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The inner workings of the second fastest growing company in NZ

In 2023, Deloitte revealed that Hire Staff took the number two spot in their Fast 50 Index, an index showing the fastest growing companies in New Zealand. We chat to Operations Manager, Cat Peters to talk about their growth and where they plan to go from here.

The recruitment agency recorded revenue growth of 834 percent in 2023, coming in second place in Deloitte’s Fast 50 Index, beating the likes of Ārepa, Hnry, and 2022 number one ranked, Legend Story Studios.

Hire Staff as an agency supports businesses needing short-term or long-term staff within the trades industries.

Cat Peters, Operations Manager reveals that despite the tough employment market, Hire Staff was able to still come out on top thanks to their hustle mentality in the constantly changing times.

Peters and her husband Johnny founded Hire Staff in 2019 after finding gaps that big corporate recruitment agencies were unable to fulfill.

For the first year, Johnny was hustling the business on his own, meeting with candidates and clients at local cafes and malls and with the support of Cat on the side, they were able to beat their expectations for their first year in business.

Heading into the pandemic, Hire Staff was faced with uncertainty, losing a number of candidates they were trying to place for other businesses.

But despite the uncertainty, Hire Staff bit the bullet and continued working throughout the pandemic, hiring staff members, branching out to other industries and much more.

“We grew during Covid, and yes, whilst there were challenges, we had to pivot and adapt really quickly,” says Cat.

“I think COVID was actually the catalyst for our growth as such, which was really, really exciting.”

Hire Staff was forced to adapt to the changing surroundings and were able to find success, being ranked at fourth place in the 2022 Fast 50 and going up two places in 2023.

Read more: VeVe crowned fastest growing company in NZ by Deloitte

Cat Peters says that making the list is “unbelieveable” as a young brand being ranked with the likes of successful up-and-coming businesses such as Sharesies, Pals and more.

“One of the things when you own your own business is you’re always looking forward and you don’t often reflect and look back and be like ‘oh, we actually had a good year’,” she says.

Cat Peters.

“You can’t really ask for much more. There’s businesses obviously that get there, but it takes a lot of graft and all the hard work and effort, not only that Johnny and I have put in, but the team as well. It’s very cool recognition for everyone.”

Cat Peters says that the jump from fourth place to second place was thanks to their work ethic of “sticking to our knitting”.

She says what they do well in comparison to competitors is knowing where to double down and where to invest, and sticking to the good things they know they do well in and excel.

“Focus is a really big thing but also we’ve got a great culture, we pride ourselves on service. There are some of the things that we do really well in that ladder up into our success.”

Hire Staff, unlike others in the industry, don’t stick to the status quo even in the most difficult times.

Coming out of the pandemic, Cat Peters says that Hire Staff is adapting to a “difficult environment to operate in” as the market faces new challenges.

Currently, Hire Staff is looking at a situation where they have more candidates than jobs available.

“It is definitely a lot more challenging this time than it has been in the past,” says Cat Peters.

Working to continue riding this wave, she says that their focus is retaining and empathising with their talent, supporting them through this time.

“If you can get through Covid, and you can get through this, then in a great market, imagine what the team can achieve,” she says.

And for those entrepreneurs in the growth phase also facing the post-pandemic tough, Cat Peters says the best advice she has learnt along the way is the importance of focus.

“Do what you know, just keep going. It will come, you just have to put in the groundwork and just hold tight,” she says.

“It’s not going to be a tough market forever. So, you’ve just got to do what you do and hope that it gets better sooner rather than later.”

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

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