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RCSA CEO is right on the money

The following article was originally published on Shortlist, 30 January 2020 and I’m in total agreement with Charles Cameron. Australian employers don’t know how good they’ve got it when compared with other Western countries. It’s time our industry stood up to be counted.

Time to push back on bad business terms: RCSA

A rising number of recruitment companies are pushing back against ‘bad business’, but the issue requires a stronger response, says RCSA CEO Charles Cameron.

“We’re even seeing the larger players – the Manpowers, the Adeccos – making decisions to get out of certain markets and have greater confidence not to supply just for the sake of top-line revenue,” he tells Shortlist.

This should apply with PSAs and large-scale contracts, or indeed any arrangements with clients where recruiters take on a disproportionate amount of risk and costs, or the margins “are so razor thin that there is no room for any form of error or significant event”.

In the ACT, for example, some government employers are trying to push the cost of candidates’ security clearances – which can be upwards of $10,000 – on to recruitment suppliers, Cameron says.

Many Australian agencies have historically agreed to business terms and conditions they shouldn’t really allow, he says, and in his travels to the UK, Europe and the United Sates, Cameron finds industry leaders are “horrified” by what their local counterparts accept.

Recruiters shouldn’t fear saying no, he adds, because “in many circumstances those clients will actually come back to them and say ‘all right, we will do the business on your terms’, because they can’t find alternative suppliers who can actually find the talent”.

RCSA is planning a campaign to encourage more recruiters to reject commercially unviable business, he adds. “We need to give confidence to each and every firm to be able to say no.”

What makes a ‘good’ client?

The profile of a good client, says Cameron, includes a willingness to engage suppliers with clarity and transparency – by setting clear business objectives and budgets at the onset of the relationship.

It also means working with clear and consistent performance expectations and evaluations, along with transparency and accountability around legal issues and risks…

This excerpt is reproduced with permission from Shortlist, and the full article has been temporarily unlocked for access without a subscription.

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Slade Group clocks 50 years in recruitment

Continuing the theme of reflecting on our milestone achievement, Slade Group has been looking back on our 50 year journey from the early days back in 1967, to present day and beyond. In 2017 we are reshaping our vision for the future and anticipating what challenges may lay ahead for our business, the broader landscape of Australian organisations, and people @work. We present the following article, which was published on recruitment industry news site Shortlist.

Slade Group celebrates its 50­ year anniversary this month, founder and chair Geoff Slade reflects on the demise of generalists and where recruitment is headed.

“The day of generalists has pretty much passed. I will willingly admit I’m a generalist myself, but that’s something that’s happened over the evolution of time. The future consultants will be very focused; they’ll have a vertical talent community to look after,” he told Shortlist.

Slade Group, which employs 40 staff, hasn’t dramatically changed its approach to recruitment since it first started in the industry in 1967 as GW Slade and Associates, he notes.

Trust remains the most valuable currency in the industry, and will become even more important for consultants who will have to build a community of perhaps 100–120 people, he says.

“There’s been some big challenges with the advent of Seek and LinkedIn in particular, but I think the key to [surviving] it has been the ability to adapt.”

Client and candidate one and the same

Many recruiters “have missed the boat” in terms of understanding the candidate is as much a client as the organisation paying the fee, says Slade. “That [understanding] is something that has served us well over the 50 years.”

He says the company’s emphasis on building relationships has resulted in lasting staff tenures – with some consultants working at Slade for 10 or 20 years – and long-term client retention.

“If you look at the professional services end of the market, we’ve got a lot of contracts with universities – some going back over 10 years – where we’ve had to fight off competition every three years when they’ve put it out to tender.”

The company aims for a mix of experienced consultants and those with background in their specialisation, along with fledgling recruiters, and it devotes resources not just to coaching and developing staff as consultants, “but as people”, Slade says.

“On­boarding is important. We don’t just say ‘here’s your desk, here’s your phone, you’re a consultant now go to it’.”

Education, healthcare, and property are Slade Group’s fastest­ growing sectors, he says, but expanding into other areas depends on the calibre of people it can attract to drive growth.

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