Hamish McDonald has (finally!) made the smart decision and joined the team at Consult! We’ve tried for years to get him to join and are excited to see our persistence finally paid off! 

Hamish will be leading our Specialist Recruitment Division, driving growth and success across a number of specialist functions including legal, risk & compliance, HR, leadership and accounting firms.


Tell us about your career to date?

I started as a sales and key account manager in the trade plumbing industry, before heading on my OE to London. There I was introduced to the world of recruitment, way back in 1999, when faxes were still a thing! 

I initially worked for a huge global firm, followed by a more niche national business, before moving back to NZ and I have now been in recruitment coming up 20 years. I’m far from being close to retirement, but have enough grey hair to show I’ve lived.


Why recruitment?

I actually wasn’t totally sold on it at first, it seemed less about recruitment and just sell, sell, sell! It wasn’t until I learnt the craft of recruitment and treating people with respect that I started to see the value it could add to individuals and organisations.  

Particularly in smaller markets like New Zealand, there is more ability to be a positive influence and make an impact, which is really rewarding. Recruitment also incorporates many of the aspects that I enjoy about business; negotiating, searching and chasing opportunities, selling additional services and seeing positive outcomes. There is a great variety of skills needed in recruitment which has kept me in the industry. 


What is your focus at Consult?

I am tasked with managing and growing our Specialist Recruitment Division, which incorporates our legal, risk & compliance and accounting firms teams, as well as other growth areas such as HR and leadership roles. I am looking to cement and grow the Consult brand in these niche areas where top talent is in high demand.

I will be making sure we are proactively engaging with people and we know our market inside and out, to be able to approach and engage with the right people appropriately.


What excites you about Consult?

Firstly, it was the people without a doubt. I already knew a few of the team which helped and I’ve competed against a few others over the years. Secondly, the brand’s positioning and proposition is fantastically strong, which is great for being able to build relationships in the market.


Which one of Consult’s core values is your favourite and why?

Win with Mana. In any business you want to be successful, but as a consultant and a leader you want to do it in the right way, by treating all parties with respect to achieve as positive an outcome as possible for everyone involved.


What is your work ethos?

I have always been focused on outcomes, making sure what I am doing on a day-to-day basis is working towards what I need to achieve in the long run. 

I also believe it’s important to have a balance, to get away from the desk, take a step back and take a breath. Allow myself to be me, and pursue other activities.


Do you think the recruitment landscape is changing?

Absolutely. Traditionally it was all about picking up jobs, posting a job advert and sending as many CVs as possible. That approach only ever added very little value, but now it adds even less. Recruitment is changing to be more focused on who you know and how you engage with people. Anyone can find a name online now, but it’s how you engage with them and provide them with value, that is really the key.

Especially when you work in more specialised areas, it’s this value that everyone has started to look for. As you get a more specialised, more knowledgeable and an ageing workforce, you need to re-populate it with similarly experienced and talented people, and those people are hard to find and are very sort after.


What do you do outside of work?

Family time is important to me, catching up with friends and mountain biking. I think it’s important to get away and take a break. Technology today means you can just be “always on” and it’s not healthy when you don’t switch off.


What are you most proud of? 

I have lots of sporting achievements from when I was a teenager, but I need to let those go! I used to be a reasonably good runner, but now you’d struggle to get me to run 400m...calf muscles play up.


Is there something about you that surprises people?

I played a police officer in a short film once, I had three words. The film was supposed to go to a short film festival, but I don’t think it ever made it to the festival.

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