Tending SME market – food for thought for small accounting practices

In this blog, we discuss the significant role of SMEs in the Australian economy, their limited access to large financial sources, and the challenges they face during economic crises. The post-pandemic recovery creates opportunities for small to medium-sized accounting practices to grow and provide tailored solutions to SMEs. The key is to address SMEs’ unique needs, cost-effective measures and innovative ideas to navigate the current economic landscape.

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the Australian economy. They contribute 54% to the total GDP across a range of industries, making them the top employers of the nation’s business workforce, with 41% of employees. However, SMEs have limited access to large financial sources, making them fragile during economic crises. The COVID-19 pandemic created supply-side shocks globally, leading to price pressure for SMEs trying to correspond to the market demand.

The Australian economy is recovering from the pandemic quicker than other developed nations, and the recovery period is expected to end by the end of the second half of 2023. This change has significant implications for small to medium-sized accounting practices. As the economy recovers, these practices will have more opportunities to grow their business, service more clients and increase their ability to provide business services, tax consultancy, and financial planning.

With this positive turnaround, there are also more job opportunities for accountants in public practice. Accounting firms are increasingly paying at competitive levels and providing flexibility, support, and mentoring far beyond what commercial enterprises can offer. This shift is a significant change from previous trends where accounting firms paid less than industry/commercial companies.

However, the macroeconomic environment will continue to impact SMEs from various channels, such as reduced consumer spending, inflation, increasing wages, skill shortages, and bad debts. SMEs in high financial debt are at a higher risk of bankruptcy, while those with less financial stress are concerned about lower profit margins. In the first half of the 2023 recovery period, slower business activities, cost-effective solutions, limited employment, and consequently low economic growth are expected.

Therefore, it is essential for small accounting practices to consider these challenges and focus on strategies to support SMEs in these uncertain times. The key is to provide tailored solutions that address their unique needs, including financial support, cost-effective measures, and innovative ideas that can help SMEs navigate through the current economic landscape. This approach will help small accounting practices not only survive but thrive in the post-pandemic economy.

PERSOLKELLY Australia is a leading recruitment company that can help businesses find the right employees to meet their business needs in the Accounting and Finance space. Our experienced recruitment team uses a range of sourcing methods and selection tools to identify and attract top talent. We work closely with clients to understand their specific requirements and culture, ensuring we find candidates who fit the job and the organisation.

Contact us today.

How much is your time worth when it comes to a new hire?

Recruitment is a crucial process for any business, as it helps to identify and attract the most talented and qualified candidates for job openings. However, it can also be a painful and time-consuming task for hiring managers, particularly for those who lack experience in the hiring process. Fortunately, partnering with a professional recruitment company can bring numerous benefits, making it a wise investment for any business.

One of the most significant benefits of outsourcing recruitment is that it saves time and resources. A dedicated recruitment company can handle all aspects of the hiring process, from screening resumes to scheduling interviews, allowing hiring managers to focus on their core responsibilities. This can be particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that do not have a dedicated HR department, as it can help them avoid the cost of hiring additional staff.

Another key advantage of working with a  recruitment partner is the access to a wider pool of talent. Recruitment companies typically have a vast network of candidates, including passive candidates who are not actively looking for work but may be open to new opportunities. This can be especially beneficial for businesses seeking to fill specialized or hard-to-fill positions, as it can be challenging for internal recruiters to reach these candidates.

Finally, outsourcing recruitment can also lead to better-quality hires. Professional recruiters have extensive experience in assessing candidate skills, qualifications, and experience. They can use their expertise to identify the best candidates for the job and ensure that they are a good fit for the company culture. This can help businesses reduce the risk of hiring the wrong candidate, which can be costly in terms of time and resources.

Partnering with PERSOLKELLY can bring numerous benefits to businesses, including saving time and resources, accessing a wider pool of both passive and active talent and making better-quality hires. By leaving recruitment to the experts, hiring managers can focus on their core responsibilities and ensure that their business has access to the best talent available.

Contact us today.

Amelia Collins on leadership for International Women’s Day

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, PERSOLKELLY spoke with Amelia Collins to talk about her role as a leader in the workplace, what inspires and defines her to “Work, and Smile” in her work and personal life, and her views on diversity, inclusion, and equality (DI&E).

Amelia currently leads the Marketing and Branding team at PERSOLKELLY and Programmed Staffing for the APAC region as Regional Director, Head of Marketing. She is known for being passionate about her work. She believes that finding meaning and purpose in your work is crucial to having the energy to take on challenges and be creative. Amelia is always looking for new ways to solve old problems and inspire and motivate others to do the same.

Amelia is also a qualified fitness instructor in indoor cycling, strength training, barre, and TRX, among others. She is married and a mother of one child and a stepmother of one daughter.

Read more about Amelia and her views on leadership below. We hope her story will inspire women in the workplace in one way or another.

Q: When you started your career, did you envision playing the role you’re in today?
AC: Actually, I have never spent too much time thinking too far into the future, and I am not the kind of person who sets lofty goals. Instead, I like to focus on doing well where I am at the moment, and then set goals that are challenging but achievable – I call that micro-ambition, meaning I work with purpose and intention to achieve whatever I have in front of me at the moment.

Q: Please tell us how you got a job in the recruitment industry.
AC: My experience in marketing and branding initially brought me to Programmed as a consultant to help the Australian and New Zealand team to build their digital marketing capabilities. That said, I have always been interested in HR and recruitment. So, when I was offered the opportunity to join this large and leading company, I jumped right in.

Amelia presenting at the Fremantle Football Club ‘Power of Sport’ event.

Q: Now that you are leading the marketing and branding team at PERSOLKELLY and Programmed, what are your thoughts on the role of a female leader in the workplace and what makes a good leader?
AC: In my opinion, having female leaders in the workplace should be as normal as it is in any other role in life. The truth is, women take on leadership roles every day – as mothers, sisters, friends, and partners – all of which require similar and complementary skills to those needed for successful leadership in the workplace. Skills like listening, coaching, pragmatism, discipline, communication, the ability to see both short and long-term, adaptability, multitasking, and prioritisation. And these are skills we often learn outside the workplace that can contribute to how we behave and perform in the workplace.

With that in mind, no workplace should lack women leaders because the world is made up of them. I believe that a good leader is curious, open-minded, interested, and interesting. Great leaders do not have to be the best at everything; they build trust and know how to bring out the best in others.

Q: How do you balance your career, your personal life (as a wife and mother), and your passion? Do you think there is such a thing as balance?
AC: I personally believe that there is no real or true work-life balance because balance suggests all things are equal. For me, it’s more like juggling; I juggle a whole range of things – my family and parenting roles, friendships, mental and physical health, my passions, travel, and of course, my professional role.

There will be some days, weeks, or even months when my work gets the best of me. And to deal with this, I need to acknowledge, accept, and take a few things out of the juggle when this happens. That then helps create space to fill it back up with the elements that make it all worthwhile. And if I feel things are too overwhelming, I will always prioritise sleep, because without sleep we will never be our best for ourselves or others.

Q: What do you think about the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace?
AC: Diversity, equality, and inclusion are essential to a successful business. For far too long, businesses, corporations, and governments have ignored the gaps. And when there are gaps in corporate culture, those small gaps create big holes in a company. And without a real focus on accelerating change to create diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces, many companies will continue to operate with blind spots and fail to achieve what is possible.

That’s why we should all strive for a workplace that reflects the community – not just our local community, but a global community.

Q: What do you think are the challenges women face in the workplace today, and how do you think they can be overcome?
AC: In most cultures, women are still expected to be the primary caregiver for children, ageing parents, or extended family. Recognising and supporting this important leadership role that women play outside of the workplace will only benefit the culture and performance of these people in a company.

Women often face workplace cultures or individuals within those cultures whose thinking has not evolved to understand and appreciate the importance of DEI. This is a challenge. When I feel challenged by these people or actions, I choose to rise above them or find a way around them.

Q: What advice do you have for women who want to advance their careers?
AC: I was once told to never apologise for being ambitious. Because it means you care. Set achievable but challenging goals – on a micro or macro level. A great leader will give you honest and open feedback so you can grow. They would never discourage you from aiming for the next position without giving you clear feedback on the steps you need to take to get there, whether in terms of skills, behaviours, or experience.

Q: Who are the women that have inspired you?
AC: The women I often admire are athletes. I find their commitment to their craft and the discipline with which they need to succeed inspiring. High performance combined with healthy behaviours – that’s how I try to live.

But the women who have shaped me are those who have given me honest advice in my life so far, and who have allowed me to reflect, grow and achieve.

Q: Lastly, how would you incorporate “Work, and Smile” into your work and how would you share PERSOLKELLY’s vision with your employees and clients?
AC: “Work, and Smile” to me is working with purpose and meaning. To achieve that, we first need to find an industry we believe in and then a company that aligns with our values. Be micro-ambitious, do well with what’s in front of you, and you will work and always smile. For me, “Work, and Smile” is about being a great leader, so I can support and empower them to create their own purpose of “Work, and Smile”. And to bring this to life, I’ll keep talking about it, sharing it, and encouraging others to do the same.

“Work, and Smile” can be lived every day – in moments big and small.

Amelia with part of her team from Australia (left) and Singapore (right).

At PERSOLKELLY, we want to recognise the presence of every woman and her contribution to the workplace. As a company, we are committed to providing equal opportunities for all genders and helping women find well-suited/desired roles in the marketplace. In line with our vision of “Work, and Smile”, we believe in putting people first and creating a positive workplace culture where they can thrive and grow to be effective leaders. In the words of Michelle Obama, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish”.

We’re always on the hunt for great people to join our team. If you’re confident and caring, proactive and passionate, smart and resourceful, and want to kick-start or continue your career in helping others achieve their career goals, then we’d love to hear from you.

To register your interest in a future with PERSOLKELLY, visit our careers page.

Five reasons to consider a career in recruitment

By Kurt Gillam, Executive General Manager PERSOLKELLY Australia.

The field of recruitment is not only fast-paced, challenging and dynamic, but it also offers a plethora of opportunities. Consultants can not only advance their own career trajectory but help others with their own careers as well. If you’re looking for a new direction, a move into recruitment could be worth considering.

Here are five reasons to consider a recruitment career:

1. Gain valuable and in-demand skills
One of the great things about working in recruitment is the skills you gather while working in the industry. A role in recruitment can build your interpersonal, communication and relationship management skills. These skills are all transferable to other industries, making them invaluable no matter which field you may choose to work in future. Recruitment is extremely people-focused and centres around interacting with a variety of individuals in a range of situations. Helping you develop soft and interactive skills and gain experience dealing with people from all walks of life.

Recruiters can conduct job matching, character assessments, interviews, background checks and due diligence in a typical day. As such, the job naturally suits analytical and organised individuals with excellent time management skills. A job in recruitment will help you learn and further develop a range of easily transferable skills that you’ll continue to draw on for years to come, no matter what industry you end up in.

2. Help others while you also advance
A career in recruitment means regularly interacting with employers and job seekers, helping you improve your interpersonal skills and active listening ability. It’s important to be able to carefully listen to both clients and candidates to find out exactly what they’re looking for. Doing so can vastly improve your problem-solving skills and foster critical thinking while helping individuals and companies find their perfect matches.

Finding good fits for both active or passive job seekers and organisations will widen your understanding of the job market and how it differs between industries and roles. Finding these perfect fits involves interacting with hiring managers, human resources teams and high-profile positions with companies, helping you build up a valuable range of connections.

You may use these connections to help find candidates or even for the advancement of your own career.

3. It’s a fast-moving and ever-changing industry
Recruitment is dynamic, offering countless opportunities for change and growth. As industries and job markets change, the recruitment industry evolves. New technologies have come along and transformed the way the recruitment process is conducted. From paperless applications, and digital background checks through to remote video interviews and testing suites. While application Tracking Systems (ATS) have streamlined and automated parts of the hiring process.

Advancing technologies have also brought about numerous improvements in learning opportunities available to recruiters, such as online training and conferences. You’ll have the chance to develop leadership skills, set clear directions and be agile as you advance through your career in recruitment. 

4. Autonomy can assist in better mental health
Recruitment is a people business that revolves around servicing the needs of candidates and clients. Like many roles over the past few years, recruitment has become more agile and flexible in terms of the location in which work is conducted. As consultants will often meet with clients and candidates both in and out of the office, it’s a career that suits driven individuals that thrive working autonomously.

According to Mental Health UK, autonomy in the workplace can help promote better mental health and even prevent excess stress and burnout.

5. It’s an in-demand profession
The 2021 Business Market Insights report predicted that the online recruitment industry in APAC is expected to grow from USD6.8 billion in 2021 to USD12.4 billion by 2028, nearly doubling in just seven years.

As the job market continues to boom after being heavily impacted by the pandemic, the search for clients will ensure the demand for qualified recruitment consultants remains high. Resulting in great prospects for those either already in the industry or looking to enter recruitment.

There’s no doubt that a career in an established recruitment firm has many long-term benefits for your career. Transferrable skills, and building your network while also helping candidates achieve their career goals are just a few of the things to be gained from a career in the industry.

Once you build your career, the rewards are endless. Quite often, there is nothing quite as rewarding that the long-term friendships that you will build with your colleagues as a result of working in a vibrant company culture, however, you will have the opportunity to get back from what you put in – be it interstate or overseas travel, awards and prizes, learning and development opportunities, promotions and uncapped earning potential. The sky really is the limit.

If you’re looking for a change to a challenging yet rewarding job, then a role in recruitment could be the perfect move for you. You never know where it’ll take you.

We’re always on the hunt for great people to join our team. If you’re confident and caring, proactive and passionate, smart and resourceful, and want to kick-start or continue your career in helping others achieve their career goals, then we’d love to hear from you.

To register your interest in a future with PERSOLKELLY, visit our careers page.

Why we should Quit Quiet Quitting

By Foo See Yang, Managing Director & Country Head of PERSOLKELLY Singapore

In recent months, a new term has been trending on the popular social media platform TikTok, called “quiet quitting”. At the same time, in an article by the World Economic Forum, the hashtag #QuietQuitting hit 17 million views on TikTok, and currently trending with 317.5 million views worldwide.

Although not a new concept, “quiet quitting” refers to when overwhelmed and overworked employees resort to only doing the bare minimum to get by at work. Quiet quitters may have no intention of leaving but do not want to participate in the hustle culture. Quiet quitting is seen as a form of employee disengagement, a protest against an imbalanced work-life balance, and a form of noncompliance. While the employee is still fulfilling job responsibilities, they refuse to take on new responsibilities and adhere to the job description that was given. These employees will not go the extra mile and decline new projects or stop volunteering for tasks.

In this article, you will learn more about the causes that lead employees to disengage from work, the effects it has on a company, and what employees and employers can do to prevent employee disengagement.

Recently, we ran a poll on LinkedIn and found out that there are some common factors that cause employees to quietly quit their jobs:

1.   Lack of Managerial Support

Over a third (36%) of respondents voted that the reason employees quiet quit is because their manager doesn’t appreciate their effort. Working under a leader who does not support their team will discourage and demotivate them to endure difficulties at work. A caring and considerate supervisor can do much to keep employees motivated and maintain employee engagement. However, they are more likely to withdraw if the supervisors do not support them. When employees feel their managers will not help them, they put up barriers.

2.   Poorly Compensated

Around a third (34%) of respondents said that the reason employees quietly quit is because the pay does not justify the effort. So they “only do the work that they are paid for”. Many quiet quitters strongly feel that they are poorly compensated for the effort they put into the work they have to do. And because of that, they decrease their efforts. Often, they have demanded better compensation but have been rebuffed or stalled, or these workers feel that the employer will not meet those demands. Aside from money, the issue is one of respect. If they are not rewarded for their extra work, they feel that the employer does not properly appreciate their sacrifice and effort. This would then lead to workers feeling exploited.

3. Overworked and Overstressed

Around a quarter (26%) of respondents voted that the reason employees quietly quit is because they no longer enjoy their work. This may be due to overwork or overstress. Quiet quitters were once passionate employees, but became overworked and overstressed, leading to employee burnout. Increased workload comes from staff turnover, where other employees must take over the workload before a new employee is hired, rather than the supervisor reducing the workload. This problem causes employees to become exhausted and frustrated.

Here are 3 consequences of quiet quitting in the workplace:

1.   Disengagement and Dissatisfaction

The two most common effects are disengagement and an employee’s dissatisfaction with his or her job and workplace. Silent quitters work and cooperate but find no meaning in their work and often feel apathetic.

2.   Stagnating Career Growth

To advance professionally, employees must take on new challenges and responsibilities. However, if employees refuse to expand their skills through new challenges and responsibilities, then they are just being stagnant. By doing so, they are only sabotaging their career.

3.   Decreased Output

One of the most obvious effects is the reduced work output of a quiet quitter. They may be meeting the minimum requirements for their job. Creativity and collaboration are also affected when an employee decides to quietly quit.

So, what can employees do to quit quiet quitting? Here are 3 tips:

1.   Be Efficient

It’s important to achieve a good work-life balance, but we still need to be committed when we are on the job. So, make sure that time is used efficiently during working hours – focus on doing the job well.

2.   Take Ownership

Employees need to take responsibility for their career growth and understand why they feel burned out and why they have resorted to quietlyquitting. It is not sustainable if the role does not give the employee a greater sense of purpose and appreciation at work.

3.   Communicate With the Employer and Not On Social Media

Before employees express why they are quietly quitting on their social media platforms, it is better to seek an open and honest conversation with your direct supervisor. Take this conversation with the employer as an opportunity to share feedback with them – be very specific. Have an honest and open conversation, but be professional.. However, in addressing the issue of quiet quitters and employee burnout, employers and management must also play their part.

3 ways employers can solve the quiet quitting crisis in their workplace:

1.   Make Sure Employees Feel Valued

Employers need to make sure their employees are valued for their contribution, skills, and work. A Gallup Workhuman survey found that in companies where employee recognition is a high priority, employees are 56% less likely to look for a new job. A good start would be to recognise milestones in employees’ lives, such as work anniversaries and birthdays, and celebrate goals achieved or projects completed.

2.   Invest in Employee Well-being

Employee well-being and engagement work together. Therefore, employers should prioritise employee well-being by offering support and assistance programmes when employees are struggling. Other well-being benefits could include:

i.          Weekly massages;
ii.          Office meditation classes during lunch break;
iii.         Providing the option of flexible work schedules ;
iv.         Encouraging employees to leave on time and take regular breaks and etc.

3.   Keeping People Engaged in Their Work

It is important to recognise and value one’s contributions to build employee ownership of their work. Employers should create an open space for their employees to express their ideas and discuss solutions relating to work. Employers need to listen to their employees, especially younger employees, as this not only makes them feel valued but also makes them feel more connected to their work. This is even more important for younger workers as they are looking for a space to be heard.

It can be difficult to detect because some signs may be unintentional or stem from other types of conflict. However, it would be a good start to address changes in your employees’ well-being, performance, and concerns.


Despite being a trend in TikTok videos, Insider found that there are many TikTok users discouraging people from doing so. Remember that communication is key – not social media, but open and professional communication with your employers about your challenges at work. For employers, it is important to continually provide an environment that encourages staff to thrive in the workplace. As for employees, whatever the reason may be, they need to recognise that quietly quitting may hurt their future more than making the move to a new job and a better workplace. Whatever the workforce challenges, look for the opportunity to speak to your leader. There’s nothing to lose but everything to gain in this. Even if the conversation does not work out, you can still look out for other doors of opportunity more suitable for you and your lifestyle. We spend one third of our life at work. It is important to find a role within an organisation that allows you to Work, and Smile.

2022-23 PERSOLKELLY and Programmed’s Economic and Employment Key Insights and Salary Guide

Australia and New Zealand have made significant progress in their economic recoveries after a couple of years of disruption due to the pandemic and overseas turmoil.

Organisations of all types and sizes are dealing with a host of economic challenges following the setbacks and restrictions of COVID-19 and a fresh set of obstacles confront businesses in both countries.

Chief amongst these is the acute labour shortage that is compounding the difficulties for business managers in both retaining existing staff and developing the workforce capability for growth and expansion.

We are seeing historically low levels of unemployment in both countries. With immigration yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, the challenge of filling vacancies and acquiring skills is set to remain for some time.

The other big development is the outbreak of inflation and associated rising interest rates. As in other developed economies, both Australia and New Zealand are being forced to confront an economic phenomenon that has been largely dormant for close to 50 years and, once again, deal with the many challenges this brings for wages, interest rates and the cost of living.

Our 2022-23 PERSOLKELLY and Programmed Economic and Employment Key Insights and Salary Guide offers a wide-ranging analysis of both Australia and New Zealand’s economies, including at state, territory and region levels as well as a dive into the forces at play in each of the industry sectors in which we operate.

The Salary Guide compiles accurate information on wages and salaries from our experts in the field across key industry sectors. This comprehensive report has become a valued and indispensable tool for those wishing to understand the movement of wages and salaries across a range of occupations and positions in both Australia and New Zealand.

Below is a peek at some of the standout insights from the report.

After a lengthy COVID hibernation, Australia’s economy has bounced back strongly as consumers and businesses have regained their confidence.

  • 3.3% annual GDP growth
  • 3.9% record unemployment rate
  • 5.1% annual inflation rate, the highest in 20 years

Australian Capital Territory
Canberra’s economy has been resilient in the face of COVID lockdowns and looks likely to benefit from a change of national government.

New South Wales
The most populous state has bounced back from COVID faster than expected, and it has a vast pipeline of infrastructure work that will propel its fortunes.

Turmoil on the international stage initially dealt a heavy blow to Queensland’s economy, but the tide has turned and the state is now reaping rewards.

South Australia
The state’s recovery has been quicker than forecast but there is work to do to rebuild confidence and create jobs.

The state endured some of its darkest days during the pandemic as businesses shut and the population was locked down, but activity is now bouncing back.

Western Australia
The state incurred much flak for its rigid approach to border closures during the COVID pandemic, but it now has the results to show for it.

Northern Territory
The loss of international tourists during the pandemic hit the Territory especially hard but it has provided the chance to diversify and attract new industries.

The island state belies its size with an outperforming economy and a newfound appeal from those on the mainland attracted to its lifestyle.

New Zealand
As the country emerges from the COVID pandemic, it faces an outbreak of a different kind that has policymakers worried. After years of tepid price increases, inflation has broken out in New Zealand and prompted swift action to raise interest rates and curtail spending.

  • 6.9% inflation rate
  • 5.6% annual GDP growth
  • Jobless rate at near-record low

New Zealand’s largest city was the epicentre of COVID-related lockdowns and saw its economic performance suffer as businesses closed their doors.

The city has been able to sidestep pandemic restrictions on business and fall back on its traditional mainstays to produce an outsized economic performance.

The nation’s capital was insulated from the worst of the pandemic and has started to rebound. Wellington has weathered much of the country’s economic slowdown, largely as a result of a more resilient workforce that has not incurred the same setbacks as in other parts of New Zealand.

Click here to download the 2022-23 PERSOLKELLY and Programmed Economic and Employment Key Insights and Salary Guide today to find out more. Or talk to one of our consultants who can talk through how to use the guide to improve your attraction and retention strategies.

Careers with us: Thania Kristiansen

We’re committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and positive workplace. Our teams are reflective of the communities in which we operate, and we value the unique contribution each member makes to PERSOLKELLY.

Thania Kristiansen is our Senior Recruitment Consultant, based in Auckland. This is her story.

What has been your path to PERSOLKELLY?

I started my career in recruitment working for South America’s largest oil and gas corporation. At the time, they were implementing a gas pipeline and needed someone to recruit and manage the HR side. After the project ended, I asked myself what am I doing next? Back then, Emirates Airlines were conducting a recruitment campaign in Brazil, and I decided to apply. I secured the job and moved to Dubai where I had the opportunity to travel to over 160 countries and work with many different nationalities on board. Flying for Emirates gave me a unique perspective on life, and I loved it. After having a baby girl, I wanted to spend more time with family and managed to secure a position in Emirates’ internal HR Recruitment team solely headhunting pilots globally. It was an amazing experience and fascinating to learn how Emirates changed their recruitment strategies according to different countries and cultures. At the time, my kiwi husband got offered a job in New Zealand and we decided to relocate to Auckland. When I first arrived, I continued my recruitment career, however within the industrial sector, until I found PERSOLKELLY. I fell in love with the brand, the core values and the management style of the organisation, and have loved every day of my job ever since!

What roles have you held at PERSOLKELLY?

I currently work for PERSOLKELLY in Auckland, as a Senior Recruitment Consultant, focusing permanent positions across professional and industrial sectors, as well as temp and casual white-collar positions. I recruit for a wide range of sectors like government, facilities management, manufacturing, property services, marketing, retail, ICT.

Did you learn different skills?

Absolutely, I learn new things every day. I have the amazing opportunity to recruit for companies I’d never worked with before and learn about their business, their culture and what they look for in an individual. I also love to recruit for our internal team and help to build the organisational culture at PERSOLKELLY.

Biggest lessons learnt in your career?

To not take things personally. Sometimes you give your absolute best, but things don’t turn out the way you initially planned, it’s not your fault! Focus on aspects that are within your control, work with integrity and dedication, and strive to do your best every day!

Best advice you were given?

“People won’t remember what you said, but the way you treated them”. Often, we don’t remember exactly what people said, but we never forget how they made us feel, and this is very true in recruitment. We need clients and candidates to have a positive experience and it starts with us. We may not know all the answers, but it’s the way we conduct the interviews or client conversations that make people think of us whenever they have recruitment needs.

Why do you love working at PERSOLKELLY?

I love the people; they are my second family! I also love the positive energy and enthusiasm in the office and the organization. I love to recruit for our partner company Programmed and grow with them. I have the opportunity to recruit employees for some of the biggest companies in New Zealand, and that is very satisfying and rewarding.

Why will others love working with us?

We love to make people feel welcome and recognized! Working at PERSOLKELLY, you’ll feel respected, supported, and professionally challenged. I love the fact we work together as a team, bounce ideas off each other, and have sounding boards! Together, we can achieve even better results. We also have an excellent individual incentive structure! In the last 12 months, I’ve been promoted, received a salary increment in recognition of my effort, and I’ve been incentivized more than I could’ve imagined!

What you love about our offices?

We are in the heart of the Auckland CBD, with an incredible view of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, waterfront and 360-degree views. We’re close to motorway exits, Britomart, and bus-stops. We’re very lucky to be surrounded by amazing cafes, restaurants, bars, and several retail shops. Our offices are modern, filled with natural light and a lovely set up, with break out areas too.

How do you feel PERSOLKELLY provides you with flexibility and work/life balance?

Wellbeing inside and outside of work is very important to PERSOLKELLY, and they believe in supporting people, whether that is working from home or occasionally leaving early to pick up your kids from school. This is great because they recognize the importance that we all have lives outside of work and how that contributes to our happiness and performance.

We’re always on the hunt for great people to join our team. If you’re confident and caring, proactive and passionate, smart and resourceful, and want to kick-start or continue your career in helping others achieve their career goals, then we’d love to hear from you.

To register your interest in a future with PERSOLKELLY, visit our careers page.

New Zealand Budget 2021

A fine balancing act to keep growth on track

Thursday’s Budget was a stark reminder of how close New Zealand came to an economic catastrophe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rather than the full-scale economic recession that looked certain 12 months ago, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was able to deliver a 2021 Budget with a remarkably upbeat outlook.

The country has bounced back quickly from the sharpest fall in its history, and all the key indicators are headed in the right direction.

The Key takeaways

  • $57bn four-year infrastructure spend
  • $3.6bn social welfare lift
  • Extended training incentives
  • Industry transformation
  • Housing market slowdown
A remarkable recovery

The Budget forecasts real GDP growth of 2.9% in the year ending June 2021, which will increase to 3.2% in 2021-22 and 4.4% the following year.

The unemployment rate, which a year ago was forecast to reach 10%, is currently at 4.7% and is forecast to fall to 4.2%, with an additional 200,000 people entering employment over the next four years. Wages are forecast to grow by 3%.

Exports are forecast to grow by an average 5.8% over the next four years and business investment by almost 6% a year.

New Zealand’s recovery to date has been stronger than in many other developed economies and demonstrates the economic dividend that has accrued from managing the pandemic.

The international story is stark – between December 2017 and December 2020, New Zealand’s GDP increased by 4.2% compared with 3.4% in Australia, 2.5% in the US, and falls of 2.8% in the Euro area and 5% in the UK.

The budget deficit in the current 2021 financial year is forecast to be about half of what was predicted a year ago, yet the impact of COVID-induced spending will see budget deficits out to at least 2025.

New Zealand’s net government debt currently stands at about 40% of GDP – an unthinkable level just a few years ago, but not so alarming when compared to countries such as Canada (47%), Australia (54%), UK (105%) and US (110%).

The first Budget in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s second term was described by the Finance Minister as one aimed at ‘securing our recovery’ and it could have emulated the recent Australian Budget with a massive spending boost to lock in growth.

But unlike in Australia, New Zealand is more than two years away from the next election, so the government could afford to be more prudent in its spending.

Hence, there was a more targeted array of spending with the biggest focus on social security, but with big injections in infrastructure, transport, skills training and manufacturing – areas that will help to secure longer-term productivity gains.

A centrepiece is the $3.6 billion, four-year commitment to tackle inequality by lifting social security benefits by between $32 and $55 a week, in line with a recent recommendation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

The welfare changes tie in with the aim of the stimulus package and take effect in two stages – July this year and April next year – and will see a single adult Jobseeker about $48 a week better off.


The standout item on the spending side is a $57.3 billion programme of infrastructure spending over the period to 2025.

It includes a $4 billion expansion of the multi-year capital allowance, taking it to $12 billion over the four-year period.

There is an estimated $10 billion of investment in roads and public transport projects, $1.3 billion extra for rail freight, $761 million for capital funding in the education portfolio, and $700 million for District Health Boards’ capital investment.

Investment in training and skills reform

The government has built on its COVID-related apprenticeship funding support by extending the Training Incentive Allowance to level four to seven qualifications, designed to enable an estimated 16,000 sole parents, disabled people and carers to gain degree-level qualifications.

There will also be almost $280 million to reform of vocational education in order to create a unified funding system.

Up to 60,000 small businesses will be able to access digital skills training through a $44 million digital skills programme.

Transforming critical industries

There is a strong focus on steps to help rebuild industries most impacted by COVID and others which are critical to future prosperity and capability.

The government will develop Industry Transformation Plans across seven areas where it believes there is a global competitive advantage or where transformation is needed to increase productivity.

These selected industries are advanced manufacturing, agritech, food and beverage, digital, construction, tourism, and forestry and wood processing.

Cooling a hot housing market

One intriguing element of the Budget is the governments’ ongoing efforts to slow galloping home prices and address the escalating problem of housing affordability.

The Budget papers show that Treasury estimates annual house price increases will peak at 17% in June this year before dropping to under 1% over the next few years.

The Budget papers concede that this will be a “sharp adjustment but a very necessary one.”

“The Government’s concern is not just that house price growth was unsustainable, but also that the balance was too much in favour of speculators and investors and away from first home buyers,” the Budget papers say.

The government has already intervened to dampen the housing market by adjusting lending ratios and is now pouring $3.8 billion into a Housing Acceleration Fund to increase housing supply.

Protecting New Zealanders from infection

There is no avoiding the ongoing cost of COVID-19 management.

The government has allocated just under $1.5 billion to the COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme, including just over $1 billion for advanced purchase agreements for vaccines.

A total of $4.7 billion has been devoted to the health budget including for the transition to a new health system and establishment of a Māori Health Authority.

There was also a renewed commitment to the promised Social Unemployment Insurance scheme which would provide workers who lose their jobs around 80% of their income, with minimum and maximum caps.

While the latest Budget is about managing the path out of COVID, there is also a strong social justice end equity element that is a hallmark of the government.

Indeed, the Finance Minister makes clear that it is part of a three-Budget strategy to alleviate poverty, address educational opportunity and tackle climate change. As he says, “we cannot deliver everything in one Budget”.

Trying to manage the balance between social equity and economic responsibility was one of the key aims of this document.

Many were urging greater spending, while others despair at the size of government and the legacy of debt that has flowed.

In the end, the Budget seems both ambitious and appropriate. When governments everywhere, even conservative ones such as in Australia are on a spendathon, New Zealand’s latest offering seems modest by comparison.

Unless stated otherwise, information was sourced from the New Zealand Government Budget 2021 documents, ministerial statements, media releases and portfolio papers: budget.govt.nz. This is general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice from Programmed. Programmed is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information relates to your unique circumstances. Programmed is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided. Featured photo by Sulthan Auliya on Unsplash.

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