Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Richard Westney

Hello, you may either be back again to read my blog, or you have come here for the first time, and so please let me give you some background.

I created this list of my top 50 HR and Recruiting bad asses in APAC to help our industry over this side.

I did so so we can share our stories, profile ourselves amongst peers who need to learn, to set a precedence to be better, but mainly because I am really proud of the work my fellow HR and Recruiters do.

It has caused some controversy and this is great. It means people are passionate about being better and raising the bar of our industry.

I decided to share the stories of some people on this list, because you should follow these people. learn in what they do and engage with them to help yourself and them by continuously improving our industry.

The next person on the list I have known for about 4 years or so. Again when I was an agency recruiter, I used to follow Richard online and was always amused and sometimes aghast at some of his tweets. The first time I actually met him in person was when he tweeted something along the lines of: “I am sick of working with bad agency recruiters” to which I replied, “Well meet me for a coffee and you can work with someone that who works his ass off.” We met, though this is not the happy ending agency story either as I never worked with him in the agency capacity.

As soon as I went internal at Vend – he shot me an email saying we should catch up though.

Might be something in that. 🙂

Anyway Richard, Ross, Dan and I have been debating #FBombgate online like some of you would have seen. What you might not have seen though is Ross Clennentt’s follow up blog yesterday “The F Word: To use or not to use? The sequel

In this blog you will see a fantastic comment at the bottom from Vend’s Chief Marketing Officer Nick Houldsworth who actually wrote the ad talk about why he did. (and I think, won the internet yesterday by doing so.)

I hope this puts the debate to bed now and we move on from this taking one side but respecting both.

(I certainly did.)

So onto #25 on the list Richard Westney who has answered my questions below with only a few smart ass quips.

Richard describes himself as “an Englishman in NZ who is an experienced HR generalist trying to raise the HR/recruitment bar.”

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What do you do in the HR/recruiting scene?

I have recently joined an awesome and growing company called HR Shop.  After many years in corporate HR roles I wanted to do something different and put my experience to a wider use. I am very fortunate to be working with a brilliant team, in a great culture and with a variety of fascinating smaller businesses. While predominantly an HR generalist, I have a particular interest in recruitment and branding so have always straddled the two fields and led the recruitment function at KPMG for a few years with much success.  I’m not one who believes in divisions between the two areas. We are all people professionals at the end of the day and I know many great people who have skills across both disciplines.

Why did you get into the industry?

In my previous life I was a career public servant, or so I thought. Hard to believe that now.  Early in my career I spent a couple of years supporting two Personnel Managers (as we called them back then) and realized I found the whole people thing fascinating.  A few years later and with a bit of management experience under my belt, I got the opportunity to go into HR and get qualified in the UK. I have to be honest and say that the customer experience I had from the HR function where I was working was awful and I thought there had to be a better way of doing it. The manager knew he needed new blood so the timing was perfect. Within weeks I was working on a massive merger project. I never looked back.  .

What is something we don’t know about you?

That I used to play drums in a punk band or have appeared topless on TV while drunk at a football match? Take your pick. One I am considerably prouder of than the other.

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Which people inspire you globally?

Anyone who thinks a little bit differently about their profession, whatever that may be.  One of the joys of social media is being able to connect and correspond with interesting people all over the world.  There are many people in HR and recruitment who inspire me but there is a guy in the UK called Perry Timms who has influenced the thinking of a few of us here in NZ. He’s everything an inspirational person should be – thought provoking, accessible, generous and asks for nothing in return other than to be challenged himself.

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

Be open-minded and curious first of all. Don’t ever think you have cracked it. You have to keep learning and moving forwards no mater how old and experienced you are. If you aren’t learning you are well on the road to becoming irrelevant. Take all the feedback and opportunities that come your way and manage your own self-development. It is no one else’s responsibility but yours. Connect with interesting people you can learn from and find yourself a good mentor you can use as a sounding board.

 

What is your favourite drink?

What sort of a dumb-arsed question is this, Troy? If this is typical of what you ask candidates at Vend, it’s no wonder you need to swear in your job ads to attract people. Seriously though, why have a favourite drink? Arguably you can’t go past the purity of water as without that we are nothing if not thirsty. But really, there are so many great and varied beers, wines, spirits, teas, coffees etc. Why restrict yourself? Get out there and explore, be curious, enjoy different experiences and tastes.  Ultimately though, your favourite drinks are the ones you share with great friends and people who make you laugh and think.

Troy – There is a lot to be said about what your drink you choose and the psychology behind it. Yours tells me that you are not as stubborn or as hard as you ‘pretend’ you are. Also someone who sees you in a bar might actually buy you a drink that you like now. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I am going through a phase of reading autobiographies, mainly music and business people. Sir Alan Sugar’s was a recent good read. He’s a bit up himself, but the story of how he built his business empire from nothing and the values and culture he tried to instill in his companies is fascinating.

 

Why do you love the HR and recruiting industry?

It’s at the centre of everything in businesses and so full of possibilities. You get such a great view of how businesses work and all the intricacies of cultures and behaviours that other staff don’t get to see. It’s like looking under the bonnet of a business all the time.  I think we are on the cusp of a great revolution in how both HR and recruitment can be done. We are starting to see the different thinkers and the disruptors coming to the fore and that’s a good thing.  There has never been a better time to be in HR.

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Who would be on your top 5 list?

I am not a fan of these “top influencer” lists, although always honoured to be on one because it’s nice to be recognized by others who appreciate what you do. I feel strongly that experienced pros like us should try to put back as much as we can and encourage and mentor the new generation of practitioners coming through so, rather than pick a top 5, I am always looking for new and interesting people to follow and connect with. That said, there were some notable local omissions from your list Troy that I think deserve a mention. In the New Zealand HR space I urge people to connect with bloggers like Amanda Sterling, Angela Atkins, Megan Borrie, Kylie Telford, Vanessa Pye, Vaughan Granier, Vaughan Rivett etc.  All interesting thinkers and great writers. I mentioned most of these in a blog post I did last year on New Zealand’s HR bloggers. Also, have a look at the 12 Blogs of Xmas series I have curated over the last 2 years where I have encouraged awesome people who perhaps don’t blog to find their voice and share their views. There have been some truly great pieces written. There are others as well out there but these will lead you to them.

Thanks Richard, you certainly have been great for the NZ HR industry finding a voice globally with some others you mentioned in your own list. I am sure you and I will disagree on many issues now and in the future, though I hope they are all handled with the same passion of #FBombgate. 

 

Top 50 HR & Recruiting bad asses in APAC featuring – Paul Jacobs


I have received a lot of feedback from the blog I did featuring my top 50 HR and Recruiting thought leaders of APAC. It was met mostly with praise with some controversy. Some examples below:

“Hey Troy you dick ,why aren’t I on your stupid list?”

“This is great, what you are doing for hard working APAC recruiters is sublime”

“Thanks for the amazing new HR and recruity people to follow Troy, they look amazing”

“Damn, better luck next year for me.”

One thing that was unanimous with most people emailing, tweeting and Facebook messaging me was that they wondered why I had chosen those 50? Well it is pretty tough compiling a list and especially when there are probably 200 people I could have put on that list. Some I really respect missed out. But this was the list that I personally see as who would be in ‘my’ top 50 when I think of HR/Recruitment thought leaders on this side of the world.

What a lot of you also asked was my view on why they were top 50 material? This was hard to answer as some I chose as I am inspired by them, some I see as movers and shakers, some piss me off a great deal but I respect them anyways and some I have just heard amazing feedback on time and time again. But why again did I choose them I got asked. Well I pondered this for a while and thought rather than me answer, I would let the all most of the 50 to answer themselves. Well at least I will try and get them all to answer some questions here about themselves in the hope you can get to know then and see for yourself.

Paul is someone I wanted to profile first as I have so much respect for the guy. He is a young guy, though Paul is one of the pioneers of taking New Zealand Recruitment truly global and not just across the ditch to Australia. He constantly attends conferences and brings the knowledge back here to Wellington, New Zealand and will happily educate you on his learnings over a mint tea or some crazy leafy drink. Most know him as Pablo, though I like to call him the Don Draper of the NZ recruitment industry.

So ladies and gentleman I give you #2 on the list;

Paul Jacobs

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Paul, what do you do in the HR/Recruiting scene?
I wear a few hats and can see myself morphing into a portfolio careerist. I’m an advisor to a number of employers in NZ and the USA. I’m working on a couple of large projects in the employer brand identity and social recruiting space, focusing on both the creative and production sides. Loving the opportunity to work across markets and with progressive companies and switched-on people. I’m the creative director of Jobgram, a company and a service that is on a mission to make job advertising more visually engaging, entertaining, targeted, on-brand, and shareable – less like death notices. I’ve been developing new products in this space – hopefully I’ll be able to launch one or two in 2015 – I did say that in 2014 though. I’ve been a regular conference and un-conference participator over the past few years – attending and often presenting at HR, strategic workforce planning, recruitment, sourcing, social media, mobile, and game development events in NZ, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, USA, and UK. I occasionally blog if I feel inspired. I can be a bit of a provocateur at times, particularly when it comes to HR, as I would love to see more diversity of thinking from practitioners and leaders in our profession. Over the years I’ve been a big supporter of recruitment in the Asia-Pacific region, setting up online communities and sharing our success stories with the rest of the world.

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Why/How did you get into the industry?

I actually started off doing a Pharmacy intermediate at University. I was always interested in the biological sciences and mixing chemicals together – not in a Breaking Bad context fortunately/unfortunately. I got a bit bored of the lengthy chemistry labs and took a liking to my more arts-related subjects, like Psychology, and ended up going down the Industrial and Organisational Psychology route. HR was a logical career move. I’ve worked in corporate and consulting roles over the years, wearing a number of hats from developing assessment and development centres, to career transition, policy development, recruiting, and I spent 9 years reselling an applicant tracking system. I’ve always had an interest in the marketing side of HR, possibly more than the HR side per se.

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What is something we don’t know about you?
I can see auras. But I have absolutely no idea what the colours mean. See them yes, interpret them no. If that’s a bit freaky for some, I’ve got into marathon running – the next one on the cards is the Rotorua marathon in a couple of months. My body isn’t as young and agile as it used to be, but I really enjoy the mental challenge, and I’ve even inspired some other oldies to get off the couch.

Which people inspire you globally?
Hmmm …. my views around this are fluid. A couple of years ago I probably would’ve spurted out someone’s name in my profession, a successful entrepreneur, or a social media “guru”. But I’m more inspired these days by ideas, new ways of thinking, other industries/professions, and people who challenge my thinking – letting me see new possibilities. Those moments of inspiration can come from a serendipitous conversation in the corridor at a conference event, seeing a thought-provoking tweet or Google Plus post, or attending a games or emerging technology event. Thinking some more, I’m also inspired by many people in the creative industries, writers, poets, story-tellers, film directors, musicians, entertainers, and successful game developers.

What about companies then, which inspire you globally?
Without trying to sound like a complete tosser, I typically fall in love with, and am inspired by, the companies I consult to / advise. It’s like any relationship, you get to know each other, you learn about their dreams, and you plan for the future. You immerse yourself in their culture, you become their biggest supporter, their number 1 fan. I’m attracted to companies that have an ‘innovation brand’ or are successfully disrupting a sector – whether it’s “traditional” players like Apple, or the newer ones on the scene. But I have no idea about some of their employment identities.

What advice would you give someone looking to enter this industry?
Passionate though I am about our industry, I would suggest they don’t enter this industry. I would get them to consider becoming a specialist content curator, community manager, join a games studio, learn Unity3D, work as a data analyst, etc. But if someone still plans to enter the industry I’d encourage them to get a broad range of experience across corporate roles, agency roles, and supplier roles. And attend conferences and industry events, network face-to-face and online – and build their personal brand and digital identity. Our local and global community is very giving and knowledgeable, so tap into that.

What is your favourite drink?
Water mainly at the moment. I’m marathon training again and I need to learn the art of hydration a lot better. Outside of that I like European and craft beers (IPAs/APAs, pilsner), pinot noir and a good sauvignon blanc and riesling.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading some amazing entries submitted to the Global Mobile Recruitment Awards. I’m a judge. I’m also reading Flipboard, Snapchat Stories / Snapchat Discover (news), and following certain hashtags on Twitter. I find I haven’t got the time to read too much in the traditional sense. Most of my reading is client-related. The last book I “read” was an audiobook that I listened to – probably the Steve Jobs biography. I much prefer non-fiction, biographies, etc.

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Why do you love the HR and Recruiting industry?
I have fallen in and out of love with HR and recruiting over the years. Our profession gets to have an amazing impact on people. We’re in the people business, but so is marketing, comms, social media. I think there’s a strong case for amalgamating all people functions into a new discipline around community development. This way HR and recruiting would have a stronger and wider impact.

Who would be top 5 on your list?
I don’t have a top 5 per se. I’m influenced by lots of different people & things – sometimes I’m influenced by a tweet or watching an online event (doesn’t have to be HR or recruitment-related). Californian Kevin Wheeler got me enthused in the technology and future-thinking side of recruitment many years ago. More locally, Richard Long trusted and shaped my wild ideas, setting the scene for a successful 5 years with Deloitte NZ. At the Strategic Workforce Planning Conference in Melbourne last year, ex-Disney futurist Yvette Montero Salvatico inspired me to think really big and not to get bogged down in one idea. I like the critical thinking and writing style of US-based recruitment blogger Matt Charney. Likewise I enjoy the renegade approach of UK-based Bill Boorman. And back home again, kudos to ASB’s former sourcing and innovation manager, Mark Sumner who always has his finger on the pulse. Oops I’ve given you six. But there’s heaps of others – this is always the problem with lists!

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Thanks Paul, you are definitely someone I have mad respect for in our industry and you have inspired a lot of the new gen recruiters and HR folk coming through now.

You can follow Paul on twitter here and see more about Jobgram here.

Who will be next profile from the list?

My reply to Ross Clennentt’s blog about our use of the word……. ‘Fuck’

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Today I was sent an e-mail about this blog by Ross Clennentt who only days ago I had included in my list as one of the top 50 influential people in the Australasian recruitment industry.

In his blog he goes on to say;

“that whoever wrote the Vend VP of Global Marketing job ad; I think you’ve overstepped the mark. Your use of the F word is not contextually appropriate. It just comes across as look-at-me showmanship.”

It was a well written blog and the guy (Ross) can obviously write.

However, I didn’t agree.  Anyone that knows me knows I am of the ‘EQ recruitment’ movement. I believe in searching for people who feel like they truly fit into your culture and I believe doing great work while truly being themselves is what people actually want in these modern days. Ross suggests on his about me page that he stopped recruiting in 2003 and so I give him the benefit of the doubt that he has not experienced the EQ movement and how important culture is in modern business.

So to Ross, his readers, his commenters and to my readers I write this open reply.

Dear Ross,

I work for Vend in the Talent team and so I thought I would pass on our reasons at Vend for using the word ‘fuck

Oops, I did it again.

In our recent exchange on twitter I suggested you did not get it.

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To which you replied by saying that “you’re absolutely right; I don’t ‘get it’ but keen to be enlightened.”

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I am not sure if you will be enlightened, though here are our reasons for using the ‘F word’ at Vend and in our ads.

Firstly: We are encouraged to bring our real personalities to work and not to leave them at the door. This means that we have a lot of different people who work at Vend, people from all over the world, all kinds of religions – and Vend welcomes and supports everyone including people who drop an F bomb.

If someone is offended by something at Vend they can (and do) speak up without being afraid of any consequences. But we really push to be true to ourselves in the market when we attract talent and we are extremely proud of our culture and the work we do. So we work hard to maintain what makes us unique as a business and that means letting people drop an ‘F word’ if they need/want to. It is not uncommon to hear people swearing at Vend every day. Considering one of our supporting values is “Just fucking do it” I would be highly surprised not hearing an ‘F word’ every day.

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Secondly: We work in a new tech start-up, much like Atlassian who you also wrote a blog about. In the startup world the people whom are attracted to and often found working in these companies are from what the kids would call the “New school” of business and don’t feel they need to hide nor forgo their complete vocab just because they are at work.

Finally: I agree with ‘Anonymous’ on your comments that asked, “Was this blog post written in 1952?”  Yes this is 2015 and regardless if you like it or not, Fuck is being used more than ever in business by all generations.  Did you know that the words Bloody and bugger were the two most prevalent and offensive swear words in the 18th and 19th centuries. We now use those particular words (especially in Australia) all the time. Things change and the word fuck is as I see it a great word to depict passion.

Well, we at Vend prefer to use it in a passionate and uplifting way to which is different than you have in your previous blogs.

So why did we at Vend use this in our VP of Global Marketing ad?

(p.s thanks for marketing the ad)

https://jobs.lever.co/vend/f6266da5-4ae2-4ea2-8114-213f3c3a040f

Well, we like to write our ads to address peoples IQ and EQ.

While the intent isn’t to offend (because we’re far too nice for that), if somebody is offended by the word Fuck then there’s a chance they may not enjoy working at Vend. As for you suggesting that our use of the word is:

Not clever.

Not funny.

Not appropriate.

Not necessary.

I will tell you, the very reason we use the word is to ‘detract’ people who are offended by it, so I believe this makes the ad quite clever, very funny, appropriate for Vend and ABSOLUTELY necessary.

By giving readers a good peek through the windows it allows them the opportunity to opt out if they choose. We have done this only a few times over the years and when we do the feedback is really positive.

Some of this weeks feedback:

“Embrace it! Vend is super proud of its culture and if it needs the ‘f’ word to reinforce how awesome it is then go for it! Vend is challenging the status quo and I love it.” 

“I just had to say that I loved your VP Global Marketing search profile.. well done!”  (from a Media Specialist at NASA)

“Refreshing”

Why wouldn’t we keep doing this? To date we’ve had one complaint that’s come to us direct and after responding to this feedback openly we received a great response in return. Not one of agreeance but certainly acceptance.

So hey, we won’t all agree in life, but I hope I have ‘enlightened’ you as to why we chose to write the word ‘fuck‘ on our own ads.

I will conclude by addressing your final remark on your blog.

“So, to whoever wrote the Vend VP of Global Marketing job ad; I think you’ve overstepped the mark. Your use of the F word is not contextually appropriate. It just comes across as look-at-me showmanship.”

This is your view and I respect it. (Not agree with it.)

I hope that at your place of work, you and your colleagues and or staff are allowed to ‘say what you want’ and ‘bring your true personality through the door.’

At our workplace this is completely appropriate and by no-means is intended for showmanship, next time you come to New Zealand, come in to our digs and have a beer and say hello. I bet you mutter the words – “Actually, this must be a ‘fucking’ great place to work.

Just so you know 100% of Vend employees are proud to work at Vend and we swear all the time. You can check out how great our culture is here and you will note that in all the pictures nobody has soap in their mouth.

Thanks for reading.

You pal,

Troy

Bad ass HR and Recruitment folk in New Zealand and Australia

I recently read an article about HR and Recruiting thought leaders written by Glassdoor.com

It appeared to be a great list of many people I really admire in our industry. What I was really disappointed with though was APAC did not even get a mention. I know their disclaimer was “We’ve based this list solely on social profiles and online engagement.”

But c’mon is Glassdoor trying to build a global tool here? Don’t be like Facebook and leave little old NZ out of the loop.

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APAC has some remarkable HR and Recruiting folk and some I deem to be very much in the “thought leader category.”  So needless to say I was pretty annoyed at Glassdoor for not tipping their hat to anyone on this side of the world.

I am an Australian who lives in New Zealand and so have mad respect for both my birth and adopted countries and I am really inspired by what we in our industry achieve over here.

The sad thing is that every day I also recruit in the America’s and EMEA and I still speak to people and they say things like, “New Zealand, is that near London?” or “We have this company over here called IKEA, it’s an American company and I am not sure if you have it in Australia?

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For those that are reading and don’t know why I would be going on about thought leaders over this side of the world let me tell you….

There have been many amazing people come out of Australia and New Zealand rather than the film and music celebrity type people. ANZ has seen many amazing inventors and thought leaders and so please let me share some facts for you.

Australia:

  1. Everyone knows about black box flight recorders, an audio recorder in a super-strong casing that records the conversation of the pilots in a plane’s cockpit. If the plane comes down, salvage teams can listen to the recording to find out what went awry, and apply prevention measures if possible. It was invented by Australian chemist Dave Warren, who one day thought to himself, “What if the pilots could tell us themselves?” His device is now installed in every commercial plane in the world. Oh, and is actually orange. Not black. *But hey I hear ‘Orange is the new black.’
  2. For the old school recruiter. You should know that JA Birchall an Aussie bloke from Tasmania (The little island located 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the Mainland) of Tasmanian stationery company Birchall, was the first person to take loose sheets of paper, cut them in half, back them with cardboard and glue the top edge. Thus creating the notepad. Every good recruiters friend before tablets.
  3. For the modern recruiter. You should know that a group of five CSIRO (Australian) scientists invented wireless LAN technology, otherwise known as Wi-Fi, which is used in more than five billion devices globally and has earned more than $430 million in royalties alone. I thank these 5 amazing Aussie men when I am at  recruiting conferences around the world.

New Zealand:

  1. Christchurch inventor Glenn Martin has developed a jet pack that enables fliers to stay aloft for half an hour. He launched the jetpack at the Oshkosh air show in the United States in July 2008 and his company is now taking orders.
  2. Kiwi scientist Baron Ernest Rutherford was the first in the world to split the atom in 1919. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work with radioactivity.
  3. Probably the most famous Kiwi invention of the modern world. Daredevil AJ Hackett pioneered the bungy jump, opening the world’s first commercial site in 1988, the year after he illegally leapt from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Certainly the most hair-raising Kiwi invention!

Now I do not mean to begrudge the ‘thought leaders’ of the HR and Recruiting world nor suggest that everyone is ignorant to our fair lands. We have had some amazing speakers and commentators from all over the world come and share their wisdom over here. Some of my favourites have been, Will Staney, Bryan Chaney, Laura Stoker, Matt Charney, Bill Borman, Derek Zeller, Andy Headworth and Irina Shamaeva.

So to these amazing guests and all the others I thank you, but please sit down a minute. What I really wanted y’all to come and read this for is to hear about some of the amazing HR and Recruiting peeps I love from this side of the world.

So below I give you a list of the top HR and Recruiting bad asses of APAC. 

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*Please note: I have not used social engagement tools to complete this list and chosen people I have met and admire and or people I have not met, though tip my hat off to. You can kick my ass or buy me a beer next time you see me in a bar for your entry or omission. 

APAC’s 2015 HR & Recruiting thought leaders to follow (in random.org order):

  1. Mark Mansour
  2. Paul Jacobs
  3. Marc Hammond
  4. Matt Pontin
  5. Angela Farrelly
  6. Bob Olivier
  7. Daoud Edris
  8. Kellie Egan
  9. Iain MacGibbon
  10. Simon Martin
  11. Helena Gannon
  12. Kirsti Grant
  13. Keith Muirhead
  14. Greg Savage
  15. Jade Shearstone
  16. Vanessa Payne
  17. Phillip Tusing
  18. Mark Sumner
  19. Siobhan Lyndon
  20. Elena Di Fiore
  21. Scott Brown
  22. Axel Koster
  23. Jon Rice
  24. Mathew Bosher
  25. Richard Westney
  26. Nigel Mills
  27. Ross Clennett
  28. Mel Rowsell
  29. Amanda Tolley
  30. Leslie Taylor
  31. Dale Clareburt
  32. Hassanah Rudd
  33. Tracy Earl
  34. Steven Miratana
  35. Richard Earl
  36. Troy Hammond
  37. Mark Souter
  38. Melissa Bowden
  39. Kimberley Gilmour
  40. Dan Buchanan
  41. Rob Fortescue
  42. Aaron Dodd
  43. Matt Bartlett
  44. Andrew Cross
  45. Dan Nuroo
  46. Rebecca Clarke
  47. Juhi King
  48. Jordyn Riley
  49. Warren Young
  50. Celeste Kocabay

So there it is my list of HR and Recruiting folk who kick ass and take names in ANZ. The list is more biased to the recruiters of the region as I come across them the most in the hiring of “All the People”

Comment below on other amazing recruiters and HR peeps I have left out and make me feel like a jerk.

“As always the rule is of anyone stupid to make a list, you shall be ridiculed” ~ Troy Hammond

The Jerry Maguire Methodology – A mission statement to agency recruitment.  

“Help me, help you”

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Over my many years in recruitment I have often wondered how to work better with my existing and potential new clients. These thoughts turned into ideas have led to many great ideas and mistakes.

During my career, some of my major achievements has been successfully building two recruitment agencies from cold start-up to success and transforming two back from the grave. 

How have I done this you ask?

Well, in order to build or grow a business in recruitment, there are three vital ingredients.

  1. The clients that you work “FOR
  2. The candidates that you work “FOR
  3. Your internal team that you work “FOR

In this post I will focus on number #1 – The companies, though more importantly the ‘amount of companies’ you work with.

Coming back to  the Jerry Maguire, looking at the photo immediately you probably thought “Show me the money” when I say that I have developed the “Jerry Maguire Methodology.”

Well in this case, it is the wrong moment in the movie you would be referring to.

Think back to the very start of the movie – if you have seen it. Jerry is unable to sleep and during the course of that night, he authors and releases his mission statement. 

“The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.”

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Jerry: Who had I become? Just another shark in a suit? Two nights later at a conference in Miami I had a breakdown. Breakdown? Breakthrough. I couldn’t escape one single thought: I hated myself. No, no, here’s what it was: I hated my place in the world. I had so much to say and no one to listen. And then, suddenly, it happened. It was the oddest, most out-of-the-ordinary thing. I began writing what they call a mission statement. Not a memo, a mission statement. You know, a suggestion for the future of our company. It was great. Suddenly, I was my father’s son again. I was remembering the simple pleasures of this job, how I ended up here out of law school, the way a stadium sounds when one of my clients performs well on the field. I was even remembering the words of the original sports agent, my mentor, the late, great, Dickie Fox who said “The key to this business is personal relationships.” And suddenly, it was all very clear. The answer was less money. Fewer clients. Caring about them, caring about ourselves, and the games, too. Starting our lives, really. I’ll be the first to admit, what I was writing was somewhat- touchy feely. I didn’t care. I had lost the ability to bullshit. It was the me I had always wanted to be. I ran out in the middle of the night to find an all night photomat before I could change my mind. It looked incredible. Even the cover looked like The Catcher in the Rye. I entitled it “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.”

Using the Jerry McGuire lens and applying it onto the recruitment industry, I implemented the following methodology, “work with LESS clients, so we can do MORE business!”

In our industry, we have a history of preaching that we work with EVERY client and that we have X number of candidates on our database – and let’s be honest, is working with every client smart? And, do a large number of clients really mean success?

I soon realised that I had become just another recruiter looking to work with as many clients as I could playing the law of averages.

What I discovered was that I was only giving each client a small percentage of my time, meaning I was failing to partner with them. When I say partner, I mean truly partnering and them comfortable sharing with us the information of their IT or business roadmap so we can build our Resource Roadmap from them.

This is where I bring you to our methodology.

We work with clients we choose to work with. We also only work with ones that “help us, to help them’. This has meant that we give clients more of our time, better understand what they need and ultimately fill their roles. 

To me modern recruitment is not just, “who’s on your books” or stick an ad up on a job board and short-list from who applies. It is about taking our clients vision, brand, capability needs and cultural nuances; embodying it and selling the message to active and passive candidates everywhere.

We recruiters spend a large number of hours (15 on average) sourcing the right candidates to build a shortlist. We then usually spend the same number of hours interviewing and preparing these candidates.

How are we able to do this for EVERY client?

The answer is that we cannot. Therefore most recruiters will cheat time and discount parts of their process in order to ensure they can get a shortlist out to all their clients.

The result is one of hope:

  • I hope I got the client brief right as I didn’t get a chance to go and meet the client
  • I hope I got the right candidates over as I didn’t really interview them
  • I hope that the candidate is presentable as I didn’t even meet them in person.

Hopefully you are now able to understand the method to my madness of less clients and why I back my amazing team and their clients to give us the opportunity to “truly partner” with them.

So, FEWER clients, means MORE time to our clients.

In using this Jerry Maguire methodology, we have seen a major increase of our revenue, candidate satisfaction, client satisfaction and staff empowerment.

So while Jerry may say “Fewer clients, less money.” I somewhat disagree.

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I am sure some of you may say, well I do that anyway.

Or, I am a client manager and only work with named clients.

I would say you are still WAY too busy and not actually allowing yourself to be inch wide, mile deep to really partner with your client portfolio.

Using this methodology means that from time to time, we may have to divorce some companies that are just another number on our books as they are not allowing us to truly partner with them. So always ask yourself am I in the right marriage with this client and do I have a win-win? 

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Disclaimer:

I have not written this in the middle of the night on a whim of emotions like Jerry, I am just a big believer in really helping our clients and so in order to do that we need to help ourselves and create the luxury of more time.

I will finish echoing the final monologue of the Jerry Maguire movie, though I have added a little bit to it.

“Look I don’t have all the answers. To be honest, in life, I failed as often as I succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my kids. I love my life. I love my job. And I wish you my kind of success.”

~ Dicky Fox

 

Agency Recruitment is a Zoo.

As a passionate ex-agency recruiter I am a little surprised at the lack of innovation and creativity coming from the dark side Jedi side of recruitment and as such have been pushing hard to get agency recruiters to release their inner marketers and create and foster their own brand within our brand. Agency recruitment has changed, some might say become a lot harder to do well. The few that do well are a different breed of animal and so when I recruit for my business I look for different characteristics of people that I can enable. The main skills you need to bring to the table in modern recruitment to do well are innovation, branding, marketing, sales, tenacity, empathy, analysis and creativity.

Now everyone cannot do this and what I have learned is that when I want to hire people I am really looking for two types of people.

1. The Parrot

2. The Elephant

For me to do this I had to go on a journey and re-discover what types of people work in agency these days. Now to put my learnings into perspective and to educate you on how I cast my judgement; you will need to note that I have hired many people in the last five years in agency land. I have done this as I have grown one business from start-up to success and also taken another 30 year old company and transformed it. I have interviewed many recruiters old and new and the traits they come with are aligned to our friends in the animal kingdom.

The types of agency recruiters I have encountered are:

“The Peacock”

Not Your Nbc Peacock

This agency recruiter is flashy and loud, they tend to self-promote often regardless of their habitat. You usually find this recruiter annoys as many clients as they please. They seem to know it all and they don’t usually engage their listening devices to learn anything. They usually hide all their precious information on candidates under their nest desk. As a manager what you discover about peacocks is that once they lower their feathers, there is usually not much more they offer.



“The Elephant”

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First and foremost this recruiter is caring and likes to be part of a herd, though can also work on their own when need be. The greatest asset about this recruiter is their memory, they remember every client and candidate they have ever met and have the ability to be on the phone fast to the right candidate or client after processing information. This recruiter has a high EQ and IQ and therefore knows how to draw information from their candidates/clients and does so in an effortless way without the other party knowing what is happening. They will usually lock themselves down in one habitat agency for a long time and they are quietly confident about what they do. Usually other recruiters will be seen drinking at the water-hole water-cooler at the same time as the elephant to try and pick the brains of the elephant without anyone else listening.


“The Snake”

These recruiters have a way of getting what they want and usually it is with their cunning and lack of integrity. (Lies) They will do well in the role for about a year or two and then leave for the next job as they have out-warmed their welcome or (pissed everyone off.) Think of ‘Kaa’ the snake mesmerising Mowgli in the jungle book. This is what the Snake can do to an unsuspecting recruitment manager who believes the promise of a “stable of clients who only deal with me” and “average billings of $XX.XXX per month.  Stay clear of these recruiters and if you are worried that they are lying to you, triple check the facts before you make an offer.


“The Parrot”

This recruiter is one that is colourful, creative and sometimes flashy. They have a thirst for knowledge and attract people to them by their infectious personalities. They are able to flock together or fly on their own. Whoever coined the phrase “bird-brained” was not talking about a parrot as they are known for being extremely intelligent. They have the emotional intelligence to imitate what you say and therefore they will be able to relay a clients information about a role precisely. They will be creative when looking for Talent and will usually try new things in order to see that works for them. As recruiters you can be assured they will get the results you need, though they will indeed challenge their leaders they usually do so in a way of getting the best results for the whole flock.


These are just some of my thoughts on recruiters and how they show certain characteristics. Why you ask, do I think so much about this? Well in order to be a great agency these days you need to hire modern and great recruiters and sourcers that have the EQ and IQ allowing them to be trusted long term by their clients.

For me, I have found by hiring these types of personalities and characteristics that I can let them out of their cage and roam free around the zoo. We now have a team that each brings something to the table and is trusted and has a manager that gets out their way and lets them do their job well.

Now, now that you have read this don’t think that I hire a team of people exactly the same. I do like to find people that display these traits and can grow in their roles. Each personality can be different and ideally so. I read a great quote from Xerox’s Barry Rand who said, “if you have a yes-man working for you, one of you is redundant.”

Good luck in building your teams or re-engineering your career in recruitment.

Troy Hammond