Case Study – Rapid Response

COVID Response, APRIL 2020


  • As a result of the COVID-19 and New Zealand’s move to Alert Level 4 (lockdown), a government agency needed to very quickly employ & highly specialised team to respond to the COVID
  • Staffing volumes were unknown as it depended on number of positive tested cases for COVID19 in New Zealand. Initially, 250 people were needed to be physically based in central Wellington. Plus, should COVID19 cases escalate estimates for up to 1,000 people could be required to work remotely.



 Recruitment criteria: medically qualified and able to manage difficult calls.

  • Shift requirements (as cases increased) were advised daily for the following day:
  • 2 x 6-hour shifts daily.
  • 7 days a week (there is no rest with a virus!).
  • When virus cases increased, the criteria of experience for the employees evolved as did stringent criteria regarding suitability, e.g.
  • No-one in your bubble (home) can be working in an essential service.

Your bubble must be a clean bubble.

  • The national remote workforce was a ‘contingency plan based on potential increases COVID19 positive patients. Numbers were unknown; timeframes were unknown. Medical backgrounds were required and full home office connectivity.



 In partnership, Frog Recruitment & Capital Recruitment developed and activated a rapid recruitment model to enable:

  • High volume recruitment – managing hundreds of applications daily
  • Ultrafast turnaround and delivery underpinned by a robust, thorough process verifying people, including references
  • Daily provision of ‘ready to go people’ to fill shifts for the following day – fully system-set up.


A project team compromising one point of contact for Ministry of Health and two teams of consultants (x4 in Wellington, x3 in Auckland + administration) was assembled.


Attraction elements were created and shared by all involved. Attraction channels included:

  • Social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter.
  • Data base search: using x2 proprietary data bases and SEEK Integrated Talent Search.
  • Referrals, Job boards and networking.


To drive a seamless process for candidates, automation tools included:

  • On-line registration and on-line referencing, telephone interviewing
  • SMS broadcasting, communications system to keep people informed
  • Payroll portal and timesheet confirmation


In two weeks:

  • x70 people recruited for the Wellington location to cover 2 shifts per day, 7 days a week. High calibre people recruited = 0% issues.
  • x350 ‘ready to go’ remote workforce nationally. All connected, ready to start if required.

An additional x150 people on standby to be uploaded to the project.

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