Cameron Norton was a Principal Consultant with Davidson’s Executive and Boards team when he was named SEEK’s 2019 Recruitment Consultant of the Year.
In January 2020, Cameron moved to Expert360 to take on the role of Enterprise Sales Manager and to grow the Victorian market for the online talent platform geared towards experts in their field.
The SEEK Award was a fitting honour for Cameron, who was one of the first consultants in Australia to embrace the use of video throughout his recruitment processes with a goal of enhancing his service to clients and improving the overall candidate experience.
The Brief spent five minutes talking with Cameron about his career – past, present and future.
What’s you background in the recruitment industry?
I have been working in the recruitment industry for almost six years as an Executive Recruitment/Search specialist with a focus on the community and public sectors (local and state government). Prior to recruitment, I worked across a number of generalist HR roles within a Victorian Government department.
In 2020, I have joined Expert360 which is essentially an online talent platform for matching experts (on our platform) to the workforce needs of clients that are embracing project based working. I joined Expert360 as I view project-based working as an approach that organisations will need to utilise in the future world of work. I was keen to expand and stretch myself from a personal development perspective and felt moving into a “new-age” type of organisation would provide the greatest growth whilst also being able to have an impact for my clients in changing the way they engage talent, and therefore changing their outcomes.
Why has strong communication with clients been such a focus for you?
When I first joined the recruitment industry, I heard many people say “recruiters don’t get back to you” or “I’ve gone for an interview and haven’t heard anything for three weeks – what’s happening?”. From this, I assumed there was a problem from a process perspective and felt there were a number of things that could be done to change this view of recruiters.
I was fortunate to gain good fundamentals in recruitment as a new recruiter that meant that my processes tended to be fairly well ran and consistent from the beginning. As I evolved as a professional and the volume of processes, clients, candidates and pressures increased, I could see exactly why it became hard to stay on top of things.
Innovation is spawned from necessity many times and this was certainly the case for me. At one point I think I had 27 retained executive level recruitment processes that I was working on. If you quantify what this means, it may look like 10 active candidates per role which equals 270 candidates wanting to know what’s happening, plus 27 clients and then all the other candidates that were calling in to learn more about a job, request a position description etc.
At the peak, there could have been over 400 people you were needing to interact with in one working week. To do a good job with that level of volume is very difficult.
At first and in response to the volume problem, I started to record videos (using the VideoMyJob app) to capture everything I knew about a role that I could quickly send to candidates that wanted “to learn more about a role”. Accompanied with the link to the video would be the Position Description, a recruitment timeline/process flowchart and the link to apply. This meant that candidates had everything they needed to consider the role and I had still maintained some personal touch in delivering the message while achieving leverage through recording the one video as opposed to having 100 of the same conversation on the phone. This cut down the traffic on the phones without losing the personal touch.
From there, the approach moved to weekly updates to active talent pools to advise of their application progress, videos for assisting with interview preparation and then also congratulations videos for successful candidates.
When I first started using video as a communication tool, it meant that I was different as a consultant (as other recruiters weren’t doing it), it was memorable and maintained the personal touch. Candidates seemed to love it and I received a lot of feedback across the journey that motivated me to stick with it.
What was the reaction of your clients to this approach?