Recruiters… low will you go?

24 Jul

how lowI tend not to get too bothered about most of those annoying things that are sent to challenge us recruiters. People turn down jobs. Clients make crazy decisions. Stuff happens. It is not that I don’t care…I just accept that there are some things that are out of my control and there is no point wasting emotion on them. I save that for shouting at the TV when my team is playing…because that definitely helps!

However, when a client tries to negotiate my fee at the end of a process and then tells me “I am standing in the way of him being able to offer my candidate a job because of my fee”…I get a little hot under the collar.

Let me get this right Mr Client. We agreed fees at the very start. You signed a document saying so. You happily met my candidates and never once mentioned the fee again. A few weeks later you now want to offer one of them..…but also want to negotiate / re-negotiate / take the piss. And you have the brass to tell me that if I can’t do something about the fee then it will be me standing in the way of this guy getting a job!

Where is his justification in doing this? Well, there isn’t any. But that is not his point. Mr Client thinks that he has me over a barrel. Surely I will see that some sort of fee is better than no fee. Add a little emotional blackmail on top of that and I will have no choice but to crumble and agree.

Most recruiters out there would have experienced something similar. And it raises a vital question for every recruitment business….especially at the moment.

At what point are you prepared to walk away and just say no?

When you have already done the work, it is tempting to rollover and just accept a reduced fee…something is better than nothing, right? Take the money and run. Even if you are dealing with a more honourable client who understands that negotiations happen at the start, dropping a percent here or there to get the gig is tempting. When your competitors are dropping their pants at any opportunity just to work with a client, you might feel you need to do the same to keep in the game. In a competitive market place these things might be tempting…but then so is that last drink on a big night out….and that rarely ends up well.

It makes little long-term commercial sense to keep lowering your fees. In my experience, once you start doing this then it is a slippery slope. You open yourself up to more of it in the future and it is hard to build a credible reputation. But the main reason I say no is not a commercial one. I say no because some things are just not worth it. If you are the sort of turkey that has the brass to say I am standing in the way of a guy getting a job because you won’t pay the agreed fee, then you don’t deserve my hard work or the awesome candidate I found you. And I don’t want to go home at night and have to scrub myself with pumice stone to feel clean again.

To complete the story, I called the candidate, explained that my client wanted to offer him the role but didn’t think he was really worth the $867.00 that he was trying to knock off the fee. Suitably unimpressed, he called the client to pull out of the process. “If you don’t think I am worth $867.00 then you are not the right employer for me”. That was nice!

A lot of people who use recruitment agencies see it as a buyers market at the moment. DIY solutions like LinkedIn, internal recruitment teams and other pressures mean that clients potentially have more power at the negotiating table than ever before. How much depends on how much you let them have.

So, do you have a line in the sand that you just simply refuse to cross?

I know these lot do……check out Aust Corp Executive who are currently looking for experienced recruiters in Sydney and Perth. If you would like to showcase your agency in our Agency in Focus section, please get in touch.


Luke Collard

My 3 Recruitment Wishes…

17 Jul

Before I start today I want to shamelessly promote 2 events.

Firstly, in conjunction with the RCSA, I am presenting a blog writing workshop in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane & Perth… do yourself a favour…

Secondly, join me at the SoSu in Melbourne in August… you won’t be disappointed.

Now… on to my story…

Imagine… if you will… me on a holiday in sunny Marrakesh. I’m strolling through a crowded street bazaar where you can buy just about anything… juvenile spider monkeys… rare (and spicy) spices… a VHS copy of Caddyshack…

genie1When suddenly a toothless man with sunken eyes, wearing a traditional Moroccan djellaba and a Collingwood scarf appears in front of me. He is gesticulating wildly… hopping from one foot to the other and waving what appears to be an ancient lamp in front of me…

‘Two Shekels… Two Shekels!’ he screams.

I know I am supposed to barter… I even have my platinum Bartercard™ on me… but I’m too scared. I place two shiny shekels in his weathered hand. He tosses the lamp in the air… it spins… once… twice… thrice. The man disappears just as I reach out to catch my overpriced new purchase. I drop it and it crashes to the ground. Everyone in the market stops what they are doing and stares… first at me… then the fallen lamp…

‘Whoopsy daisy.’ I say… almost apologetically.

I bend slowly to pick it up. It feels like the entire market leans in with me as I reach for the lamp. There is an audible sigh as I gather my quarry… I pop it in my backpack and instantly the market returns to normal.

‘Funny folk.’ I think as I stroll down a deserted alleyway that leads back to my hostel.

Good story huh? Well it doesn’t end there my friends…

Hours later, after enjoying a traditional meal of Mrouzia and flat bread I reach in to my backpack to contemplate my new lamp.

Turning it over in my hands I notice it has become slightly scuffed and dented from the dropped catch.

‘Shit!’ I curse out loud. ‘I should have haggled him down to one shekel!’

genie2I use the sleeve of my shirt to rub the lamp… once… twice… thrice. Then ‘POOF!’ There is a puff of smoke and a huge blue genie (looking very disinterested… and slightly miffed), appeared in front of me. In fright I drop the lamp. It hits the floor and rolls under the bed. The genie watches the lamp disappear… rubs his head… looks at me and says…

‘Figures… so you’re the butterfingers who dropped the lamp and gave me a mild concussion…’ I stared at him… disbelievingly… and a little bit embarrassed.

‘Anyway,’ he continued. ‘You are now my master… yada yada yada… three wishes… blah blah blah.’

I stood… rooted to the spot. My jaw almost hitting the rancid, hostel floor.

‘Well…’ he prompted. ‘The 3 wishes? I’m running late for the Casablanca Camel races. I have a sure thing in the second…’ He looked down at his fob watch and tapped it a couple of times.

I still couldn’t say anything.

‘Ok…’ he said. ‘I can see you’re struggling with this. Let me help you out a little bit… what do you do for a living?’

‘Ummm… I’m a recruiter.’ I replied.

‘Well how about using the wishes to make your job a little better?’

I continued to stare blankly… and he sighed loudly.

‘C’mon Einstein.’ He said. ‘If I gave you 3 recruitment wishes what would they be?’

‘Ohhhh.’ I said. ‘I see where you’re going here…’

He nodded for me to continue.

‘Well… here goes… number 1… I wish all candidates would stop lying to their recruiters and hiring managers.’

He crossed his arms, nodded his head and ‘POOF!… Done.’ He said

‘Great… I also wish that all clients would stop lying to candidates and recruiters…’

‘Your wish is my command… POOF!’

‘Ok… ok… ok.’ I said. I was really getting the hang of it now. ‘ For my final wish… I wish all recruiters would stop lying to their candidates & clients!’

‘POOF! Done.’ The genie rushed. ‘Listen thanks for making your wishes etc. but I really need to get to the races…’

‘Sure… on your way then.’ I acquiesced.

He crossed his arms and was about to blink himself away… then he looked me up and down… ‘You’re really pretty new to this aren’t you?’ he said.

‘What do you mean?’ I asked.

‘Well… you really wasted 2 very valuable wishes.’ I looked at him quizzically. ‘ I mean… why didn’t you just say that you wish nobody lied in recruitment?’

And with that… ‘POOF!’ he disappeared.

genie3But seriously… wouldn’t recruitment be soooo much better without all of the lies?

Without candidates saying… this is the only role I’m looking at… my grand mother died… I’m currently on $100k… I was in a car accident… etc.

Or clients saying… sure, I agree to your terms of business… we have a super low staff turnover rate… your candidate is still in the mix, but I just need a few days before we decide on the next step… we were already connected to your candidate via our network.

Or recruiters saying. We’ll keep your details on file and contact you when something suitable comes up… the hiring manager hasn’t got back to me yet… your expected salary is in the ball park… I have a client who has asked me to reach out to you.

Anyway, point is… nothing will change until we take the bull by the horns and do something ourselves… so recruiters… and I mean all of youeven the cowboys… raise your right hand and repeat after me…

‘I will not lie.’

There… feels better already… doesn’t it?

Craig Watson

Come on recruiters – get around each other.

10 Jul

get aroundA few weeks a story broke and hit the local recruitment sector like a tsunami. The story soon escalated into a full-blown tabloid-esque scandal, also receiving a fair amount of mainstream media airtime .  I refer of course, to Myer-gate… but, before you tune out of yet another Myer blog, this isn’t going to be all about what went wrong, who is to blame and how awful and ashamed everyone involved should be.

As a recruiter, the story interested me. But as anyone who has worked in recruitment for long enough knows, it’s not that uncommon a story…just a little bit more scandalous because of who was involved. It was not the scandal itself that I was interested in, more the recruitment industry’s reaction to it…

We seem to love a scandal in recruitment. We cannot wait for the next misfortune or disaster to fall at some recruiters door so we can circle and give their reputation a public flogging. When someone posts something a little salacious about something that has happened, the cry of “Name and Shame!” goes up all over town. We are seemingly desperate to judge and make life more miserable for those that have ‘done wrong‘.

The irony of the Myer story is that, as far as I can tell (although accurate research is never the strong focus of this blog) the recruiter who was the focus for a lot of the blame seemed to do little really that wrong. As I understand it they floated a candidate into a role and got lucky. As long as they didn’t purposefully mislead Myer then I wouldn’t knock them for that. Good on them for giving it a go. Had they been deliberately cheating Myer then they deserved to be named, shamed, and publicly flogged like any cowboy. But at worse it appears they were simply being opportunistic….hardly Clint Eastwood riding into the sunset.

I’m not suggesting we all recruiters get together for some big love in. Recruitment is a competitive industry and along with that comes some boundaries, challenges and realistic behaviours with competitors. But are we really that competitive that we take pleasure in seeing other recruiter’s misfortunes? I am yet to find the perfect recruiter who never ever made a mistake or stuffed something up… so maybe those in glasshouses should stop throwing stones.

Come on recruiters… it’s tough enough out there with half the world seemingly queuing up to knock shreds of us… we don’t need to do it to each other too!

Luke Collard

Sack a Client today… It’s liberating!

3 Jul

You’re probably going to have to run this one by the boss first, but work with me here.

We’ve all got at least one. An annoying, self-pompous, time wasting, self-important, frustrating, arrogant, son of a b… (breathe Craig), client who makes your life hell.

Changing the brief mid process… impossible to get hold of when you need them… threatening to hold off on an offer unless you move on fees… low-balling the candidate… a high attrition rate… blaming you when a candidate doesn’t accept because of all of the above.

Why do we put ourselves through it?

fired1I’ll tell you why… The recruitment industry has been through a couple of bloody tough years! Record business failures, declining revenue, redundancies and restructures… but I don’t need to tell you that.

Unfortunately, the problem with this is that we have become afraid. Too scared to stand up to bullying clients… well stuff them I say! It’s time to break the shackles. Time to make your voice heard, and if the behaviour continues… it’s time to sack them!

I recognise that you all recruit across different industries, in different niches and with an extremely wide and diverse group of clients… the story I’m about to tell you doesn’t completely reflect your own client-base, but I recruit for the recruitment industry… so, if anything my clients should know better!

Here is my story. That was supposed to be a dramatic kind of Law & Order introduction… oh yeh… click the Law & Order sound effect below for the full effect… oh yeh… don’t forget to have your volume up when you do it, otherwise it won’t be worth it… 

A couple of years ago we were asked to pitch for a panel tender for a large (very large) global recruitment firm. The process was exhaustive and we were appointed with one other provider… pretty sweet hey? You would think so, but the trouble was, the process whereby roles were to be released to us weekly by HR never happened. The panel leaked immediately and internally hiring managers refused to work within its rules.

We struggled on…

We forged a very close relationship with the CEO and did some nice work… but then… after 2 restructures, the CEO leaving, claims of bullying, a very high attrition rate (even for our industry) and more leaks in the panel than the Iraqi Navy we received an email from a member of the internal recruitment team. Basically, we were told that to continue working with them we would need to reduce our fees on lower end roles by 25% and senior roles by 50%. We were also informed that any ‘fall offs’ would need to be refunded, as opposed to our current agreement which had the money held in credit.

We jumped up and down a bit internally… PG version… and then we calmly communicated the following 2 questions.

  1. How would we be given access to open opportunities?
  2. How many rec2recs were they committing to working with?

We didn’t receive a response… at all.

fired2At our weekly meeting we discussed the client at length. We discussed how the internal recruitment team and hiring managers have no idea what the other is doing… how I have spent the last 6 months attempting to get a meeting with the new CEO and he has point blank ignored me… how they have walked away from low margin/high volume business themselves over the past year, but are expecting us to work on low margin/low volume business with them… how their attrition rate is close to 50%… how their fees in their professional business are 25% – 58% higher than what they want us to work at with them… and the do not provide refunds for their clients…

What it boils down to is that this client doesn’t value the service we provide for them, or doesn’t value the professionals we are sourcing to join their company… or worse… both.

Makes it an easy decision in the end – doesn’t it?

We are always banging on about working smarter… not harder. So my advice is work smarter. Have some tough discussions with bad clients… and… if behaviour doesn’t change… sack them*

*But don’t forget to clear it with the boss first!

Craig Watson

A typical day in recruitment…..and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle !

26 Jun

not-what-you-thinkTaking five minutes out of a busy day yesterday, I stumbled across this YouTube clip from Robert Half. It was an employee-branding piece and depicted a typical day in the life of two of their consultants.

If you can’t be bothered sitting through the three minutes and fifty two seconds, the general gist is two good looking recruiters having the time of their lives. Their day starts with a sprightly jog along Bondi beach before heading into the office and the morning meeting, where we see them adopting serious looking business type faces before a moment of great hilarity and back slapping. Into the day proper …..cue lots of sharp looking types standing up speaking into headphones and arm gesturing enthusiastically as they ‘make deals’ (think Wolf of Walstreet minus the naked brass band). It all finishes with our two protagonists enjoying a glass of wine and beer and looking forward to more of the same tomorrow. A happier two people I have rarely seen !!!

It was what you would probably expect from a video designed to attract people into recruitment and into their business….and good on Robert Half for doing something like this. OK, I might think the content is a little cheesy but as the industry moves more and more to looking outside of the industry for new talent, this types of strategy makes sense.

But I compared the typical day of a Robert Half recruiter with my day…

Awoken at 6.30am by a client who wanted to re-schedule a day of interviews I had lined up. I am a bit hungover from celebrating a deal I made yesterday so could do without this. So before I have had a shower and coffee, I am on the phone trying to re-organise four people’s diaries.

I get into the office and the first email is the candidate I had just placed (or so I thought!). He tells me his present company have counter-offered him and he is thinking about staying. So then I am into fire fighting mode and back and forth with client and candidate thinking about how I can resurrect this deal. Not how I was planning to spend my morning.

I have to put that on hold when my interview arrives. Really keen to meet this chap as his background looks great and I have a number of clients that would take him in a heartbeat. Ten minutes later I have changed my mind. How disappointing!

Fast forward to lunch which is a rather disappointing cheese sandwich at my desk, as I catch up on what I was planning to do today.

I thankfully get a good run in the afternoon. It seems like I have managed to talk my candidate down from the counter offer cliff and he is now back on board. And I pick up a great role with a new client. Plus, the feedback from the client who ‘rudely’ woke me up this morning is really positive too. Things are looking up. “But I want to talk about your fee Luke”. Maybe not !

OK, I chose a particularly challenging day ! But I  bet that my day is probably more typical of most recruiter’s day than our friends at Robert Half. It’s champagne and razor blades, highs and lows, brilliant and rewarding but also frustrating, laughter and tears.

It is great that the recruitment industry is looking outside for new talent and selling the positives about the industry. But we also need to be careful that the message we are putting out there is realistic and not a sugar coated version of an industry that, quite frankly, can be bloody tough and not for everyone. The world doesn’t need any more jaded ex-recruiters who quickly realised that recruitment was far away from the sunshine lollipops and rainbows dream they were sold.

Talking of agencies showcasing themselves…..checkout our latest Agency in Focus which is Bluefin Resources 

Luke Collard

Women are better recruiters than men… you were right Mr Savage…

19 Jun

Well what do you know? Back in December 2011 Greg Savage penned a blog post announcing that women were better recruiters than men. He waxed lyrical about how women are better listeners… more resilient… better billers…

I was up in arms… I mean how dare he sell out like that? I was a guy (still am…), he was a guy (still is…). And, yet here was an icon of the recruitment game, firmly pitching his tent in the other camp.
sexism1Don’t get me wrong, I am all for equality… I believe in equal pay for both sexes (except in Grand Slam Tennis… if you want to know why just ask me…), I believe there should be no barrier career-wise to either sex, (135 words in and I mention sex for the first time in a blog about sex… well not about sex per see, but sexes…). And I definitely believe that discrimination by gender should not be tolerated in any way. It sucks.

To place one sex above the other (no visual intended), doesn’t sit well with me, and I thought that’s what Greg was doing in his post. It was observational, rather than statistical. I felt it was just another example of the sexual revolution gone crazy… like female only gyms, mothers’ clubs and the like. So, in my outrage I left a pointed comment lambasting his outrageous observations. I said words to the effect of… well actually not to the effect of… this is my exact comment reprinted below.

You must have been hard up for a topic this week – generally your posts are insightful, not today. This is utter tosh! I’m pretty sure if you went to any specialist in the Engineering or IT field their top billers would paint a different picture, just as if you focused on Office Support it would skew the other way. Be very careful with your ‘facts’ and I’d be very interested to know what the gender split in your business is overall???’

Which brings me, (in a kinda long-winded fashion) to my point today. He was actually right. So firstly… sorry Greg. I spent the better part of three years trying to disprove your theory, but the stats back up your observations…

We are just winding up our annual recruitment consultant census. It is the second year we have conducted it. Last year we had just over 1100 responses… and this year we have had a little over 800. But it is still open until the end of June, so if you haven’t already, please complete by clicking here
sexism2The results, benchmarks & trends to date have been interesting to say the least, but in terms of gender on gender results let me say that the girls have it in all of the key categories…

Longevity – a higher % of females have been in the recruitment industry for more than 3 years. (by 9.36%)

Tenure – a higher % of females have been with their current employer for more than 2 years. (by 2%)

Billings – on average more males bill less than $25k per month than females. (by 14.67%)

Salary – more females are paid a base salary of $60k (or less) than males. (by 7.99%)

There you have it. If you were a recruitment business owner or manager looking to grow your team what would you do?

Simple statistics tell me that guys… you need to lift your game… and girls… congratulations… well played!

We will be releasing some general statistics from our consultant survey, including trends based on last years’ results during July. If you are interested in a set of results specific to your sector/business let me know.

Oh… and a final unapologetic call to arms for recruiters to please complete the census, by clicking the link above… or here.

And… finally… finally, I need to make a stand for the weaker sex here and finish with something we can all enjoy…

‘How can you tell when a woman is going to say something intelligent?

She starts the conversation with… “A man once told me…”

Sorry… that was the cleanest one I could find…

Craig Watson

The Recruitment World Cup 2014

12 Jun

world cupUnless you have been living under a rock recently, even the most passionate non sporty person will have realised that the biggest sporting tournament in the world kicks off tomorrow….. nope, not the 44th Annual Kenya ProAm Golf Challenge …..the Wold Cup. Even those that normally have no interest at all in the beautiful game (including die hard one eyed AFL and rugby fans), or those who don’t know their Lionel Messi from their Lionel Ritchie, will probably find themselves watching grown men kick a ball around at some point over the next month or so. Even my Mum has been known to enjoy the drama of a good penalty shoot out.

In our sports mad office, the World Cup has been a hot topic for a while as we dissect and analyse the teams and predict who is going to do what. In a vain attempt to try and make it ‘work related’, we played a little game this morning called “World Cup Recruitment Agencies”… what would it mean if each country were a recruitment agency:

Brazil – all about playing the beautiful game and looking beautiful whilst doing it, the Brazil agency is all about the show. It’s sales over service, and turnover and over profit. Big, bright and colourful… sometimes they even do well.

England – perennial underachievers, The English agency always promise a lot but rarely delivers. They constantly forecast results they never get close to achieving, and are so bogged down in red tape, reviews and layers of management, they will never change, however much they might want to.

Spain – what everyone aspires to be, the Spanish agency has strengths right across their business and is admired by everyone.

Australia – the underdog of the market, the Australia agency is a small boutique battling with the big boys that no one takes seriously.

Uruguay – very aggressive, the Uruguay agency doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about them, will happily play outside the rules and have been known to bite the hand that feeds it.

Switzerland – champion team, as opposed to a team of champions, the Switzerland agency plods along doing well without any big billers or big budgets.

Germany – well organised, the Germany agency is a well oiled machine that keeps trucking along regardless of who is working there. It is always hanging around, making a nuisance of itself, much to the annoyance of anyone that isn’t Germany

Belgium – normally not even on the radar for most people, the Belgium agency is currently boasting a golden generation, benefitting from training and developing their own over a number of years. and now able to mix it with the big boys

Argentina – the Argentina agency is built around one big biller who will make everyone else around them look good.

Cameroon – lots of energy, try very hard but with little strategy or direction, everyone wants the Cameroon agency to do well but you know that at some point they will score a few own goals.

Italy – often thinking that they are better than they are, the Italian agency has a sense of self worth that is often not justified. They have an issue with absenteeism as their staff commonly succumb to illness over the slightest thing. Boy band looks and a slick wardrobe will often be enough to be employed here

Columbia – drug problems?

Here at WatsonCollard, we decided we are Korea… splintered off from an existing country, trying to remain at the cutting edge of technology, most people know us but don’t expect too much !!!

What about you… which country is your recruitment agency and why?

Luke Collard

Do you believe in recruitment? Really believe in recruitment? I do…

5 Jun

I consider myself a man of ok intelligence… I reckon I sit somewhere on the scale of genius between Dr Stephen Hawking & Lloyd Christmas… depending on topic and whether or not alcohol is involved… If we were talking about… ummm… I don’t know… say… Melbourne Cup Winners since 1861 I go ok…

believe11861 – Archer

1890 – Carbine

1968 – Rain Lover… etc. See… pretty good hey?

Transcendental meditation, on the other hand… ummm… not so knowledgeable.

But you don’t have to be a rocket doctor to understand that to be successful in any sales based industry (and a big sorry to those who believe that recruitment isn’t primarily a sales based industry… it is… you’re wrong…), you must… above all else… believe in the value of the service you provide.

Ask yourself a simple question… You are a recruiter right? (That’s not the simple question… yes, it is a simple question, but not the simple question to which I was referring…).

OK… so you’re a recruiter… you know the standard terms of business of your company. Here comes the simple question… Do you believe in the value of the service you are offering?

The reason I ask is this… As some of you may know my core business is rec2rec. We believe that most in the rec2rec space aren’t providing real value… so we have invested a great deal of time tackling that issue.

Firstly, we created a differentiator. A different sourcing channel based on social media recruitment communities and this crazy blog. Secondly, we ever so slightly reduced our fee. Not because we don’t believe in our service… because there has been a market correction and we were over-priced… simple.

Finally, we introduced a solution where we only charge our clients 75% of the fee. Pretty cool hey? Then… following the guarantee period, and if our candidate hits expectations we invoice the remaining 25%. It’s like a bonus for keeping up our end of the deal…

Anyway… the way we see it… we are sharing the risk, allowing our clients to better manage their cash flow while their new hire comes up to speed and really attempting to partner with our clients… the little diagram below probably explains it a little better…

Terms of Business (1)So, we promoted this solution via Linked In & Twitter. It was accepted pretty well by most… But we did receive a pretty strange response from a Senior Manager within the Recruitment Industry… I’m paraphrasing here…


‘nice marketing, this is offering discount, more value would be paying a fee upon successful completion of probation where the 3 parties agree specific measurables? If the ” hire” out performed measurable the fee could be made higher?…’


‘Hmmm…’ I thought. ‘Is this guy suggesting that we place people into his business… and then invoice nothing… nothing at all until probation is completed… 6 months in this case?’

I must admit at this stage I was a little miffed, but I shrugged it off… surely I misunderstood?

Not too much later… a colleague of the Senior Manager within the Recruitment Industry who posted the above comment decided to add his 2c worth…


‘If the candidate pays his/her way after 6 months, happy to pay the fee, If not they can have the candidate back free of charge. As (name deleted) says happy to share the risk, a lot of crap out there.’


So, there we have it. Not one, but two senior recruiting professionals – both from the same company – suggesting that my business should provide staff to them… free of charge for a period of six months… Then… and only then… if my candidate is successful I am rewarded by being allowed to send an invoice.

I did ask them if that is how they transact with their clients, but surprise surprise the answer was no…

Do you see what I am getting at here? The simple fact is that if recruiters can’t see the value in the service we are providing, then they really can’t believe in their own service… can they?

Maybe I’m having a Lloyd Christmas moment, I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but if you are a recruitment business owner, who can’t see the value a good rec2rec holds for you as a business in growth mode… then I would suggest you don’t believe in recruitment at all… Thoughts?

PS. Any recruiters out there please take 5 minutes to complete our Recruitment Consultant Census. It helps us track trends & bench marks within the industry…

Craig Watson

Your boss might not like you reading this…..

29 May

left behindKym Quick, the MD of listed recruitment company Clarius announced her resignation a few weeks ago. Her resignation was possibly not a massive surprise, but it was the reasons she gave in her announcement, which grabbed my attention.

“The world is changing and our industry is changing with it so it’s a positive thing for the business in terms of having the opportunity to re-evaluate and hopefully look at the future and where we sit”

For the last 12 months, possibly longer, Clarius’ performance has, by their own admission, not been fantastic. A business that was once one of the darlings of the industry in Australia, has seemingly lost its way somewhere along the line, as Kym pretty much said in her resignation.

Clarius has been a long-standing client of ours and, whilst I have never met Kym myself, my colleagues know her well and hold her in vey high regard. Her track record is certainly very impressive and she has achieved more than most ever will. In certain areas, Clarius is well in front of the industry, specifically their growth into Asia and now looking at the power of social media. But, by her own admission, she recognises that the industry is continuing to change dramatically, and it is testament to her that she feels Clarius would be better served with someone else at the helm.

Kym’s resignation message raises some very important question that everyone who is serious about a career in recruitment should be asking, now more than ever. Questions like “Is the person heading up this company understand recruitment today and is moving with the times?”……“Is the culture here one that is genuinely open to change and doing things differently?”……. “What are we doing differently than we did 12 months ago”.

Obviously there is a lot to consider when choosing who you work with. But surely the most important thing is that they are going to help you be successful….and that means moving with the times. So if you can’t answer those questions positively then you should be asking yourself one more……“Where is this company going to be in 2 years and where does that leave me?”


Congratulations Kym on a very successful career and best wishes for the future.


Luke Collard


The Recruiter’s Biggest Nightmare…

22 May

So… I was working from home yesterday. Woke up. Had a shower. Breakfast. Brushed my teeth… Am I boring you yet? Sat down in front of my computer. Looked at emails. Responded to the important ones. Made a list of calls to make later. Then I jumped in the car to travel to the other side of town, for my only meeting of the day. The plan was to meet the client… then find myself a nice little café, and use my phone to make calls and send emails for the next few hours…

SONY DSCI guess alarm bells should have started to sound when I got in my car and the battery charger wasn’t working… well I thought the charger wasn’t working. Then maybe the penny should have dropped over the next 45 minutes on route to the client, when my phone didn’t ring… not once. Then definitely I should’ve known something was up when I couldn’t get my phone to turn on after I parked.

You know that feeling you get… right deep down in your guts when you know you have just walked smack bang into your own disaster movie? The turning in the pit of your stomach… helplessness… desperation… I felt like crying.

I told myself. ‘Don’t worry… it’s a minor glitch… give it a second… it will work…’ As I smashed every conceivable button until my finger hurt… I shook the phone… kept turning it around & around… I rubbed it soothingly… it still didn’t work… and no sign of a genie either. I even repeatedly pressed the apple symbol on the back cover, in the vain hope I was sending a secret message to Apple™ office, alerting them of my plight. Still… nothing.

Refusing to believe the phone was de… (I can’t even say the word), I fished through the glove-box of the car. I found a paper clip, and pressed the pointy end into the little hole in the top of my phone… too technical for you? Sorry. The back popped off & I took out the battery, the sim card, took a deep breath and blew in the back. C’mon… that’s fix your Iphone 101… I lovingly put the phone back together and again tried to power on… nothing.

I was starting to hyper-ventilate now. I looked at my watch… ‘Shit! No watch!’ I screamed maybe a little bit too loud… if you were to believe the looks I was getting from the people passing me in the street. ‘That’s right!’ I screamed silently this time. ‘The effing clock’s on the phone… The same effing phone that’s not working!’

I shoved my de… (still can’t say it), phone into my pocket, and hot footed it to my client’s office.

The meeting was a blur… I just kept thinking. ‘What am I going to do? WHAT am I going to do? WTF am I GOING TO DO?’

‘Pardon?’ Mr Client said.

Oh… nothing… Please continue.’ Memo to self… DO NOT move lips or make sounds when thinking thoughts!

nightmare2I made it through the meeting… picked up 2 roles thank you very much! And returned to the car. I pulled out my phone and absently pressed a few buttons. Nothing.

It made me realise just how dependant we have become on our mobile phones. When you misplace it, or it breaks, it’s like losing a limb…

In our industry your phone is the most important tool of trade. You speak to people on it… you send and receive emails & texts with it… you look up vital information on it… you check the weather, traffic conditions, news… It wakes you up in the morning and you tell time with it… Hell… it’s magic!

Utterly resigned to the fact that I had no contact with the outside world… at all… I went through my options:

  1. I could go to the Phone Store and have them tell me I need a new phone… and buy a new phone… and try to salvage the remnants of my Lost day.
  2. I could go home… draw a face on my basketball and talk to it until my wife & kids got home.
  3. I could write the day off and go to the gym, movies, pool…

What would you do?

Craig Watson

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