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Beyond Recruitment's Kevin Kelly Retires after 39 Years in the Industry

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On Friday Beyond Recruitment's Kevin Kelly retired from the recruitment industry after 39 years. Before he left the building for the last time we caught up with Kevin to explore his career and why he chose to spend his last few years with Beyond Recruitment.  

How did you first get into the recruitment industry?

After training for six years to be a Catholic priest, I decided that this was not the path I wanted to follow. I applied for a sales rep role with Wareham Associates, a local recruitment agency who offered me a role in their newly setup IT practice

Can you give me a brief career snapshot of where you have worked/owned and some of the positions you held?

  • I commenced my recruitment career in 1976 with Wareham Associates.
  • In 1981 I founded my own company, CRS Recruitmen.  Initially we focused on IT and expanded into Business support. In 1987 I sold the company to Paxus.
  • In 1990 I moved to Manila as a business partner with a Philippines base agency recruiting Engineers, IT and blue collar workers to the Middle East.
  • In 1992 I returned to Wellington and founded Kelly Luxford with my business partner Sandra Luxford. We grew the company to become one of the top five IT recruitment companies in Wellington.  We then sold the business to Icon Recruitment, a subsidiary of Adecco.
  • In 2001 Icon won a managed service contract with BNZ.  As part of the contract Icon appointed an onsite Resource Manager and I moved from my Wellington GM role to be the onsite Resource Manager until 2006
  • In 2007 I moved with my family to Brisbane and joined Candle Recruitment as an Account Manager.
    After one year I was asked by the CEO to assist him with the branches that were under performing. During this time I was General Manager for the Wellington, Auckland and Perth branches.
  • In 2010 I setup Ignite, a new payroll business for the Clarius Group
  • In 2013 I joined Beyond Recruitment as a Client Manager.

What were the most rewarding and challenging roles you've had?

  • The most rewarding roles I have had has been setting up my own recruitment companies that became leaders in the Wellington market place and growing them to where they became attractive acquisitions to overseas buyers.
  • The most challenging role when was when  I was responsible for rebuilding poor performing branches whilst at Candle in both Australia and New Zealand.

What do you think has changed the most over your 39 years in the industry?

  • When I started in the industry we used typewriters and searched for candidates using a card file system. 
  • In the mid-eighties we started using computer based systems.  
  • In the early 90s the use of email and on-line advertising significantly changed the landscape of our industry
  • The advent of panel suppliers in the mid-90s was the second major wave of change to our industry

Favourite recruitment moment?

Winning an exclusive 12 month contract to supply 20 contractors to NZ Post from the Philippines in 1985. $$$$!!

Most unusual story, odd moment or bizarre moment over your time as a recruiter?

What not to do at client functions - I was talking to a group of contactors and their partners at a Christmas function and asked one of the contractors, who was looking very pregnant, when the baby was due.  Her husband loudly explained that she had the baby nine months ago and that he had been encouraging her to join a gym!

What made you choose Beyond Recruitment?

I chose to work with Beyond Recruitment because I knew John, Hugh and Harry, who I regarded as among best recruiters in the industry.

What will you be doing after Friday?

Initially, I will be just enjoying the freedom of not having the pressure of work, building a new home and overseas travel. Long term I would like to give back to the community.