members stepped up and worked together to service the Surge Workforce for Aged care facilities when we needed to ramp up and provide access to a temporary workforce to assist if positions need to be filled due to COVID or if staff need to self-isolate. It’s a testament of our commitment in responding to the needs of the community.”

Robin agreed. “RCSA and the industry as a whole have done an amazing job of flexing and rising to meet the challenges of the ongoing pandemic,” she said.

“What I am most proud of, is the response of RCSA-ANRA member agencies participating in the Surge Workforce program into COVID impacted aged care facilities. This amazing program showed its strength through the peak of Victoria’s outbreaks in 2020 and has continued in both New South Wales and Victoria this year. To be able to urgently find staff for facilities in dire need is an incredible contribution to our entire community.”

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, for Jodie, the virtual celebration of the achievements and success of the recruitment and staffing industry at both the Australian and New Zealand award ceremonies was her proudest moment in 2021. “The RCSA Industry Awards creates an opportunity each year for the best of the best in recruitment and staffing to be recognised,” she said.

Rebecca is most proud of the team. “Our 15,000-membership base throughout Aotearoa and Australia has responded incredibly well to the challenges of operating safely within a pandemic while working hard, in the face of adversity and uncertainty, to maintain businesses and individuals’ livelihoods and our economies. This is nothing short of inspirational,” she said.

Rebecca also noted she was proud that people were latching on to the value of working with a skilled professional recruiter.

“There has been a noticeable shift in the way we collaborate as an industry and the way we have rallied in support of others. This spirit of collaboration, our collective humanity and industry pride was in full force and on display at our awards night in Auckland and monthly Kiwi Collab sessions throughout the year,” she said.

John was particularly proud of the recruitment and staffing industry’s agility in responding to talent shortages and helping to get the Australian and New Zealand workforce back to work. “Once again our industry showed its ability to support candidates and clients in connecting with meaningful work and we saw this more than ever through our Safely Back to Work and #WorkingSooner campaigns,” John said.

What are you most excited to bring to the RCSA community in 2022?

Both Leah and Robin are looking forward to seeing a new and improved RCSA website in the year ahead. The fresh site will assist RCSA members to navigate through a range of resources with greater ease.

“We frequently get feedback from members that our information and resources are so valuable but can be difficult to find and access on the website,” Robin said.

“We are working hard to improve this experience for members to make sure they can access the information they need and exactly when they need it.”

Jodie is most looking forward to in-person events coming back. “The RCSA events team has been working really hard on creating a social calendar of events to bring the RCSA community together in 2022,” she said.

“It has been almost two years since some of our members have been able to get together and network in person; and so, although we will also be offering online access to most of our events moving forward, we are really excited to be able to offer face-to-face events once again,” she said.

“Without a doubt, I’m most looking forward to SHAPE NZ!” Rebecca expressed.

“This will be our very first NZ-centric conference, showcasing world-class speakers. We asked members what they were looking for, and who they’d like to hear from, and curated the event with this in mind. The New Year will be another big year for recruitment, so coming together to learn and share how we can influence, optimise performance, and transform, as we strive to lead in the world of work will be an investment in your success. It’s going to be high energy and great fun too!” she said.

Like Leah and Robin, John is excited about bringing thought leadership and resources to support agencies in the year ahead to tackle fresh challenges. “Whether it be candidate shortages, immigration and legislative changes, or emerging opportunities and disruptors in tech and AI, RCSA are excited to back the recruitment and staffing space with fast and accurate information. Bringing this through a new website and communications strategy is extremely exciting,” John said.

What do you see for the recruitment and staffing industry in 2022 and what will RCSA’s role be in supporting the opportunities and challenges of its members in the year ahead?

“There will be legislative challenges but, despite this, we will see growth in our membership numbers with RCSA ready to support members through business solutions, including access to resources, training and templates,” Leah said.

Robin concurred; citing the challenges for the industry were increasing with changing legislation and issues arising all the time.

“But equally, challenges bring opportunities for growth and innovation,” she said. “I love being part of the RCSA team to provide support to our members and enabling them to grab opportunities and meet challenges head on.”

Jodie highlighted the attraction of the next generation of recruitment professionals would be a key focus in 2022.

“A lot of research has gone into this area, and we will be releasing a guide for our members to assist with the pull of new talent into the recruitment industry,” she said.

“We will also be providing induction support to member firms and a new, engaging Recruitment Certificate Course to train new recruiters. To further assist our members, we will provide a clear learning pathway for recruiters via RCSA’s Learning and Development platform and Next Gen events, which are focused on retaining and nurturing new talent into the recruitment industry next year,” she said.

Rebecca echoed Jodie’s sentiments. With talent shortages showing no sign of slowing down, she said securing talent would be a key priority for business leaders in 2022.

“Our members will be in greater demand than before,” Rebecca said. “We are here to be both a beacon driving innovation and a safety net supporting members with best practice. Expect us to be active in the areas you care about, raising the profile of professional recruitment, driving new talent to our industry through our Next Gen strategic initiative. And for NZ, we will also focus on mental health by raising awareness of psychosocial risks for our members and their workforces,” she said.

According to John, it’s opportunity. “It’s clear coming out of 2021 the recruitment and staffing industry’s boom period isn’t slowing down anytime soon,” he said. “RCSA has a big year ahead in keeping members across essential industry information and promoting the outstanding and ethical providers in the space. Taking care of our members to promote mental health and avoid burnout will also be a key theme for 2022, as will be attracting new talent to the industry through our NextGen campaign,” John said.

It has undoubtedly been a challenging year for all our members but, as the dust settles, a new dawn awaits the recruitment and staffing industry. According to Leah Watson, Jodie Radley, Robin Shepherd, Rebecca Clarke and John Towey the New Year is set to bring a wave of exciting ventures - from a fresh website to a new conference and face-face events all created to showcase, celebrate and support RCSA’s purpose – to Lead in the World of Work.

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