What drew me back to recruitment
I used to be convinced that recruiting had a shelf life and technology would be the death of the recruitment consultant “as we know it”; so I jumped ship.
That was 18 years ago and, while technology has certainly enhanced the sector, the core qualities of a great recruiter haven’t changed and are still hugely in demand.
After working in the advertising and branding sector, forays into media, tech start-ups and a move to Brisbane four years ago, I felt a strong pull back to the industry that I had so enjoyed and thrived in early on in my career.
Now I’m back, I’m excited about the wave of technology that is creating so much process efficiency and enhancing the client and candidate experience.
The potential to greatly improve hiring outcomes through data analytics and AI is the most exciting piece for me.
During a discussion with the RCSA around attracting talent to our industry, I was asked for my observations about what has changed in my time away from the sector and what was the attraction to return.
Here are my key observations:
What hasn’t changed
Standing out in the industry comes down to how good you are at listening and interpreting the needs of your clients and candidates. This isn’t always obvious and rarely without its twists, but that is why it’s called consulting.
Being able to read a situation and what is being said - or not said - is often the difference between good and great when it comes to helping people realise their true potential in a dream job. That means asking all the tough questions.
It’s competitive out there so having a sense of urgency with quick access to great candidates you know will fit within your client’s organisation is vital.
Developing relationships built on trust take time. The longer you are in this game, generally speaking, the more success you will enjoy.
Just always tell the truth – it’s the long game!
Celebrate together and have fun; it’s what gets you through the hard weeks so you can enjoy the good ones.
What has changed
Access to people is so much easier. Whether it’s trying to find the name of a client contact or a candidate with a particular skill, social platforms give us this access.
Advertising is no longer king. Back in the day your industry profile was built on the pages of the Saturday newspapers or job boards. It drove candidates and clients to you as an expert in your field but now, more than ever, it’s about the quality of your networks and how well you nurture them.
CRMs are much better and are only going to keep improving, driving how efficiently we can engage with our customers.
Investment in technology is booming. The need to be faster, more efficient, more competitive, more connected and just better is driving big investment decisions.
And that brings me to the “why come back to recruitment” question.
By far the biggest attraction was the kind of people the industry attracts and how well aligned to them I’ve always felt.
Since the very first time I walked into the back office of Morgan & Banks in Auckland all those years ago, I have been attracted to the competitive, supportive and fun environment that is recruitment. Our people still like to have a laugh and celebrate each other’s success!
I still remember telling my family and friends that I was quitting my accounting career to recruit accountants and how, to my surprise, they all asked me why it took me so long.
But I think the timing now is also hugely driven by my exposure to tech start-ups in recent years and the impact the start-up community is having on solving problems in every imaginable industry.
The Rectech sector is no different and it is this excitement about what the future holds and my love of the industry that drove my desire to return.
Do I think technology is going to replace us anytime soon? No, I’ve made that mistake once before. But I do think what we are valued for regarding our insights, our intuition and the trust we build will become increasingly important in the face of automation.
Todd August is a highly experienced recruitment, advertising and media industry executive. He specialises in executive recruitment, candidate attraction and employer branding strategies. Todd works for Hudson in their Brisbane office.