Category Archives: Blog

4 reasons recruitment team accountability should start from the top

When I started PPS, I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t step back from the sales and billing side of the business to focus on ‘management’. Instead, I would stay on the floor doing the job beside the people I manage – not sitting above them. It’s a commitment I’ve kept, and one I think works best in our industry. Here’s why.

Leading by example is the best motivator

Most recruiters have, at some point, worked for a manager who wasn’t out there actively billing.  When you have a person sitting above you who is out of touch with the market asking you to push harder or go faster, it’s pretty hard to get motivated to go along with them.

Conversely, I have had managers in the past who have had some crazily high billing numbers, and it’s inspired me to match or beat them. That’s the kind of motivation I want in my business! If I am doing the highest numbers in the team, that’s not great for me at the time, but if it inspires others to chase me down, that’s going to take PPS a whole lot further.

Understanding the market is key to success

Being involved in billing and recruiting myself, I know what’s going on out there in the market. This means I can give my team real advice that works in the current climate. With the pace of change now, a manager who has been out of the billing game for even a few years likely doesn’t know their stuff anymore.

Being close to the action means that if numbers go down, I can determine whether it’s a performance issue or a market one. This way, I am not asking my people to do the impossible but instead working with them to find real solutions that will drive results as the market changes. On the other side of that coin, if an employee is telling me how things are, I can quickly gauge whether they are telling the truth or it’s just an excuse because I have an ear to the ground too.

Clients trust a business owner who knows their stuff 

My clients know I’m actually out there recruiting for them. I’ll get my hands dirty to find the right candidate, not palm them off to an inexperienced resourcer. They are buying the collective experience of my team and me, and they’ll actually get it. I don’t want to lose that connection with the market or my clients because it’s how PPS stays on top of the game.

It helps with finding the right hires in my own business

Staying in touch with the market doesn’t just help my clients to find the best hires for their businesses, it allows me to do the same in my own. Understanding what’s happening in our market means I can identify the right people to help PPS address challenges and realise new opportunities.

As recruiters, we’re often telling our clients to consider cultural fit in their businesses. As leaders or business owners, we should be doing the same. I understand the culture on the PPS floor because I’m part of it every day. And when my team goes drinking to celebrate a win or blow off some steam, I’m right there with them. It’s something the management books might tell you not to do, but I couldn’t disagree more – at least when it comes to the recruitment industry.

By knowing the culture and being part of it, I can hire for the right attitude and train for the skills I need. I can also see when a new hire just isn’t working out – my team doesn’t have to come and tell me what’s going on inside my business.

At the end of the day, I want my people to commit to being part of a strong future for PPS. Let’s face it, they will spend most of their time every week at work, and it’s critical that they want to drive results for the business. I can only ask for that kind of dedication from others when I am willing to give it myself.

How to find the right digital marketer for your business

Digital marketing is an ever-changing landscape, and the best digital marketers have the right mix of technical and soft skills to navigate it. Here are my tips on what to look for in a digital marketing candidate – and how to find them.

#1 Look for a candidate who knows multiple platforms and is constantly learning

The way the digital marketing space is at the moment, your success is really at the mercy of the big players. When Google or Facebook change the way they operate, you need people who understand the landscape, or your results will suffer.

This isn’t just about the technical skills because it’s constantly changing. You need someone who not only understands and immerses themselves in these platforms but continuously updates their knowledge. You might get a sense of what they already know via their resume, but it’s also important to ask about their approach to learning, including the tools they call on and how they keep up to date.

#2 Look for a candidate who can explain the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’

The best digital marketers are those who truly understand why you are (or aren’t!) getting the results. It’s all well and good if they can explain what you need to do to get results, but they also need to explain why it is the right strategy. This means they can quickly pivot when an approach stops working and should have a good sense of the trends that will shape your strategy into the future.

These are also the people you will be able to put in front of your internal or external clients because they can clearly articulate their strategy. This mix of technical skill and strategic thinking is gold when it comes to your digital marketing.

So in your interview, don’t just ask a candidate what they would do – ask them to explain why they would do it. If they can’t, they may not be the right fit to take your business further.

#3 Look for a candidate who is adaptable 

In such a fast-paced world, what you did yesterday may not be relevant today.  A candidate who is adaptable to constant change is a must. Those who can constantly tweak their strategy to meet changing demands will be the people who can support your business through the good times and the challenging ones.

#4 Look off the beaten path

The best digital marketers are often those who are currently employed elsewhere, so it’s a space where finding candidates who aren’t on the market is key. These people aren’t searching job boards and traditional job sites, so you need to think creatively. Utilising your networks on LinkedIn and seeking a recruitment partner with the right network will help you find the best talent.

#5 Make the right pitch

It’s a competitive marketplace for top digital marketing talent, so your pitch is key – particularly if you are looking to attract someone who isn’t actively on the market. You may also be competing for talent with the bigger players, who can offer many attractive perks, so thinking about what you can offer beyond salary is important.

Without being too stereotypical here, many of the best digital marketers are from the ‘digital native’ generations because they have been immersed in it from a very young age. Many younger candidates have entered the market during an employment revolution, where work-from-home and flexible hours aren’t just a perk – they are an expectation. We know these generations value more than just a pay cheque, and things like corporate culture, lived values, flexibility, work/life balance and wellbeing play an important part in your offer.

Be clear on what you offer in these spaces and how you support your team to drive results, not watch the clock.

If you are looking to find the right digital marketers for your business, PPS can help. Drop me a line to discuss your challenges and find out how we can help you reach the best candidates in a competitive market.

3 tips for finding the right IT professionals in a candidate short market

As the pandemic recedes, many organisations are returning to projects that were postponed due to COVID-19 and are needing new contractors and permanent hires to hit the ground running. Additionally, some organisations that were relying on offshore capability are finding that this is not currently viable with COVID-19 conditions and restrictions varying across the globe.  This is leading to recruitment difficulties for many in IT services, as the demand for qualified candidates outstrips supply across many key roles, including developers, engineers, business analysts and architects.

While a candidate shortage is not an easy challenge to address, there are some avenues you can consider if this is impacting your business.  Here are my tips for finding the right IT hires in a tough market.

#1 Speed up your hiring process

What we are seeing, particularly in larger businesses and the public sector, is that organisations are missing out on the right candidate due to delays in the hiring process. While it is, of course, critical to make sure you are bringing in the best candidate, in a tight market, it’s also critical to move quickly when you find the right person.  Otherwise,  with so many job vacancies, the candidate is likely to have accepted another position.

Staying in touch with the candidate and letting them know what is going on at each stage of the recruitment process is also key to keeping them engaged.

#2 Hire for cultural fit, train for skills

While you will need a mid-level or senior person for some roles, it’s worth considering whether you can consider an associate-level candidate for a specific position.  Of course, this takes a commitment to training and developing the person, but there are many benefits if you are prepared to do so.

We have some great associate-level candidates who are talented and eager to learn, and adding some fresh blood into your team can prove a competitive advantage. Firstly, it’s a cost-effective approach.  Not only is it cheaper to hire someone at a more junior career stage, but you can potentially offer your clients a more competitive pricing model because your staffing costs are lower.  Thinking long term, you can also develop the candidate’s career, leading to cost-effective internal promotion and potentially a great ongoing asset to your business.

Secondly, you may also benefit from hiring someone who doesn’t approach the role with a pre-conceived notion of how things should be done. You can really mould your new hire, ensuring they fit into your culture and develop an approach that truly works for your business.

One of the other side benefits we are seeing in this is that many senior people relish the opportunity to mentor a more junior team member, so it can be a great way to engage the entire team.

#3 Work with a reputable recruiter

In a candidate short market, it can be even harder to find the right applicants when you are going it alone.  One of the great benefits of working with a recruiter who has significant experience in the industry is that it can take a lot of the headache out of the process.

At PPS, we have extensive experience in the industry and a solid network of IT professionals who are ready to go.  We have an onshore and offshore resourcing capability, giving you the confidence that we can identify the right person for your role in a quick timeframe.

If you are looking at a contractor position, we can leverage our network to have the right person in as little as 48 hours.  For a permanent position, we can help you speed up your recruitment process, giving you a talented pool of candidates quickly.

If you are finding it difficult to hire the right people for your IT roles, drop us a line. We’d love to chat about your recruitment challenges and how PPS can help you grow your business in 2021 and beyond.

Career goals: What you need to do if you want to switch in 2021

After a weird 2020 when many of us worked from home, cut off from the office and our daily routine, it’s understandable that some are re-thinking their career options. 2021 feels like a fresh start.

In any year, it’s not unusual to see people suffering from the post-Australia-Day blues. That first full month back at work can be tough, even more so if you’re still effectively a prisoner in your own home and only edging back into office life one or two days a week.

My personal experience this year is a little 50/50 on whether it’s career change time. Some of our contacts are feeling a little anxious about shifting and moving on, while others are seeing plenty of opportunities out there as business looks to get back to normal service.

Whenever I’m asked whether now is a good time to move, my answer is generally ‘no more or less so than any other time’. If you are looking to move, here are a few tips on making sure you’re in the best position to find the role you want.

  1. Don’t cram your CV

Like many areas in life: less is more when it comes to your CV. Streamline your approach, and don’t cram it full of long-winded explanations of every job you’ve ever held.

My rule here is to highlight and elaborate on only the core skills and experience that help you make that next jump in your career. Writing ‘War and Peace’ in your CV won’t make you more employable, it’ll just bore the hell out of the person reading it. You’re much better off being succinct and to the point on your achievements, calling out those that are important and not padding your CV with superfluous dribble.Think about it this way: What would I want to highlight about myself to make me attractive to someone hiring for the role I want?

  1. Check your social media

 Here’s a free tip: Most potential employers will look at your public information, and that means your social media accounts. It’s not rocket science that what you put out there on social media will be reviewed and analysed by businesses looking to bring you in. It’s all part of a wider background check on you…shock, horror that recruiters and employers don’t just rely on your references alone!

Firstly, make sure your online presence is consistent. For example, if your CV says you were a General Manager, but your LinkedIn profile says Sales Executive, don’t be surprised if you don’t receive a call back.

Secondly, if you want to keep it personal, then make your personal social media accounts private. That way, any of your personal opinions and views can’t be used as a part of making a hiring decision. It also eliminates you having different stories on different platforms and contributes to that consistent message point I made earlier.

  1. Know what you want

This one sounds like basic common sense, but you would be surprised how many people want to switch careers without knowing what they want to switch to.

Idealism is awesome in many areas, but for your career, the reality is that you’ll most likely have to make compromises in what you want at a career level (unless you’re in the top 1%).

Knowing where you want to go is crucial to getting it right. Test it out with your current employers; if they can’t get you there, then you’ll know it’s time to find it somewhere else.

A good starting point is to get it down on paper. Create a list and share it with any recruiters you’re working with. It’ll help them find the right type of roles for you and put you in the game. It will also help sharpen your thinking so that you won’t just grab any role available. Often knowing what you don’t want is more valuable than knowing what you do.

Want to discuss your career options? DM me here or email me at steve@projectprofessionalservices.com.au.

 

 

Bored at home: Is working from home losing its shine?

It’s been one of the comments of 2020: “I love working from home, it’s so much more productive”. And for some people, it really is. We’ve had a work-from-home culture in the Australian workplace for some time now, and for a good number of people doing a day or two at home has long been part of the working norm.

The pandemic changed that to being a full-time scenario for many workers. At the time, we wrote a piece talking about it and how it worked for many of us. For those who already loved it, it was paradise. For those that missed the human interaction in the office, it was a nightmare.

One thing I’ve noticed though in recent times, both in conversations in my network and in the media, is that even some of the more ardent supporters of work from home are starting to sound a little, well…jaded. Could it be that full time working from home wasn’t all it was touted to be?

We still like working with people

In the end, we’re all social creatures. For many roles, social interaction is crucial to your success and is a key part of your working life. For all the annoying things about the office, there are many positives and I think people are starting to miss it more than they thought they would.

Everyone loves their partner/family/flatmate etc., but 24/7 contact with no breaks? It’s enough to test anyone. I’ve certainly experienced it in my life. My partner is working from home full time and I’ve noticed that she’s very keen to chat when I get back from the office. I think she misses that day-to-day human interaction too!

We can’t replace human connection through video and phone alone. We crave it, and I think that’s why we’ve seen an uptick in people going back to the CBD. It’s so much easier, for example, to brainstorm with a colleague or ask a key question when you’re there face to face. And much more interesting than talking to your cat all day.

For roles like ours, where its heavily sales focused, video and phone can be limiting. Communication is about so much more than audio, for example it’s much harder to read someone’s body language from his or her head alone on a video screen.

Mental health

There’s also the mental health aspect. Think about those that live alone as an example, I’m sure there’s people there that miss that daily interaction. I know I would.

Working is a big part of our lives and while video is great it just can’t replace human contact.

CBDs are built for work 

There’s also the fact that our CBDs in places like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane have seen huge investment in recent times. The office spaces in places like Barangaroo are state of the art and provide the best environment for work we’ve ever had. Infrastructure like the NBN is optimised for these locations to ensure we can work to the standards we need.

Then there are the hospitality and retail businesses that are being smashed by the double whammy of COVID and a huge drop in traffic through their businesses.

At PPS, we’ve always had a flexible working arrangement and that won’t change. But even I’ve noticed more of our team spending time in the office. So, to answer my own question: Yes, I think the full time work from home gloss is wearing thin, and there will be more people ready to return at least part of their working week to the office in the near future. .

What do you think? Keen to hear what you think; DM me here or email me at steve@projectprofessionalservices.com.au