Fuck thought leadership……..

It’s 1am in the morning and I feel like Jerry Maguire at the start of his movie. I cannot sleep and I am scared that I have turned into the very thing I am shit scared to be.

A thought leader. 

Today I was sent an e-mail where I was called a “thought leader” and it has affected me all day.

Hi Troy,

I have noticed you have been absent from blogging and tweeting lately and was hoping you would be back soon as I look to you as a thought leader of our industry and like to read your posts.

I know you are busy with Talent Army and hope all is well.

Hope all is well,

Regards

Name removed

To the person that sent me this, I thanked you in email and again here, though I want to thank you again for making me open my eyes wide to the bull-shit that is happening in our industry lately.

Now, why I say this scares me is that; my/our industry in recruitment is now filled with “thought leaders” who post all the time about best industry practice and offer their pearls of wisdom in what you should be doing to be great at recruitment.

If you know me, you will know I am pretty vocal about my thoughts and tend to offend more people than I inspire. I have probably offended more than half my audience reading this by the language profanity I use. But hey I am ok with that as I am comfortable being me.

Some of the recruiting thought leaders will read this and disagree and I may cop some back-lash,
however…

The truth is that most (not all) of them are just recruiters/sourcers who were not good enough to make a living actually doing recruitment or seen a way to jump out as this gig is bloody hard.

Though most are more marketers to be honest and really great at self promotion.

Some even get paid to tweet and or wear corporations clothing.

Fucking crazy right?

Some are great and they do this for the right reasons in order to help people and lift the profile of our industry to help the credible and hard working recruiters be proud.

Though most do it for the money and a way to make money by not actually recruiting.

Because the truth is that being a great recruiter is actually really hard in todays market. 

Well to those that do this and make money by (not doing a real job) as some of them say, and write copy or talk about about what we in the industry should do – I say good job but……

You are most definitely not a thought leader. You are a commentator of the industry if you are honest with yourself, most of your thoughts are either copied, stolen or stale.

My real problem with “Recruitment thought leaders” is that the supposed thought leaders of our industry are the ones from years ago and most likely the reason why some of us are left holding the can about “how dodgy and bad recruiters are.”

These thought leaders who tell us what to do are mostly the ones that gave our industry the bad name it has. 

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Sometimes people tell me that they wish they could be doing as well as me in the recruitment industry and ask my advice on what tools, tips and hacks they should learn.

I will tell you what I tell them:
Great opportunity and success looks exactly like hard-work.
I am usually working at 6am in the morning and up until midnight most nights working too. I work my ass off to get my business off the ground and continue to do well in recruitment.

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Watch this video from Chris “Ashton” Kutcher of all people who it seems feels the same way as me about the film industry.

I do not do well finding candidates because I am a “thought leader” in NZ recruitment. Not once has a candidate I have approached say;

Oh, hello Troy. Yes I am interested to be your candidate as you’re doing great things in recruiting.

I find candidates and fill roles for clients because I work a lot harder than most.
I will not give up when things are hard and actually enjoy the challenge of finding a needle in a haystack.

Of course I use tools and tricks to make it easier on myself, though the truth is that success comes from real hard work.

What scares me about being a ‘thought leader’ is that most of them are people who just get paid to talk at conferences and or online to get a tap on the back by their peers and invited to speak at conferences around the world.
I could care less for that. I happily talk at conferences and meetups only to help fellow recruiters who want to get better.

I often tell my wife if I end up like some of the “industry legends” in recruitment, to slap me and tell me to remember why I got into recruitment in the first place.

To help people find a job that they couldn’t on their own that makes them happy. 

So fuck thought leadership if you ask me. I would rather be known for doing great work.
(Now wondering, why I am writing this blog) 😉

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To you young recruiters and the people who go out of their way to email me. I thank-you again for appreciating the work that I do. But I am not a ‘thought leader” and I don’t want to be one.  The best advice I can give you is to work you ass off until people know your name because of the work you do, not the profile you have on social.

You are the one working you ass off to be great and so I put it to you that you are the one person that can change your life. Go forth and break the rules of life by trying things, stop listening to what people tell you and go out and get a bloody nose by trying things. If it works great, if it doesn’t then fail fast and try again.

But hey, what they hell do I know. I don’t want to be a thought leader anyway. 

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Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad-asses in APAC featuring – Simon Martin

Welcome back to my series for bad-ass HR and Recruiting folk in APAC.

The bad-ass recruiter featured in this one is #10 Simon Martin.

I first met Simon when we both worked together for Madison back in the day and was impressed by him immediately. Not only was he the top biller in the whole company, but he was/is a pretty rad dude too.

I came back into contact with him again recently when Vend took on Weirdly as a part of our recruitment process. Normally I will not plug a business on my blog, but these guys bloody deserve it.

When you’re recruiting, identifying candidates with the right skills is the easy part. What’s much harder, and more important, is how they fit with your business vision and your team. That’s the difference between an awesome employee and an expensive one. Using a fun, customised quiz, Weirdly ranks candidates against your ideal ‘match’.  It automatically turns a long list into a shortlist, while also managing things like CVs, video applications and applicant photos all through a simple dashboard.

It isn’t just faster and more fun, it also gives candidates a taste of your company culture, before they’ve even applied.

You should definitely take a look and bolt it on to your recruitment process as it is one of those tools you just bloody love.

Also to my Melbourne readers Simon is in your town this week and so reach out to them if you fancy checking Weirdly out while he is there.

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Anyway onto bad-ass #10


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Simon, what do you do in the HR/Recruiting Scene?

Well at the moment I do two main things in that I am part of the awesome Weirdly team with a focus on sales and annoying the developers with feature requests. We help companies find out more about their candidates right from the start of the process, and make it heaps more fun for both the hirer and the candidate.

I also still source IT bods under the Talent Magnet brand and work with a range of NZ companies recruiting developers, BA’s, engineers, you name it.

Why/How did you get into the Industry?

Same old same old here, never really knew it was even a job you could do back then, but after I had completed a computer science course I wasn’t too sure about going into the industry so started looking at other options, ended up meeting an IT recruitment firm and that was that. Started as a candidate sourcing type in the UK and on from there.

What is something we don’t know about you?

I like monkeys …

I used to collect toy monkeys as a kid. Those funny little dudes are awesome.

Which people inspire you globally?

I get inspired by all sorts of people but generally people doing crazy stuff that hasn’t been done before , like that dude Felix Baumgartner…He sky dived from the edge of space….THE EDGE OF FREAKING SPACE … thats insane and must have take huge balls to get up there.

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What about companies then, which inspire you globally?

Not sure on this one, so a cop out it is….. Every start-up around is inspiring. It’s damn hard work and people only see the successes out there, so any company thats trying their hardest to make it by doing something different or better gets my vote.

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

From a recruiter point of view I would say you get out what you put in, work hard and you’ll get the rewards. Its not rocket science at the end of the day, but there are lots of things you do in a day that become second nature so you need to pick these little things up along the way.

What is your favourite drink?

At the moment its black coffee, and lots of it.

What are you currently reading?

“Gangsta Granny” (David Walliams) My son and I are getting through that one at the moment, pretty tense stuff.

And I need to finish “Zero to One” by  Peter Thiel.

Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?

I love the fact that you get to deal with people from all walks of life and helping people to get somewhere. From a recruitment stand point its awesome to be able to help someone get a job they really love.

And from Weirdly side of things, its been a crazy last year but when I hear people say they literally couldn’t imagine doing their recruitment job without using Weirdly (Vanessa Payne, legend), and seeing tweets from candidates who have loved applying for a job through Weirdly, (people just enjoying applying for a job, I mean who’s ever enjoyed that bit of the process) its just amazing and blows me away every time.

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Who would be top 5 on your list?

Top 5 is hard, but here goes.

Dale Clareburt (Obviously) I see her work her butt off every day and do amazing things.

Kirsti Grant – To see someone rise up through the industry to being as highly thought of as she is in such a short time is amazing

Daniel Glyn-Jones – My first Manager in recruitment in the UK and now has is own boutique search firm www.dgjsearch.com we still talk and he was and still is one of the hardest working and most dedicated people i’ve ever met.

I’ll round it out with Hugh Lloyd from Lloyd Exec and Brandon Gallagher from Global Attract those boys are top-notch recruiters and always having “the best month ever”! 🙂

Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Kirsti Grant

Welcome back to my series on bad-ass HR and Recruiters in APAC and we kick back off again with the one and only Kirsti Grant

I have known Kirsti for a while now and cannot remember if I met her first during her stint at Trademe Jobs or when she joined Jobs.co.nz, though it was a while back now.

When she started at Vend, like a lot of people I think I remember thinking

“Oh dear she has jumped in the real fire of recruiting now, i hope she does ok”

However, it was clear that this was something she was meant to do and she has obviously killed it.

I respected what she was doing at Vend so much that I joined her.

Obviously she has done some great work throughout her career and kicked ass in recruitment for Vend, though the side of her you respect the most when you work with her is that she cares about every single person she comes into contact with each day.

Anyway, I will let her talk for herself below.

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What do you do in the HR/Recruiting Scene?

I have the most excellent role of VP Talent at Vend which I’ve been doing for the last 2 years. It’s probably been the hardest yet most spectacular 2 years of my life. I started as employee #37 and we’re now at 250(ish) with offices all over the world. In the last year I’ve also had the pleasure of building who I think is the best Talent team on the planet. You’ve read about Vanessa, you’ve obviously heard of Troy and we have the amazing Lisa in our Toronto office. They’re all amazing people who are so good at what they do and make every day 10 different kinds of awesome.

I’m also a Director on the board for Weirdly which is a great new Kiwi start up that has built a platform that helps companies design their own culture quizzes for candidates to engage with the aim to find the best fits for their company. This goes above and beyond those cv’s we all love so much and at Vend we get feedback every day from candidates who love it too.

Why/How did you get into the Industry?

Text-book story really. I’m looking for a new job, I have an interview with a recruiter and recruiter says “hey you should be a recruiter!”. That was rather short-lived though. Not because I didn’t enjoy it but because the company was incredibly young and the level of risk was a bit too high for me at that time. So 5 weeks in, when the lovely Peter Ashby, a BDM at Trade Me Jobs at the time came in to get us on board and the conversation moved to the fact I was looking for another opportunity he told me about the Account Managers role in his team. Five interviews later I was in and I loved it! It’s also where I first got to play with social media in recruitment and I set up and managed the Trade Me Jobs Twitter handle WAY back in the day.

What is something we don’t know about you?

Haha, due to the nature of my over-sharing on social media there’s probably not much people don’t know but here’s a fun fact.

I’m an oldest child, an only child AND a youngest child.

Which people inspire you globally?

First off, every single employee of Vend inspires me in some way. They’re why I get up each day excited about the day ahead. That’s the money right there!

In terms of other people:

This woman turns everything she touches to gold. Stacy Zapar. From what I can tell she JFDI’s like there’s no tomorrow, there are no obstacles too big and she has the great ability of using all her experience but not letting it weigh her down and limit her innovation.

CoFounder of Intercom – Des Traynor. If you don’t know about Intercom they’re a platform that solved a problem companies didn’t even know existed. They’re a poster child for SaaS companies and they’re doing it for all the right reasons. Des shares a LOT about what they’ve done and how they’ve done it and in typical Intercom form is so accessible. He has a lot of time for his customers even though he literally has zero actual time because he’s so busy running a kick-ass company.

What about companies then, which inspire you globally?

Intercom, obviously. Generally speaking I’m obsessed with any companies that have built solutions for fast growing technology companies.

ProductHunt because every day it feeds me new and shiny things. Some are awesome, some are awful but what it does it encourages you to try new things, to solve problems in new and exciting ways and that no idea is stupid.

Apple. Any company that can build product so well that a 1 year old can pick it up and use it like a boss commands the utmost respect.

In People & Culture we can draw a lot of inspiration from how these companies operate.

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

This is like giving parenting advice. I’d recommend you don’t listen to 99% of it. The only thing I will say is that being a “people person” isn’t enough. I believe you need to really, truly be motivated by helping other people love their work and you need to do this in a place that fits for YOU. If you’re not happy how on earth are you going to help anyone else?

What is your favourite drink?

  1. I have three. I’m allowed three right? Beer = Panhead Quickchange XPA or Supercharger (not fussy).
  2. Wine = Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir (preferably 2013)
  3. Non-alcoholic = Pineapple juice. I love pineapples in and on everything.

What are you currently reading?

The only real books I’ve read lately have been the likes of Gruffalo, Monkey Puzzle and other assorted childrens books. I generally consume a lot of blog posts (yay for Medium). Many are curated by my lovely other half and many are sourced from the magical land of Twitter.

I have a couple of weeks of holiday coming up soon though – your book recommendations are very welcome!

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Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?

ALL the people. I’m particularly proud of the HR/Rec community we have here in NZ. No other country has what we have when it comes to sharing our knowledge and collectively making the industry a better place.

Who would be top 5 on your list?

I am going to break the rules a little here and combine a few….

Carmen Bailey & Jane Kennelly  – Two beautiful & strong women who have built great businesses and very loyal teams. They are so respected because they deliver to their clients the best talent and that talent is loyal to Carmen & Jane throughout their careers, they have great networks (they literally know everyone) and they both tell you EXACTLY how it is.

The Dream Vend Talent Team (Troy, VP & Lisa) – These three take things up a few notches when it comes to delivering excellence. They are widely trusted throughout Vend – they’re doing more for our teams than just filling roles. They help me execute on my crazy idea’s and are always enthusiastic and positive about doing things differently. There are no ego’s, they all just want what’s best for Vend and for our candidates. They ARE the Vend culture.

Kimberley Gilmour. Kimbog is our VP People Ops and she is an incredible human. Within 2 minutes of chatting on Skype; I knew we would 1) hire her and 2) she’d be one of the best things to ever happen to Vend. She cares so much about our people and everyone absolutely adores her. She does the right thing, in the right way every time, is always calm, brings out the best in people and ALWAYS has a beautiful smile on her face. She’s a total inspiration.

Dale & Simon from Weirdly also get my vote. Two really great recruiters with a really great idea who did the impossible, rallied the troops and built something that we now can’t imagine life without. We literally cannot imagine recruiting without Weirdly. I LOVE working with them both and am so excited about Weirdly taking over the world and helping everyone into a company and job of their dreams.

Man, talk about a giant love fest! Thanks Troy!


Thanks as always Kirsti.

Troy

Why your recruiting is just plain…….. LAZY


I take a moment out of my blog series for something that I think needs to be said.

Your recruitment strategy is archaic and lazy…
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I have had a lot of conversations over the last few months and lot’s of people have called or e-mailed to ‘pick my brain’ which is a saying I hate every time I read it, but I am always happy to help. Usually the call goes like this:

Recruiter: “What job boards are you using?”

Troy: “None.”

Recruiter: “What? Then how do you find candidates?”

Troy: “I source them”

Recruiter: “Yeah, but how do you find the time?”

Troy: “I am not rejecting 100’s of applicants from job boards so I have time!”

Recruiter: o_O

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Now, I am not saying that job boards are crap and you should not use them. What I am saying is that if you want to truly attract the best talent, you should not just write an ad and stick it up on a job board and hope…..

You are probably reading this now and thinking, yeah but we fill jobs through boards and I get some good candidates on them sometimes.

Well that is probably right and you get lucky sometimes

but you are being just plain lazy……

Since going internal I have not filled one role from job boards and I am filling all my roles without going to other mediums (including agency.)

How?

Well I am working my damn ass off to find the right candidates online and then I use x-ray search to find their contact details and then I call or e-mail them. I don’t want to reject 100’s of applicants that are wrong, so I find the ones that look right and speak to them.

Simple.

There is so much more I do and that you can do to engage and attract candidates, though for all you recruiters just posting and praying please get in the sourcing game.

What I say in the call or e-mail is quite relevant too and I will be covering this in my talk at IT18 and so will post afterwards.

So, stop being lazy and go out and find the right candidates. 

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I challenge you right now to actually source ALL your candidates, and two things will happen.

  1. You will be screening 60% less candidates
  2. The candidates you now screen will be 100% more suitable

As always if you want some tips and help on sourcing, then I am happy to help point you in the right direction or let you know what I am doing if it helps.

Troy

Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Matt Bartlett

Hey everyone,

I have been a bit slack getting posts up this week due to a few big games of cricket #GoAussies.

So cool that Australia and New Zealand will face off in the final.

We will get to see who the most bad-ass cricket team is in APAC on Sunday.

Anyway enough about cricket and back to the bad-asses of the HR and Recruiting world.


I am very pleased to be able to profile #43 on my list of HR and Recruiting bad asses of APAC.

I love what Matt Bartlett and his team have been doing for The Warehouse group and so I will let you hear from him.

They also have a job going in the team that you can see below.

Matt, what do you do in the HR/Recruiting Scene?

I am the Recruitment Manager for The Warehouse Group. Me and my team are part of the Retail Careers team who are charged with changing the perception of the retail industry as a genuine career option for people. We have twin objectives of targeting the top career retail talent and getting them into our businesses, as well as identifying top talent in other industries and talking to them about retail as a career. We started using the hashtag #retailcareers and are now seeing it being picked up across our business, and slowly into the wider industry. I have a vacancy in my team by the way #justsayin

Why/How did you get into the Industry?

I returned from 5 years in the UK in 2005 and went to see Retailworld Resourcing as a candidate. As agencies tend to do, they talked to me about giving recruitment a go. They had a foosball table, great social activity and perks and told a convincing story about why they thought I could be successful in their business, so I took the plunge. I was there for two years, and loved working with the key accounts that were loyal to them at the time. The BDM side of it, I wasn’t so keen on. So when I saw that several of my clients (Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationery and The Warehouse – coincidentally all part of our group now) were looking at bringing in-house teams into their HR operations I decided to give it a go myself. That was in 2007, so I’m coming up 10 years in the industry now, 8 of which have been internally. I’ve realised that Internal and External recruitment are very different (cue debate…) and I am definitely on the side of internal recruitment where you can play a career advisory/mentor/guidance role to the team members in your business, and I really like that side of things. I also think there is more scope for creativity in sourcing and attraction campaigns, which is a fun side of what I do.

What is something we don’t know about you?

I am a world record holder – for the most people on a Stand Up Paddleboard at a time.

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Which people inspire you globally?

I saw Steve Fogarty speak at an ATC conference a few years back. At the time I was thinking about changing careers and going back into retail – into a Buyers role specifically. I came away from that conference inspired by Steve and reinvigorated that Recruitment meets a lot of what’s important to me. From that point on I haven’t considered changing careers again.

Another inspiration for me is a guy from Christchurch called Bevan James Eyles. He is a personal trainer who runs a couple of the world’s most popular podcasts on Triathlon and Health & Fitness. His back story is a great example of discovering a purpose in life, setting goals and working hard towards achieving them. He has a great social and industry profile that he has built himself, and his a noble purpose in positively impacting on people’s lives and their health. I see parallels between his industry and ours and when I listen to him or read his posts I often find myself thinking about equivalent opportunities in my world.

What about companies then, which inspire you globally?

Ive always liked Adidas – as a consumer and admirer of what they do with EB, Attraction and Sourcing. Zappos interest me – again for what they do with Attraction. Cotton On Group, Urban Outfitters and Walmart interest and inspire me in the retail industry.

More Insight put out some great content that I find myself nodding my head in agreement to when I read them. And sharing their stuff.

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

When I talk to grads I always tell them when they are starting off to not focus on money. Try to surround themselves with people who inspire them, grow them and take an interest in them as individuals. That might mean taking the lesser role offer first time up, but it will pay off in the long run. Other than that, working in a niche that you are passionate about has got to help. My background is retail, and I believe that retail is a great career option, that’s why I have been here for so long. But the great thing is that the learning experiences I have had here I could now apply to a multitude of industries.

What is your favourite drink?

If it’s the day time – a full fat flat white. Our onsite café does a good one. Did I mention I have a vacancy in my team?

If it’s the evening, then Moa Beer’s India Pale Ale is a good drop.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Talent Powered Organisation by Peter Cheese, Robert J Thomas and Elizabeth Craig. Trying to expand my knowledge beyond recruitment and into full life cycle talent management.

Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?

I used to struggle to identify myself with HR – in the generalist’s sense. And in some ways I still do. But I love what recruitment and talent management does for a business and an individual. We can help people achieve their personal and professional goals. We can influence people to make the right decisions, which will ultimately make them happy and their lives fulfilling. We can help a business develop their strategy through informing them of the talent market – there is no sense trying to do something in a short time frame, if there is no one actually capable of doing it!

On top of that, recruitment is a role that requires a wide variety of skills, – influencing, relationship building, creativity, being analytical, keeping your finger on the pulse, being action orientated, and being dynamic. It’s ever changing. Even after 10 years, and now with the added layer of managing a team, I still love the ‘role pick up’ conversation to kick off a good meaty role that needs recruiting.

Who would be top 5 on your list?

Tough call this one, I could have named 10 or 15 (everyone says that right?) but some that stand out to me are:

Angela Farrelly – I’ve sat in conferences and other industry events where Angela has spoken, and had coffee with her, and I always come away thinking I don’t have what it takes to make it in this industry – she is ‘next level’ in her thinking. So smart, so so smart!

Matt Pontin – I have known Matt for a few years now. His #hiremattpontin campaign was a stroke of genius and a great example of what he is capable of. It was one of those beautifully simple ideas that made people go “dammit why didn’t I think of that”! His willingness to share knowledge and kick around ideas make him one of the good guys.

Leslie Taylor – I’ve known Leslie for about 8 years now as a client and colleague, and her energy, output, creativity, enthusiasm and ability to make things happen inspires me. She has done so many great things for us as a business and she makes coming to work fun.

Amanda Tolley – Like Matt, Amanda is one of those people who is so willing to share ideas, knowledge and help out others in our industry. I’m sure that from time to time we would compete for the same candidates, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue for her. Amanda and I have met a few times to talk about things when I’ve been stuck for the next step.

Liz Hansen – I worked with Liz at Retailworld back in the day, and since then I’ve been trying to hatch a plan to get her on the same team as me again. She is a so good at what she does, comes up with such great initiatives, and is fun to have around the office.


Thanks for a good read Matt. Who would have known we have a guinness world record holder in the #NZRec community.

Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Ross Clennett

Hello.

As regular readers will know, I have been running this series of blog posts from my list of top 50 HR and Recruiting bad-asses and profiling the people on this list.

I am writing this post late (in my lunch break), normally I do this late at night and I write an overview on a topic that interests me.

However,  if you glance across to my twitter feed on the right of this page you will note I drank way too much Guinness last night.

So I am a bit too tired hung-over to write something.

However after re-reading Ross’s profile, I went and watched “Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last” again.

I love this talk, even though I have seen it 20 times. I recommend you go and watch it. It goes for about 45mins and so maybe not at work, though when you get home.


So #27 on my list is Ross Clennett and a guy whom I recently had a great debate. It was all good fun and so I hope you all look forward to reading his profile as much as I did.

Ross is a high performance recruitment coach and recruitment industry blogger and commentator.As a professional recruiter, between 1989 and 2003, Ross screened over 80,000 resumes, interviewed over 3,000 people and successfully placed over 1,500 people in work. Over this time he worked in London, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

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Ross with his wife, Michelle, 
as they head out to celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary.

What do you do in the HR/Recruiting scene?

Since 2003 I have run my own coaching and training business, RossClennett.com, from my home office in Mornington (60km SE of the Melbourne CBD). My clients are almost all owners of small and medium-sized recruitment agencies in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Most of my services are provided via webinar, Skype or phone. I have also been blogging every week since September 2007.

Why/How did you get into the industry?

Like many career recruiters I had no thought of recruitment as a likely career while I was studying (BEc, University of Tasmania). Like many Aussies and Kiwis I decided that London was a good post-degree option. When I arrived I went to an agency recommended by a friend of mine (Accountancy Personnel, now Hays) and the recruiter talked me into a job with them as a permanent accounting recruiter in the AP office just near Victoria station. The rest, as they say in the classics, is history.

What is something we don’t know about you?

At university I was a very committed amateur thespian and student politician and had I not gone to London after graduating, I may have had a very different life.

Which people inspire you globally?

I’m not sure inspire is quite the word I would use to describe the following people, it’s probably more respect:

  • Kevin Wheeler (US)  Kevin would be older than 99% of recruiters operating today yet he has a boundless energy to understand the trends shaping recruitment globally and he has a wonderful way of communicating that knowledge  whether by word, on stage or over  dinner with a good glass of red.
  • Greg Savage (Aus) I worked for Greg for nine years and he has been the person who has had the biggest impact on me , professionally. Even after thirty plus years in recruitment Greg still loves recruitment and has done more than anybody in Australia to raise the educational and ethical standards of our industry.
  • Geoff Morgan & Andrew Banks Geoff and Andrew showed the recruitment industry how to build a profitable and scalable public recruitment company. Their skill at doing this is evidenced by, in the fifteen subsequent year, how many people have tried to emulate their example, and almost all have failed.
  • Nigel Heap has had an extraordinary 27 year career at Hays. He completely turned around Hays in Australia and NZ  when he started as MD in the mid-1990’s and built a profit and people powerhouse. He is now applying the same skills to the Hays Uk & Ireland business, with similar results.

What about companies then, which inspire you globally?  I am not inspired easily! Again I would say that I respect a company like Atlassian for their approach to talent. My former employer, Hays, has, despite all their critics, proven to be a very successful company no matter what global market they enter (the USA remains an exception).  In the Aus/NZ recruitment industry, companies like people2people, Wavelength International, Six Degrees Executive and Madison Recruitment are all ones I admire.

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Ross with RCSA (Aus & NZ) President Robert Van Stokrom after 
day jet boating on the Dart River post 2014 RCSA International 
Conference in Queenstown, NZ


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

Keep your focus narrow and simple. Don’t over complicate recruitment!

As an example I see three or four page position descriptions and I despair. If you need more than one page for a PD you are probably making things harder and more complicated than it needs to be.

What is your favourite drink?

Beer. The pale ales that come from Little Creatures, Cascade and Coopers are all excellent although I am always open to trying a beer I haven’t tasted before!

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What are you currently reading?

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. Prior to that, Influence: Science and Practice (5th edition) by Robert B. Cialdini . I also always have a music industry memoir or biography on the go. I have just finished James Freud’s (The Models) first memoir as well as a recent Bee Gees biography (by David N. Meyer) and Led Zeppelin biography (by Mick Wall).

Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?

It’s an industry that is more important than ever (no matter what some people say), it’s never dull, I always meet interesting people and I owe by living to it.

Who would be top 5 on your list?

(To count as a Thought Leader in my book you have to regularly either blog or speak at conferences, or both)

Greg Savage, Jonathan Rice, Rob Davidson, Craig Watson, James Elliott, Paul Jacobs

(I would love to include a few women on this list but, unfortunately, very few women in Aus/NZ recruitment blog or speak regularly, Nicole Underwood being an exception in Australia.)

I would have included Joris Luijke (ex-Atlassian) but as he now lives and works in New York  I’ll have to regard him as ineligible for a 2015 list.


Thanks Ross, you should know that I debated dropping an F-Bomb in this post, though thought I would refrain.

Please comment below who you would like to hear from next……

Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Vanessa Payne

Hello again,

I have been recognising the amazing people we have in HR and Recruiting in APAC, you can catch up here if you have not visited this series before.

Before you hear from #16 on the list I wanted to ask (NZ peeps) if you have got your tickets to www.it18.co.nz yet?

It’s a great conference that I have really learned a great deal from and so suggest you all get a ticket.

IT18 is the first and only event dedicated to talent management and recruitment in the IT sector. The event exclusively focuses on talent management in the tech sector, with a special focus on the attraction, recruitment and retention of IT professionals in NZ.

Some of the most innovative technology companies, large corporations, new start-ups, research houses, professional associations will speak at the event. Speakers will offer a wide range of perspectives and stories. Subjects will range from hiring top technical talent to building great workplaces for IT professionals. Agenda includes exploring the latest trends in attracting, hiring and managing technology professionals in NZ. IT18 is a must-attend event for those who manage or hire IT professionals.

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Now, onto the reason why you actually came here. I first met #16 Vanessa Payne when I joined Vend.  She is one of those hard-working recruiters who does an amazing job and is not as vocal on SoMe as some of us and so her abilities probably go largely unnoticed (Unless you work at Vend.) I can testament that she really is a phenomenally talented recruiter and I learn things from her all the time. Also she is she is one of the funniest people I have met and can find a snack in world record time.

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Vanessa, what do you do in the HR/Recruiting scene?

I’m a Talent Manager at Vend. I’ve been here for nearly ten months now and time has absolutely flown by. When I started it was just Kirsti and myself looking after recruitment (now we have a team of four). My role initially was to focus on growing our product, engineering, and technology teams here in Auckland. I still do all of those things, but my role has expanded to include recruitment for our customer success team, our analytics and insights team, our marketing team.. The list goes on! I’ve recently been tasked with setting up our grad programme too #allthethings

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Why/How did you get into the industry?

Before coming to Vend I worked at Potentia (IT recruitment agency) for three and a half years. I started at Potentia straight out of university in an administration role, not really knowing what I wanted to do career-wise. After about five months in that role, Josh Comrie gave me an opportunity to transition into a resourcing / talent management role and I never really looked back.

 

What is something we don’t know about you?

When I was in my mid teens I was absolutely obsessed with WWE (or WWF, depending on your vintage). I got to meet Dave Batista and Shane McMahon when they came to NZ and I nearly cried with happiness

Which people inspire you globally?

I’m inspired by anyone in any sort of spotlight that still manages to maintain a sense of authenticity. I love Chelsea Handler – she’s hysterically funny, she does and says what she wants, when she wants, and I feel like what you see is what you get with her. We’re also very privileged to have Claudia Batten on our board here at Vend, she kicks asses and takes names. I’m also really inspired by the wonderful people I work with – anyone who is doing something they love.

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What about companies then, which inspire you globally?

I really like Etsy and The Little Market – companies that try to do good for others. Givealittle is a cool company doing nice things here in NZ.

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

If you’re looking to enter this industry as a graduate or somebody that has relatively little experience in the workforce I would say choose your employer carefully. Make sure there are people who you can learn from and be mentored by. I think it’s also really important, no matter how many years’ experience you have under your belt, to have a realistic view of company culture. The day-to-day experience of working there needs to line up with that company’s projected values.

What is your favourite drink?

Champagne. Unlike a lot of Vend-ers I’m not a fan of craft beer.

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Hehehe, I found this on Facebook VP and it was too perfect not to use.

What are you currently reading?

Not much! Unfortunately reading has taken a bit of a backseat for me over the past few months. The most recent book I read was ‘The Goldfinch’ and that was fantastic. If anyone has any fiction recommendations then I am all ears!

Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?

This has changed and evolved over the past few years but what I keep coming back to is that moment when you offer somebody a role and they say;

‘REALLY?? ARE YOU SERIOUS?? I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”.

I had one of those moments the other day and it was awesome. People and culture is just so integral to business and success. I think working in recruitment gives you a backstage look at lots of other departments, and what’s not to love about that.

Who would be top 5 on your list?

This is so difficult – I’m going to limit it to people who I’ve actually met to help narrow it down..

Julian Lambert, I’ve been lucky enough to work closely with him for many years. Julian is so smart, really genuine, and just a nice guy to be around.

I must mention Kirsti Grant – we all know that Kirsti is great at what she does, but her “do the impossible” and “break all the rules” attitude never ceases to amaze.

Dale & Simon from Weirdly definitely get a shout out from me. Weirdly is such a breath of fresh air in this industry and the whole team is so down to earth.

Matt Bartlett deserves a place too. He gave a very inspiring presentation about how The Warehouse does talent acquisition at RHUB last year – there was an audible gasp from the audience when he talked about the number of people hired last year vs. number of people in the talent team. Super efficiency over there.

There are so many others that are tied for my fifth place! You, Troy. You’re awesome. There are lots of people from Potentia that I’ve learned from and who are much better recruiters than me. A very wise person once said to me “most recruiters are dicks” and I generally tend to agree, most of us out there are hustlers. If you love the companies you work for and respect the candidates you work with, there’s a place for you on my list.


Thanks Vanessa, yes I also agree there is a lot of ‘dick recruiters’ out there and thus why I am hoping that we are helping our industry to get better and learn from this.

I look forward to a future where the HR and Recruiting industry is looked at in admiration and respect across all businesses and business units.

Until that day, everybody should go out there and do your bit to raise our profile.