SARA award winning IT recruiter – 40 Foot

seek annual recruitment award

Whilst the past few years have undoubtedly thrown up some challenges, the team at 40 Foot recruitment have continued to do what they do best. We were humbled and delighted when on 7th April we were named New Zealand’s Recruitment Agency of the Year in the Seek Annual Recruitment Award (SARA) small agency category, winning our first SARA award. 

It certainly means a lot to our business to be recognised as an award-winning recruitment agency and it is a huge moment of validation and recognition for the team.

 “I would also really like to acknowledge (our client’s) trust and support. One thing that’s special about our team is their integrity, and they simply would not be able to sell opportunities to candidates in this talent-short market unless they believed that the role and the company was great. The team are relentless in their pursuit of good talent, but they do this because it gives them a deep sense of fulfilment to connect people with companies like yours and dream career opportunities. So I want to thank you for trusting us with your business.”

Emma Southward, CEO 40 Foot

seek annual recruitment awards winners 40 foot

What is a SARA award?

The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) have been hosted by the recruitment mega website SEEK each year for the past 18 years as a way to highlight and celebrate the top-performing recruitment agencies and professionals across New Zealand. 

The SARAs are judged by a large panel of independent judges, each recognised as an industry leader. Entry is open to all professional recruiters and recruitment agencies. 

SARAs endorse excellence and result in winners being recognised as industry leaders.

In the Recruitment Agency of the Year category, judges are looking for a commitment to workplace culture, innovation, candidate engagement, commercial growth/achievement, and the agency’s contribution to the success of the recruitment industry as a whole.

Who are 40 Foot and what makes us exceptional IT recruiters?

Established in 2017 by people who know the IT industry, having worked in it themselves, 40 Foot has grown to become a trusted IT recruiter for many leading New Zealand businesses. 

To negate the closed borders and shrinking talent pools, we’ve established unique IT recruitment pathways outside of the normal, enabling Kiwi businesses to tap into a wider pool of candidates. By extending recruitment talent pools, we can deliver the sought after IT expertise that NZ businesses are demanding.

We offer the usual New Zealand wide recruitment, but we have come up with some out-of-the-box solutions as well. We partner with Mission Ready, an NZQA accredited IT training provider who offers not only training but also practical placements at partnership companies. Our partnership lets us bring you graduates with real hands-on experience in top Kiwi companies.

We also offer offshore IT recruitment, as remote temps or contractors from our main IT hubs in Lebanon and Sri Lanka and as a global to local recruiter.

Global to local recruitment means we have an international pool of candidates to recruit from and we work with our clients to relocate these staff to New Zealand.

Our teams are already working remotely with many leading NZ businesses, growing Kiwi companies, meeting deadlines, and helping to bring success to our shores. Our global talent is proven, trustworthy and ready to move to New Zealand with the borders opening up

award wining IT recruitment 40 foot technology talent graph

Working with a specialist, boutique recruiter like 40 Foot means that when there is a challenging tech vacancy or a role where talent is short, you have experts on hand to deliver you a great candidate for the role.

What are the key points of our SARA award submission that sets us apart?

Culture – The guiding principle for 40 Foot is “Hire people who have a life, and encourage them to live it at all times (even during traditional work hours)”. Team members are not required to work from the office, ever.

The baseline for 40 Foot is an understanding that each team member gives 110% so when they need to also be a Mum, or a husband, or a friend, the business celebrates and supports this.


We have created a number of solutions for the talent shortage that is outside of the box. 40 Foot has developed a programme called Go Global Then Local – which allows kiwi businesses to hire from overseas. The new team member is brought into the role as a long-term contractor while they await the border opening. The candidates stay in their home country and start as a contractor while they await their visas and borders reopening. Companies can secure talented permanent employees without the threat of poaching and begin to cement them into the culture of the organisation at a fair permanent salary

Candidate satisfaction

We focus on our candidates, place them in jobs they will love, and ensure they have the support they need to succeed. In four years, 40 Foot has only had to replace two candidates who left within the three-month replacement period, making the success rate of candidate satisfaction more than 99.3%. This high retention rate will become even more important as the effects of the great resignation are felt in New Zealand. 

Employee wellness

We know starting a new role can be stressful. 40 Foot provide an Employee Wellness Programme via Benestar for contractors as well as employees. We pay for three full-price sessions of the candidate’s choosing, whether that be a Counsellor, Psychologist or other qualified mental health professional. 

Impact on industry

Many clients have observed that the domain-level expertise in Technology has totally elevated 40 Foot beyond being a talent acquisition partner, to being core to their business strategy. This impacts the recruitment industry as a whole because it shows the possibilities when an agency can add real and tangible commercial value beyond just the basics of recruitment, by truly supporting the strategic goals of the clients it serves

What does winning the SARA award mean for 40 Foot in the future?

seek annual recruitment award winners

Winning the SARA award has positioned 40 Foot as an industry leader, we are now leading the way as the benchmark that other recruiters compare themselves to.

Winning this award is recognition not only for all of our hard work but for the way we do business. It means that our clients have the confidence that they are dealing with an award-winning business.

It also makes us even more attractive to talent, reinforcing that we are the recruiters that will find them the company that is ‘the one’.

The SARA award win shows how vital IT recruitment specialist companies are in today’s market. We use more innovative search techniques and really understand the motivations of candidates and assess their readiness for new opportunities. There is a place for industry specialist recruiters, a big “one-stop-shop” recruitment agency may not have the technical knowledge, or the innovation, to cover every role. 

What is next for 40 Foot?

We are really excited for the New Zealand border to reopen in line with our innovative, boutique offshore offering of local services. Along with our immigration consultant, we will help our clients understand the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Our clients will get a jump on the application process and land some incredible tech talent. 

We are working hard on sharing some of our knowledge and opinions in our blogs, and we continue to work with our existing clients, as well as meeting new companies who are hungry to fill tech positions.

Contact us today and be part of our award-winning 40 Foot family. 


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