Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Tracy Earl

Well, hello there…

It has been over 7 months since I released a blog post and over a year since I have posted in the Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses series.

I guess you could say I have been busy for the last year and finding time to write is a luxury I have not had. However…

What motivated me to write again is seeing Greg Savage‘s tweet

‘No, agency recruitment will NOT be ‘uberised’ any time soon’

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Well actually I think he has tweeted it around 10 times since and every-time I see this tweet and people engaging with it, it makes me really angry.

Why? Well I for one believe Agency Recruitment WILL be and SHOULD be ‘uberised’ and this needs to happen sooner rather than later.

When you get into an (immaculately clean car) Uber usually they will offer you some mints or a bottle of water and are very nice to you. They make your ride a much better experience than a taxi driver and you also want to be nice to them. Sure they are hoping for 5 stars but they are also just providing a better service to be honest.

I have not been quiet when I have talked about agency recruitment needing to lift it’s game and if you follow me online or come to any recruitment meetup you will hear me preach about how this needs to be fixed. Well imagine if you would that agency recruitment was uberised and everyone was running their own buisness and responsible and accountable for their actions? Insert a better service industry and a better candidate and client experience.

So I for one look forward to the day when agency recruitment is uberised and think it is not too far away. Software is eating the world and so if you are putting your head in the sand and hoping your service industry will be fine, then enjoy the sand on the beach as you will have a lot more time to walk along it when you are un-employed.

One of the people who is proof of this is Tracy Earl who has recently left internal recruitment to start her own company. I will let Tracy tell you the reasons below.












Tracy, what do you do in the HR /  recruiting scene?

For the past six years, I’ve worked in in-house recruitment teams. Most recently as a Talent Sourcing Strategist at Xero where I was responsible for sourcing awesome new Xeros, talent mapping, driving recruitment projects forward and creating Xero’s social media recruitment strategy.

I’m super passionate about the recruitment industry but over the years i’ve seen some cringe worthy recruitment practice. I want to change the way that in-house recruiters and hiring managers work together with recruitment agencies so I’ve just started a recruitment business called Say Hello. I source talented humans through social media channels and connect them with businesses and start-ups to help them scale. I also founded the #aucklandrec meetup which is a quarterly event for recruiters and HR professionals.








Why / how did you get into the industry?

I never dreamt about becoming a recruiter – I wanted to be a journalist! I’m quite an inquisitive person, I enjoy asking questions so I studied journalism when I left school. I was freelancing for a few magazines but found working from home in my first job difficult, so I went to sign up for temp work and the agency offered me a role – I’ve been working in the industry ever since. Recruitment has changed significantly since 2007 when I started out  and I can honestly say that I’ve grown so much as a recruiter in the last two years. I basically live on social media where I source and connect with talented individuals, putting them in touch with organisations who I think will value their skills – and I get paid to do this – it’s awesome!

What is something we don’t know about you?

I used to be a bit of a clown when I was younger. Not the class clown, but a knife and fire juggling, animal balloon making, unicycle riding clown.  













Which people inspire you globally?

I’ve got to know some pretty inspiring people in my lifetime – my dad is definitely one of them. Dad moved to NZ from England after meeting my mum and he started a business here – he’s the most hard-working man you’ll meet and I am super proud of him and everything he has achieved.

I’m also inspired by Harvey Spector from Suits – his character is witty, charming, and well…he’s a babe.

Rod Drury – he’s down to earth –   it doesn’t matter how big Xero grows, you can still find him yarning to Xero employees, meeting new starters and engaging with his twitter followers.

What about companies then, which inspire you globally?

I’m inspired by companies who try new things, whether they work or not – I admire their bravery and ability to learn from their mistakes or bask in the glory when they get stuff right. I attended Talent Connect in Sydney last year and I was impressed with what Atlassian had been doing in the recruitment space. Xero has always been an inspiring company, the pace at which they move was right up my alley and  it was great to play a huge part in helping them double their workforce. I’m inspired by great entrepreneurs and small business owners; after becoming one myself, just a few weeks ago, I’ve worn ALL the hats, and it’s been super exciting but has presented lots of interesting challenges!

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What advice would you give someone looking to enter this industry?

Go into recruitment with an open mind, figure out what works best but be open to taking different approaches and trying new things. Oh, and definitely come along to a recruitment meet-up, it’s an awesome opportunity to learn from your peers, share challenges and network (and beer, beer, beer).

What is your favourite drink?

That’s an easy one. Beer. I crave beer as often as I crave sugary sweets. I like a good craft beer and try newbies all the time. A true Wellingtonian, I also appreciate a good coffee – I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open at the moment without it!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished reading ‘The life changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo. After reading that book, I managed to get rid of five bags of stuff I really didn’t need and it felt so good. Read the book, you’ll see what I mean.


Why do you love the HR and recruiting industry?

I love being given the opportunity to connect people – whether it’s helping people find jobs, helping clients find candidates or introducing friends who haven’t met before – connecting people gives me a great buzz – I feel like ‘Hitch’. Since starting the Auckland Rec meetup, I’ve met some awesome people in this industry who are all super supportive of each-other.

Who would be top 5 on your list:

In no particular order as they’re all rad:

Troy Hammond – He’s been such a great business mentor to me since starting Say Hello – he’s completely in the know with all things recruitment, social and and he doesn’t do stupid things that lots of agency recruiters do often. High fives to Troy.

Mike Hutcheson – He’s not a recruiter, he’s an advertising and branding genius. I heard Hutch speak at an event recently – he’s been a career crush of mine ever since.

Kirsti Grant – She’s recruiting for kickass companies and launching Populate but Kirsti always makes the time to share her knowledge with those in our industry

Johnny Campbell – Founder of Social Talent – sourcing training for recruiters. I completed my Social Talent training this year and highly recommend it.

Caitriona Staunton Head of recruiting at Atlassian – they’re always thinking up awesome recruitment campaigns –  I love their ‘Europe, we’re coming for your geek’s’ campaign!  


Thanks Trace, I look forward to seeing you kick ass with Say Hello and help to ‘uberise’ the industry. 😉

Disclaimer – Tracy was not in the original Top 50 I published, though she has been just too damn good at recruitment to not add in. 


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