Our team

We’re proud to boast the best of the best recruitment consultants the industry has to offer.

Our story

Managing Director and CEO Regan Higgins founded Franklin Smith to provide bespoke recruitment and employment solutions to both employers and candidates, and to bring great companies together with great people.

With offices in Auckland, Christchurch, Nelson, and Gold Coast our growing team of recruitment consultants are at the forefront of their specialist fields. Transparency, accountability, and reliability are at the core of all we do.

Leadership team

Founder and CEO

Operations Director

General Manager

General Manager

Our people

Recruitment Manager – IT

Consultant – Software and Web Development

Operations Manager

Consultant – Commercial Construction Specialist

Consultant - HVAC | Mechanical | Electrical Specialist

Consultant – Sub Trades Specialist

Consultant – Construction Contracts Specialist

Consultant - Construction Contracts Specialist

Consultant – Architecture & Design Specialist

Administrator

Regional Manager Civil/Trades Infrastructure

Administration Co-ordinator/Talent Resourcer

Business Development Manager

Health and Safety/Pastoral Care

Immigration Advisor

Consultant – IT Support and Infrastructure​

Business Development Manager

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Regan Higgins

Founder and CEO

Socials

My recruitment career commenced when I began working for a large multinational in Auckland in 2006. After a few years I took the plunge and tackled the challenge of establishing my own recruitment consultancy from the ground up.

I founded Franklin Smith in 2014 with the aim of becoming the benchmark of the recruitment industry – providing practical, solutions-based outcomes for both candidates and employers.

This business is committed to fashioning a truly global model sustainable through diversification and investment in key concepts and personnel. My desire to create a legacy and a truly global corporate footprint is a constantly evolving objective, and one that means no two days at work are ever really the same!

The cornerstone of my corporate ethos is that any organisation is nothing without successful interpersonal relationships, both internal and external. Whether you are client, candidate or supplier, I truly believe it’s all about the people.

Fundamentally, the recruitment industry is very simple – it’s about getting like-minded, high-calibre people together to produce great things.

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Matt Folkard

Operations Director

Auckland

I had an 18-year career building houses and managing sites before I decided to give recruitment a go almost 11 years ago. I joined Franklin Smith in 2016, and I recruit in the blue-collar trades and labour space, as well as looking after the operations at Franklin Smith. I love getting to know my candidates and clients, building strong relationships and friendships, and hoping to help people to improve their lives and businesses.

Outside of work, I have three daughters that certainly keep my wife and I busy! On the rare occasion when I do get some spare time, I enjoy playing golf, hanging out with friends, and working in the garden. I also coach my daughter’s netball and cricket teams, and as a family we enjoy hiking and going on bike rides in the summer.

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Patrick Kirkland

General Manager

Auckland

I was born in the deep south with my recruitment journey starting in Hong Kong back in 2013.  After joining the Franklin Smith Christchurch trades team in 2018 I helped grow our migrant labour supply model and trades recruitment into the offerings that we have today. I now live in Auckland with my beautiful family. Outside of work I love sports, am a tragic supporter of the Warriors and Southland Stags, enjoy travelling, and have a keen interest in horse racing.

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Tom Kilby

General Manager

Auckland

I originally arrived in New Zealand from the UK back in 2010 and made the leap into recruitment in 2015 before joining Franklin Smith in 2016. My spare time is largely occupied by my beautiful daughter Charlee whilst still trying to find time to travel, with a bit of fishing, football, and snooker thrown in for good measure. There’s nothing more rewarding than leading a high-performing team of recruiters and seeing the positive impact working for Franklin Smith has on their lives and, of course, celebrating our success.

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Adam Witherick

Recruitment Manager – IT

Auckland

I’m a Yorkshire native who embarked on a life-changing adventure in January 2020, swapping the rolling hills of North Yorkshire for the stunning landscapes of New Zealand. Right off the plane I embraced the Kiwi lifestyle – you’ll often find me wakeboarding, snowboarding, or casting my line to get the snapper. When I’m not chasing adventure, I’m hitting the gym to make space for the BBQ and craft beers. Sadly, no pets in my life at present but I think a doggo is on the horizon! At Franklin Smith I lead the IT department and specialise in recruiting top talent for Digital Transformation, focusing on roles like Business Analysts and Project Managers. What sets me apart as a recruiter is my unwavering passion for the tech industry, bolstered by strong communication skills and a love of sales.

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Blake Loveridge

Consultant – Software and Web Development

Auckland

Originally from Palmerston North, I started out my professional career in Sydney, Australia in Marketing. Along the way I’ve had a small business of my own and came from a specialist Digital Recruitment agency prior to joining Franklin Smith. I’m part of the IT recruitment team here looking after Software and Web development roles. I thrive on getting to know businesses and their needs, and connecting talent that can help them achieve their goals. Outside of work I enjoy the simple formula of a good beach, food, and music.

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Bronwyn Wilson

Operations Manager

Auckland

Originally from Canada, my journey led me to London for a few years and then on to Whistler BC, where I enjoyed snowboarding for several seasons. In late 2018, I moved to New Zealand and haven’t looked back!

For the past five years I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the Franklin Smith team, most recently as the Operations Manager. I take pride in working behind the scenes, ensuring that our business operates like a well-oiled machine. Outside of the office, I’m either at the beach, have my nose in a book, or planning my next travel adventure!

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Chelsea McKellar

Consultant – Commercial Construction Specialist

Christchurch

The majority of my earlier career was spent studying psychology of criminal conduct and providing therapy to some of our most vulnerable people. I started with Franklin Smith in October 2021. I enjoy helping people which is a huge part of recruitment – connecting and helping others to find what they’re looking for within their careers. I grew up in Dunedin and have a love for the ocean and being in the water – I’ve played almost every water sport you can think of.

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Dale Ellis-Taylor

Consultant - HVAC | Mechanical | Electrical Specialist

Auckland

Originally from Manchester, I have been calling Auckland home for approximately five years. After working on the tools for Franklin Smith as a Duct Fitter I joined the office in 2022 upon obtaining New Zealand residency. I had always felt I would be suited to recruitment, and I thrive in this environment, working for an exceptional company which allows me to grow and bring my own characteristics to the role. I am a huge football fan and I enjoy travelling, watching sports, and meeting new people.

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Daley Cullinane

Consultant – Sub Trades Specialist

Auckland

With almost 10 years’ experience in the trades, I specialise in recruiting white-collar professionals for hard to fill roles in the sub-trades space. I left school nice and early to get my first role constructing sports fields, golf courses and racetracks. Since then I have had stints as a carpenter, drainlayer and native tree planter. I began my recruitment journey mid-2022 in the blue collar space before moving to this desk mid-2023. Always looking to connect with good candidates and open to make room for decent clients. I enjoy finding my clients the right fit.

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Darron Reekers

Consultant – Construction Contracts Specialist

Christchurch

I was born and bred in Christchurch. Prior to recruitment I have been a professional cricketer in the Netherlands, a debt collector/repo man and RSM (rebuild solutions manager) for Hawkins after the earthquakes, as well as running my own business. I enjoy getting to know my candidates, finding out what motivates them and then assisting them to land their ideal role. After care is always a pleasure, making sure the match up goes as smoothly as possible to ensure candidates enjoy their new position. I enjoy the challenge and success of matching people with their perfect roles and in reverse finding the perfect candidate for the client. I am married to Rachelle, and have a daughter called Grace. I live on 1.7 hectares with a dog, a cat and two Kuni Kuni pigs. I still play indoor and outdoor cricket but love all sports.

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Team - Ezra McDonald

Consultant - Construction Contracts Specialist

Auckland

Born and bred in Tāmaki Makaurau, I’ve been with Franklin Smith since 2022. Before Franklin Smith, I managed a door-to-door company, handling recruitment across three regions. When I’m not working, I’m either fishing, DJing in the city or exploring New Zealand. As a recruiter, my youth and energy set me apart. I’m passionate about creating top-notch teams to pair them with under resourced projects. What excites me most about my job is the fast paced, ever-changing nature of contract recruitment in the construction industry. It keeps me motivated and ready for new challenges.

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Farrel Gordon

Consultant – Architecture & Design Specialist

Auckland

Half-kiwi, half South Africa… half-man, half-amazing. Eclectic with my interests, I’m a competitive chilli eater and a wannabe athlete. A bit quirky, some might say. An excitable and passionate bookworm that loves a good yarn and knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to negotiation. Whether it’s getting a designer together with the right practice, or getting my mate Dave and his now wife Charlise together, I make it happen. (Don’t believe Dave, I did the heavy lifting on that one.) While squirreling away part-time at Uni I worked on some beautiful properties as a hammer-hand, where my love of architecture first blossomed. After graduating I worked in corporate sales until I fell into recruitment after Covid-19, somehow landed the Architecture gig and have never looked back!

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Leila de Santiago

Resourcer

Auckland

With a double dose of business and law plus a Master’s, I’m all about connecting talents with opportunities. Before Franklin Smith, I was in the recruitment game, fine-tuning my skills.

Beyond work, catch me exploring the world, diving into languages, and soaking up global vibes. What makes me stand out? I thrive on meeting new faces daily and helping folks land their dream gigs. The FS crew keeps me buzzing with learning every day.
Ready to dive into the recruitment journey with me at Franklin Smith? Let’s chat and explore the endless possibilities together!

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Moana Macfarlane

Administrator

Auckland

I am originally from Kerikeri but spent the last 10 years in Timaru before moving to Auckland in 2022. I have been at Franklin Smith since August 2023. Prior to this I was an early childhood teacher and worked for the Timaru District Council. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, play women’s 10s rugby, watching rugby, and attend as many rugby games as I can. I have two dogs, both chocolate Labradors; their names are Floyd and Ruger. My bubbly personality makes me stand out in admin, especially when talking to our clients. My favourite thing about my role is that I can meet new people every day.

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Murray Roeske

Regional Manager Civil/Trades infrastructure

Nelson

I have a background in civil infrastructure, civil recovery, and trades, which has allowed me to work as the Regional Manager for Civil / Trades Infrastructure for Franklin Smith. I have been with Franklin Smith since 2019, and I love recruitment because it’s all about the people! I relish being able to be a part of someone’s personal and professional development and the impact this has on their entire lives. Outside of work I have a strong interest in sport, in particular rugby. I am a huge outdoors fanatic and love road tripping and love taking on new challenges.

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Nikki Cairns

Administration Co-ordinator/Talent Resourcer

Christchurch

Born and bred in Christchurch, I have been working with the Christchurch team since 2022 after coming from an Engineering Consultancy background. This is my first recruitment role, and I am now primarily helping Filipino workers relocate to New Zealand and start up their new lives here, while also assisting in the general day to day administration duties. I’m an avid traveller and love experiencing new countries and cultures and try to visit somewhere new each year. I have a beautiful little girl and she makes life so enjoyable, if not a bit chaotic!

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Posetone Manu

Business Development Manager

Christchurch

I’m a locally born and bred Cantabrian with a love for all sports with an oval ball – Rugby League, Union, Touch and NFL.

I started my professional working career as a Physical Education teacher in the UK before returning to Christchurch after the earthquakes. The earthquake rebuild created many opportunities in the construction industry and I saw recruitment as a chance to help out with the rebuild and contribute to my home town.

I started in 2013 in recruitment in the Carpentry trades as Temp and Perm consultant. Over the years I worked my way up from a Consultant to Business Manager with a primary focus on the Migrants trade model. At Franklin Smith my focus is on recruiting and delivering migrant Filipino tradesman across the South Island, as well as overseeing the recruitment, candidate management and client delivery for the Christchurch branch. With over 10 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, I have a very good understanding on how to deliver desirable results to both the candidates and clients. My passion is finding good people good jobs within a good company.

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Reg Simona

Health and Safety/Pastoral Care

Auckland

Previously having worked for the NZ Police for seven years and looking for that something different, I sure found that here at Franklin Smith. With little to no idea what recruitment entailed I am grateful that the company took a chance on me to be their guy, looking after the Pastoral Care of our migrant workers from the Philippines and handling some of the Health & Safety for the company.

Like many superheroes I too lead a double life when I am not at work. I love spending quality time with family and friends having plenty of laughs and good times, enjoying all kinds of yummy food (I mean, look at me!), and watching various sports but passionate about the oval ball kind. Depending on who you ask, rumour has it I may have a rubber arm.

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Steven Xu

Immigration Advisor

Auckland

I migrated to New Zealand in 2001, so with personal experience of the immigration process I believe this helps me understand how challenging and frustrating it can be. I have been in the immigration industry for 15 years, which has helped me develop a profound understanding of immigration laws and policies in New Zealand. I have learnt the intricacies, challenges, and rewards associated with immigration, ensuring that you receive accurate advice tailored to you and your family. In my spare time, I enjoy recharging myself by visiting beaches, playing PC/video games, having backyard BBQs and drinks with family and friends, or enjoying a movie night.

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Tom Johnson

Consultant – IT Support and Infrastructure

Auckland

I was born in the vibrant city of Auckland but spent most of my childhood soaking up the sun in Kerikeri. Outside of work, I’m an avid snowboarder. From the powdery slopes of Japan to the picturesque mountains of the United States, I’ve carved my way through some of the world’s best terrains. While I’m a passionate adventurer, I also wear my support for the Warriors on my sleeve – even though it might test my patience sometimes! I embarked on my journey with Franklin Smith in 2022 and specialise as a technical infrastructure recruiter with a particular fascination for the ever-evolving cloud space. What truly energises me about my role is the opportunity to delve into the intricate technical aspects, ensuring I’m always updated on the most pivotal technologies in the market. Up the Wahs!

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Chris Mason

Business Development Manager

Christchurch

I have been with Franklin Smith since 2022. I have a background in sales within the construction industry, which has set me up perfectly with many client relationships already formed, and a strong understanding of what clients are looking for in their supply chains. I enjoy getting to know my candidates and find it highly rewarding when I find them a role that works for them. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, keeping two young competitive boys entertained and am a huge lover of the outdoors, including hunting and fishing.