From ‘dead-in-the-water’ to multi-site operator; how entrepreneur Mathew Sielicki changed the game
Mathew Sielicki thought his business was ‘cactus’ when the pandemic hit Australian shores, but he didn’t have long to worry; his company started demonstrating pre-COVID milestones after he implemented a secret roadmap to recovery.
Growing up in the bustling streets of Sydney was always fun for Mathew Sielicki and he knew one day he would do something that made his family proud.
As one of five boys, Mathew wasn’t too concerned with higher education; only one of his brothers completed Year 12 and he knew his path would look a little different to that of his siblings.
Relationships were always important to the triple-time entrepreneur - a value ingrained in him from very early on by his family.
“We were taught to value relationships across business, and in our homes, as they were built on trust and long-term investment,” Mathew said. “And today, that value is still behind every commercial decision I make.” Mathew said.
Mathew isn’t known for being a good sleeper, and that’s understandable when you start to understand his mindset.
“I had a manager who was admittedly a bit of a drill sergeant, and he left me with a stinging memory that has pushed me every time I was running late on a deadline or not driving hard enough,” he said.
“I remember being in the office and seeing the clock tick over to 6pm. I turned to my manager and said that I needed to leave, and he asked, ‘Did you get that role filled’”?
“I replied that I hadn’t and that it wasn’t going to get filled that night and that’s when he yelled at me – actually yelled, and it almost rendered me in tears. He said, ‘We have clients who pay us and you will get that role filled tonight,’” Mathew said. Mathew filled that role by 8pm that same night.
The moment spurred Mathew’s growth within his role, propelled his dedication to the industry and changed his mentality to always be ‘for the client’. Today, Mathew is the managing director of Premier Staffing with offices in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Mathew seems to have found a way to travel through time as he also owns Bricks & Mortar Real Estate in Western Sydney and is the managing director of Yolk Utilities, an up-and coming NBN provider.
“Great business takes extreme determination. I hate to fail, and I hate to lose, and I do everything within myself to prevent that from happening,” Mathew said. “I don’t take a 9-5 mentality as I was taught long ago not to stop until I had done what I needed to achieve.”
He lives and breathes that secret roadmap and attributes it to his success during the pandemic which saw him grow Premier Staffing in Western Australia and into New Zealand.
“When I started hearing how people were being laid off in droves, I thought we were cactus for sure.
All I could think was that we would find a way to survive and that’s when I leant into my relationships with my managers,” Mathew said.
“We started talking about the situation openly in WA. When shutdown happened during COVID, it meant FIFO stopped…and we’re a blue-collar recruitment agency. When the borders closed, our candidates could no longer enter or leave the state and we knew we had a problem.
“Our WA state manager Dean Bergersen was instrumental in our turnaround approach realising that while people were being laid off, it meant an untapped pool of skilled and committed talent were becoming available and ready to work – some of these began temping with us and this is how we moved through the uncertain period. Our bread and butter, connecting candidates with the perfect role, also became a way that we were able to support local communities through that highly challenging period. There was never a more fulfilling time to be in recruitment.”
Following the success of WA, Mathew and his partner Steve began eyeing off the fourth site for their operations in South Australia. Shortly after that, New Zealand became an attractive proposition and since, the pair have been actively looking for staff in the region to oversee the outfit.
Mathew adopts a ‘never stop until it’s done’ mentality, but it is not something he expects of his team and contractors.
“I’m definitely a work-a-holic and that type of personality doesn’t work for everyone; I balance well off others and need their different perspectives and approaches to shape new environments, client relationships and beyond,” he said.
“They help me calibrate my expectations and I absolutely need that in a team I trust.”
And we haven’t even scratched the surface on Mathew’s other businesses.
The restless entrepreneur had grown tired of poor services in real estate and telcos after having less than inspiring experiences.
“I was so tired of receiving poor service and outcomes from things I invested in and paid money for. I was so disenchanted by the agent and the telco, so I set up a real estate agency and found a wholesaler that let me build my own telco company,” he said.
“Rather than complain about poor services or products, I choose to do it better.”