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Level 9, 500 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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What drew me back to recruitment

November 19, 2019

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Three years on: Interview with RCSA CEO, Charles Cameron

May 15, 2019

To celebrate his three year anniversary in the role of CEO with RCSA, Charles Cameron sits down for a chat with Ross Clennett (FRCSA) to talk about what he has achieved and what his aspirations for the organisation are.


Ross: Thanks for accepting the invitation to discuss the past three years as CEO of the RCSA, Charles. Congratulations on making it this far; how are you enjoying the combined challenges of Australia’s political turmoil, a recruitment industry boom and a rec tech explosion?


Charles: Hey Ross, thanks for the invitation to share my thoughts once again!  Quite simply,


I love the cut and thrust of this important role and I especially like the challenge of having to get the balance right between digital evolution, populist politics and new ways of doing business in recruitment and staffing.  Change is good for the soul mate.


You commenced your role at the RCSA in May 2016 and at the time, it would be fair to say, that member engagement (especially in New Zealand) was not at an all-time high. What indicators give you confidence that the decisions you have made in this area are paying off? What can members expect in this area in the next 12 to 18 months?


Fair call Ross.  Our member engagement focus is delivering great results and we have just completed a workshop here at HQ on how to get a ‘live engagement number’ that will be the blood pressure of RCSA.  In the meantime we rely on renewal rates among members and Net Promoter Scores (NPS).  We hit 98% renewals in NZ last financial year and 93% for Australia.  Our NPS last month was around 6 for both countries in individual and corporate membership which has us knocking on ‘excellent’ which is super exciting.  But, to be honest, nothing beats sitting around the table with our members at leaders lunches, member visits and events and hearing their renewed passion and pride through the work we have been doing!  This stuff gets me out of bed…..and keeps me up late.


Labour hire licensing is a very big change for our industry. What’s your best advice to members in helping them see opportunities in labour licensing, given it’s clearly here to stay.


You may recall I’m a big believer that ‘good comes out of bad’ and this is another example of that.  Labour hire licensing would be quite good if it was pure but, to be honest, I don’t trust how it will be used by certain political parties down the track to demonise our industry.  What the licensing does do is allow us to focus on what a true professional looks like.  We built www.staffsure.org to help define the professionals even further and this is going really well with Coles and Woolworths building it in to their ethical procurement processes.  I’d encourage firms to be louder and prouder than ever before about their professional status and flood us with stories of ambition, success and upward mobility of candidates and workers who benefit from what we do.


It seems to me that members of parliament, from all over the country and from both sides of the political spectrum, have little knowledge or understanding of our industry and the important economic role that it plays in the efficient functioning of the national economy. What have been your observations from three years of representing the industry in the halls of power and what reasons do we have (if any!) to be optimistic that things are changing for the better?


Spot on Ross and, to be honest, I’m not sure that it will change if don’t get vocal and more sophisticated in what we do to communicate this.  We are not alone here, either by industry or country.  Business is another pawn in the populist political game these days and, to be honest, we need to stop relying so much on them to promote us.  That is why we created a campaign fund to build a ca