Transcript #163. How to job search in 2023: An expert view on the job market and recruitment trends with Geoff Slade

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Geoff: the beauty of the recruitment industry is I don't think you can get rid of the human interaction and the judgment require.

At the more senior levels, you know, the volume end of the business, the lower end of the business will eventually become completely technology-based, I think. More senior appointments, you know, professionals, middle management, and senior management. I don't see that changing anytime soon. 

Renata: Hello, everybody. . Today I have an amazing guest. Once again, this one is quite special—Geoff Slade one of the most prominent high-profile experts in recruitment here in Australia.

If you're watching from overseas, stick around because Geoff has a very international career. You'll soon find out more about him for those that have just found this recording or this live streaming. My name is Renata Bernarde. I'm a career coach. I'm specialized in job hunting, and I host the Job Hunting podcast.

 So you can follow this on LinkedIn. You can follow this live stream also on Facebook or YouTube, wherever you feel more comfortable participating, asking questions, and commenting. We hope to get comments and questions.

Renata: Of course, we always enjoy getting that live feedback immediately from our audience. So swap to the best streaming platform for you. The one that you feel most comfortable with, and. follow us here on LinkedIn, on Facebook, or YouTube. Remember to subscribe to the podcast and listen to the many great interviews we have already.

One of which is, in fact, with Geoff. He has been interviewed in the past, right in the middle of the pandemic a few years ago.

The podcast has just celebrated three. And we have over 160 episodes. Now, this week's episode, which you can find on all podcast apps with, is with Sarah McRoy, who is an American journalist who is recording and writing and telling stories of dozens and dozens of women who.

Who have resigned during the pandemic under the banner of the great resignation? And that conversation was really lovely, and so many of you have reached back to me and told me how much you've enjoyed it. So thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback that you have given Sarah and myself.

I also wanted to do a quick shout-out to my newish service, not so new. I keep saying it's new, but it's been around for a couple of months. It's called Find My Talents, and it's a great value. And I was just thinking how wonderful it would be for people to give, find my talents to their loved ones for Christmas.

It's. I think 97 Australian dollars if you're in the us that's even cheaper for you. And it's a wonderful report that people get once they fill out a quick survey, and the report includes their top talents, their key career drivers, and the key personal values. It has a 90-page report filled with insight and reflections and advice and recommendation you can follow into 2023.

And. have a look at my website. It's on every single page. Give my find, my talents is there, and it's a great gift, as I said. Now, what we're here to talk about today, Geoff and I, is what's happening in the world of recruitment in 2022 and, most importantly, next. And Geoff SL has worked at the forefront of recruitment for over 50 years.

He's the chairman of Slade Group and Transfer International here in Australia. He's also the chairman of Yellow Folder Research Skills Stream Australia. He's involved in several professional associations and is also a non-executive director. I've known Geoff for a few years now. I've worked with Slate Group for many, many years as both a client and as a job candidate, so it's my absolute pleasure to him once again to the Job Hunting podcast.

Hello, Geoff.

Geoff: How are you, rod?

Renata: I'm great. Thank you so much. this is the second last guest interview for the Job Hunting podcast in 2022. We have one more to go. We're getting to the end of 2022, and I'd love to hear from you. About the 2022 job market. How has it been since the sort of end of lockdowns here in Australia?

Has it been warming up slowly, or is it still all over the place as it was during the pandemic?

Geoff: Well, I think it depends on your perspective for a recruitment. Company's point of view is probably the best year we've had in 50 years that I've been in the business.

Renata: Wow.

Geoff: It's a very buoyant market. It's a fact that I think control has moved from the employer to the candidate. So they can afford to be much more fussy about the sort of jobs they're. There's no doubt that skills are changing quickly. You disruption is alive and well, and I think we'll continue to be alive and well. I saw some data from the US the other day. The average change in the US in the job market is 37%. The most disrupted jobs are in the top core tile.

70% of the top core tile has been. And the least disrupted jobs, that 13% is the bottom quarter are. So what's happening at the top end of the market is pretty significant.

Renata: Geoff, I really have always enjoyed working with your team because I find that they're so responsive and so empathetic to job seekers, and you know, I've always had great experiences during this pandemic, especially this year. I have found working with my clients, both in Australia and overseas, that the recruitment process has taken longer.

than it used to in the past. Why is it taking longer if the market is so buoyant and, you know, recruiters and employers are so keen to access top talent.

Geoff: Well, I think one of the major reasons Renata is. What is commonly known as wfh, working from home,

People are much more difficult to get. So consultants are working from home in a lot of cases. we have two to three days a week where our consultants work from home. So candidates might ring 2, 3, 4, 5 times before they can get hold of the consultant that's dealing with the. Because they, they only have one phone at home, and that's their mobile, generally speaking. And then, in turn, the consultant has great difficulty getting the client because they're working from home, too, in many cases. So I think that's a major reason. And although, you know, the job market is pretty buoyant for talent, I do think that companies are.

Concerned that if they rush in too quickly, they might make the wrong decision, and therefore I think that's probably delayed things as well.

Renata: Yes. I've also seen in the US and the UK, not so much here in Australia, but with my clients overseas, the restructure is starting to happen at the end of the year, which is common. You know, November, December, restructures happen. People lose their jobs through redundancies or, you know, shrinking of companies.

Do you see that happening in Australia as well? Are you foresee that for us? Yeah. What sectors do you think sectors and professions do you think will be at risk?

Geoff: At risk of disruption

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: or that they're reorganizing?

Renata: That they are reorganizing?

Geoff: Yeah. I think most; most companies are looking hard at how they're structured

 and having to make the moves that they think are appropriate. And now is a good time to do that because, you know, the day-to-day pace of business slows down a little bit, and they've got a little more time in order to consider those sorts of things.

Renata: yes. No, it's already I. I haven't received many requests yet from Australia, but overseas, yes. UK and the us and companies in health, pharmaceuticals, technology startups so far have been the ones that I have seen. 

Geoff: Education's another one.

Renata: oh, okay. 


Geoff: we've been significantly impacted in this country in education as, as you would know, you know when we people were forced to go back to their countries of origin. During the pandemic, a lot of 'em haven't come back. So it's forcing restructuring on many organizations.

And there are, what, 39 universities in Australia alone, let alone in a secondary education. So a lot of restructuring going on there as well. But the the industries you mentioned are certainly right.

Renata: Yeah. Geoff, if somebody is being made redundant at the end of 2022, what would you recommend that person do? Do you think there's any value in looking for work right now, at the beginning of December, or should they wait until next year?

Geoff: Well, normally, I'd say no; I don't think it is worthwhile because, you know, over many years, Australian industry tended to close down pretty much between mid-December and mid-January. I've noticed a real trend that that has ceased to exist. So, you know, these days, most companies only slow right down between Christmas and New Year.

and indeed, it may be a better time to be applying for jobs because not everyone will.

So you may, you may be able to take advantage of the fact, if you're a job seeker, that you know, there aren't as many competitors out there in the market looking for work, and there aren't anyway. I mean, as I said before, the supply and demand factor is, is a big one.

And the and the demand is now exceeding supply quite significantly. So I certainly wouldn't be holding off if I.

Renata: I always tell my clients it really has to do with their energy levels as well. If they feel like they're still grieving and they haven't gotten over whatever happened to them at the previous job, just wait. You know, because that level of energy is not the right one to approach a new employer.

But if you feel pumped, then just use that as a momentum and keep on going because at the beginning of this year, in January, I remember clients having deadlines to apply for roles on, let's say, the 6th of January. I remember clearly it was the 6th of January because it was my birthday on the fifth, and I was helping a client, you know, apply for that job.

And I had another one with a deadline on the 11th of Jan. Yes. I think that right now if you have the energy, keep on going, but if you don't take a break.

Geoff: Exactly. I agree with that because you, you actually have, as you know, you have to sell yourself in the job hunting process, whether it's to someone like me or one of my team or another recruiter, or whether it's to the client directly. It's a sales job. You have to sell yourself and bring your best you to the. And if you're not feeling well or you're not, or you're feeling dispirited or tired, then you're better off.

Renata: Yeah. and Geoff, you know, compared to last year, just to give me an idea, do you your team is just as busy as they were last year? Cause I remember the end of last year was quite busy compared to. Pandemic. I don't wanna compare it to 2020 because that was an odd year. Do you think that that's the case as well this year?

That they're busy and have clients still looking for candidates now?

Geoff: One of the big issues we've got, Renata, is, in fact, burnout of our own people.

Renata: Oh yes.

Geoff: We are very busy. In fact, we've just had a record month both in our executive search business and in the rest of the business. Best November ever that I can

Renata: Wow. 

Geoff: And. People are tired.

Renata: Yes,

Geoff: You know, we're having a Christmas party this Saturday, and think we've got 77 people coming down to the farm to celebrate.

And um,

Renata: love.

Geoff: you know, they, they need to celebrate, and they need to have a rest at some point.

Renata: Oh yeah. No, it's gonna be a beautiful party, I'm sure. Geoff, that's a good point. Do you think that there's opportunities in recruitment for professionals that are interested in working in that sector?

Geoff: I do?

Renata: Yeah. what does it take to be a good recruiter, Geoff, if somebody wants to do a career change,

Geoff: Well, I think it depends on how the company you join is structured.

There are most companies in our industry in Australia, Require people to have 300 what we call 360-degree skills. They've not only gotta be able to sell what we have to offer to a prospective client, but they also have to deliver. Now we've taken that away somewhat by structuring our business to have our senior people do most of the.

Renata: Mm-hmm.

Geoff: And so then we've been able to afford to bring in people who are really good at delivery. And there's not very many people who are good at both. You know, the number of HR people I say are I hear, say you know, I wouldn't mind getting into recruitment, but I can't sell, or I don't wanna sell.

Renata: Yeah.

Geoff: really That surprises me because the perception of selling has changed enormously over the last 20 or 30 years. If you are a consultative salesperson, it's really about building relationships.

I know lots of HR people who would be good at building relationships, but they don't have the confidence because, in their mind, they're selling,

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: If they just relaxed and, and people get to know. I think to be a good consultant; you have to be interested in more than just making a sale too. You have to actually get to know your client, get to know what makes them tick, build on the relationship so that you when they do have a need, your front of mind

because they know you and they trust you, and

it's all about building.

Renata: Absolutely. It's such a good point. Chef and I, I wonder if it's the word sales that scares people when they may already have that skill anyway. in the way that they run their day-to-day operations wherever they work. That relationship building, that building of trust, the ability to influence others, isn't it part of.

Day in the corporate world, I wonder what makes people so antagonistic about the world sales, isn't

Geoff: Well, the reality is most CEOs. The chief sales officer for their organizations, whether they realize it or not,

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: we have a fellow working here who was previously the principal of a very well-known secondary college in Australia.

He specializes in education, and he is absolutely nailing it because he's good at relationship.

Renata: Yes. So, Geoff, that's interesting. it leads me to sort of talk to you about the future of recruitment. You're saying your team is, Burnt out from an amazing year. It seems like that human interaction and recruitment, therefore, is still very much on what else is happening to recruitment.

You know, it seems like there's just so much automation in recruitment these days. What is laid. Group doing to address the high volume of applications and the search for the best candidates. Is Slate also investing in that sort of technology?

Geoff: Well, we haven't got to AI yet, but it's starting to happen in the us, much less so here at this stage. I'll probably be retired by the time it arrives.

Renata: you never know. You seem to always be ahead of your game.

Geoff: You know, I often think back over 50 years and, and. Know, various technologies have sort of tended to to disrupt the industry. We originally had seek back in 2001, then LinkedIn arrived, and all this sort of thing. But the more it changes, the more it stays the same. Because the beauty of the recruitment industry is you, I don't think you can get rid of the human interaction and the, and the judgment require.

At the more senior levels, you know, the volume end of the business, the lower end of the business will eventually become completely technology-based, I think. but for more senior appointments, you know, professionals, middle management, and senior management, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Renata: Yes. for that group of professionals, the sort of senior executive level, what's the best way for them to engage recruiters? You know, considering the teams, your team now and many recruiters are working from home, working at least half of the week from home. That ability that we used to have in the past of having coffee catchups with recruiters in the city.

I remember doing that. I know it was. It was possible to do that. That doesn't seem to be on the cards anymore. How are recruiters evolving in terms of how they connect and get to know top-end candidates these days?

Geoff: Well, I'm not sure I agree with you that it it doesn't seem to happen anymore.

Renata: Okay 

Geoff: they may be working from home, but I'd be really disappointed if my team wouldn't go and meet a good candidate somewhere mutually convenient.

Renata: I see.

Geoff: To have a cup of coffee or to interview them or get to know them to do both.

In fact, I think, in many respects, that's a bit of an advantage both to the candidate and the consultant because it's a likely to be a much more relaxed environment rather than coming into an office and then having to sit in an office and be interviewed over a desk.

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: And as I said, I don't think things have changed that much, that that it's evolving away from that sort of scenario. How do they get to see recruiters? Well, you have to realize that recruiters are They're just as keen to meet the best candidates as the best candidates are to meet them, in fact, more so. So you have to somehow catch their attention.

Renata: Yes. I think the challenge for the candidate, Geoff, lemme know what you think the challenge for the candidate is. Finding the recruiters to whom they are ideal candidates. Recruiters have expertise, and they're specialized in specific sectors, industries. You just mentioned one of your recruiters who is specialized in education, for example.

Right. He's probably working within a salary range as well. So if you're able to identify those recruiters to whom you are an ideal candidate, they will want to meet. And I think that's the difference between doing the research, identifying those people, getting to know them well, following them on LinkedIn, understanding that you are, in fact, the sort of candidate that they are looking for, and then making an introduction.

Would you agree that that's the way to go?

Geoff: I would agree if you want to get to meet whoever the recruiter is, that is likely to most influence your future career. Ring the recruitment companies that you think might work in your particular space. Find out who that recruiter is. You know, I would call Uplay and say, for instance, can you tell me who the the lead person is in the education?

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: Like most things in life, it's all about timing too. So, you know, you have to stay in touch. You have to make sure your CV reads appropriately. What are the things in your CV that are going to capture the attention of the recruiter? I can tell you that the things that are most likely to capture the attention of the recruiter your accomplishment.

What have you achieved that's added value to the organizations you've worked with? What have you achieved that's made a difference? So that needs to be loud and clear on the front page of your cv.

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: Quite often, we see CVS that, you know, show all sorts of other nice things, but the actual accomplishments on the third or fourth page,

Renata: Mm-hmm.

Geoff: frankly, these days, two pages of CV is.

Three at the most. Beyond that, you are talking, generally speaking, you are talking about jobs that you did 10 years ago or more, and no one has any interest. The recruiter doesn't, and neither does the client, generally speaking. So focus on what's relevant, what you can bring to the table, what's going to attract the recruiter's attention, what's going to attract his or her client's, A.

Renata: Yeah,

Geoff: That makes the sell job between recruiter and the client much easier.

Renata: yeah. Geoff, what is your take on cover letters? More and more, I'm noticing that they are not a requirement for online applications, especially those that are done via LinkedIn or even here in Australia. Do recruiters who like to read.

Geoff: Well, I wouldn't apply to a job without putting a cover letter on.

Renata: Me too. I just love cover letters. . I think that, you know, especially when you're, you're looking at achievements, and you know, it's such a great opportunity to explain maybe a career gap or any sort of changes you've made. It's

Geoff: Even if it's a one paragraph,

Renata: Exactly.

Geoff: what I'm looking for? This is why I'm looking. This is what I've done. This is what I can bring to the party.

Renata: Yes, in fact, we worked on a project together a couple of years ago. It's called Researcher Career. It's still on my website, and there's a template there that says exactly that, you know, a template that you can use to contact recruiters. There's a template for tors. Ab Absolutely agree. When you when you think of 2023, Geoff, what are you expecting to see for your team and the way that you operate with clients and candidates?

Do you think it's gonna be a repeat of 2022 in terms of the business and how buoyant the market will be? Or you thinking maybe a recession in the inflation might put a a stop to that.

Geoff: Well, I can. You can't speak for the US or the UK, or Europe.

Renata: huh?

Geoff: Asia. I mean, I do keep an eye on these things, obviously, but I don't think the Australian market's gonna go into recession. I think we're gonna be just as busy next year as this year. I think there are some key trends, though, that are happening across global jobs.

I went to a conference the other day run by Singularity University out of the US. It was in Sydney. And one of the things they said was and they're a university that is focused on disruption. They said that 87% of job titles over the next 10 years haven't been invented.

Which I thought was pretty interesting because, you know, you, if you're a job hunter, you need to be aware of that because if you are applying for a job that's no longer regarded as sort of having a requirement, but there's a different title to that job, which is, might be the same job, but just totally different in ti title terms. You need to be on top of that.

  1. Digital skills are changing quickly and disrupting jobs more and, and will disrupt jobs more in the next five years than probably in the last 50 to a hundred. I think both in digital jobs and non-digital occupations, it's not limited to jobs in it. And I think roles across industries increasingly.

Technical fluency and abilities. But on top of that, they many of them now require soft skills, even for the technical gurus.

So the sort of things that I think are required are organizational skills, time management, communication, leadership, positive thinking, listening skills, very important, critical thinking, and the ability to build effective relationships.

Some other things that I think will come into play from 80. From next year onwards, the data visualization has increased across occupations,

social media skills. I think many jobs will demand social media capabilities

or knowledge to keep pace. And I think last. Job growth is happening in non-geographical, in um, I think, for instance, here in Victoria, new geographical areas.

 we are seeing that jobs on the Mornington Peninsula that we've never seen before. We're seeing jobs in Geelong and Ballarat, and Bendigo that we've never seen before. There's always been low-level jobs in those cities, but now we are seeing middle management and above occurring in those sorts of places.

Renata: I'm so glad you mentioned that because I see that too, and I see I actually have two clients at the moment in regional Victoria, and I, I tell them, you don't need to work in Melbourne anymore if you don't want to.

Geoff: no, that's right. And it's a lot less expensive to live in one of the regional cities.

Renata: Exactly, and, and look, it may be, and I don't know if you agree with me, maybe that the salary in those regions is not as high as Melbourne's, but I think that that's changing as well.

Geoff: It is no 

Renata: Yeah. 

Geoff: I don't think there's much gap between what's Melbourne's offering. There's a gap between Sydney and Melbourne.

Renata: Oh,

Geoff: more expensive, you get better salaries in Sydney, but it's a lot more expensive to live there. I have a son who lives there.

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: And he's in the tech space.

But He tells me that all the time,

I don't think there's much difference between Melbourne and its regional cities. when you analyze, The sort of InDemand skills are brand management becoming increasingly important. Web analytics and e-commerce and mobile development. They're probably the top four skills that are, and people, I think we've paid lip service to the fact that we have, we, being the general population.

Has been told for years that they have to have lifelong training.

Renata: Mm,

Geoff think most of them don't pay any attention to it.

Renata: yes.

Geoff: And, and some, and, and the next few years will force them to do that because the jobs they've traditionally applied for won't be there. Not under that, not under that name anyway.

Renata: I'm glad you mentioned that.

because when you hit that crossroad, and you're thinking deeply about the next step to take in your career, and you haven't done any or very little professional development up until that point. It's a good time to think if you want to stay in that career or move on, because it may be that, you know, in order to catch up.

And achieve that recency in your knowledge will be just as hard as you finally devoting time and investing in a different career path that you've always wanted to pursue.

Geoff: Well, maybe that's been what's forced the great resignation. Who knows? You know, a lot of people have resigned their jobs saying, I wanna do something different.

Renata: Hm.

Geoff: What is it they want to do is the big question. And have they done any training or development to actually make sure they can get a job in those areas?

It'll be interesting to see if there is a recession, whether or not they're forced back into what they were doing previously. 

Renata: Boomerang, they're calling it a boom. Boomerang, 

Geoff: Yeah, that's right.

Renata: Mm-hmm.

Geoff: I think there's probably three factors that will shape the future labor supply. This is globally, not, not just in Australia.

I think there's an aging population happening everywhere, but it's at a different pace in different countries.

I think falling immigration will squeeze labor supply in more developed countries, and I think high workforce participation can partially offset fewer working aging.

I think the governments are starting to wake up to the fact that there's a lot of people now retired at 55 or 60 who still have another 20 or 30 years of value in the workforce if they can get a job.

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: But there's not much incentive there to get a job so far, not in this country anyway.

Renata: No, that, that's right. So I guess the message is, you know, take this time if you're between jobs or if you're incredibly unhappy with your job or career to decide what do you want to crystallize. Do you want to crystallize your work experience by doing further professional developments to keep up with your profession?

Or is it time for. Pivot into a different career. I think that that's a really important message. And one, it's better to do when you are not in an unemotional way. I find that towards the end of the year, people tend to get really burnt out, and they might be very emotional about, you know, that they, they need their career decisions at this time of the year.

Usually, if I have consultations with people at this time of the the year, I'm usually calming them down and asking them to wait before making a very drastic change. Resigning from work or something like that, which people, it's not only redundancies that tend to happen at the end of the year, people tend to switch off and, and resign at this time as well.

So it's a really interesting time. Geoff, when I, when I think of the next five years, I don't know if it was doing our group coaching session because you and I had a q and a session inside my group coaching program last week. And we were discussing about how much change in technology would happen in the next five years and.

Scared the group a little bit. . It's one more thing for us to think about. I mean, you've seen so many technological advancements and changes throughout your career. What's the secret sauce in. Keeping up with what's happening and remaining, you know, on top of your game and on top of your, in, in, in control of your career as technology and economics keeps . Changing.

Geoff: I don't know that there's a secret source, but I, I think

one of the things that. find, particularly with young people at the moment, is that they don't seem to be prepared to actually spend time reading

what's going on in the world. For a start, I've got four kids of my own age, 30 to 40. Whilst they might watch the television to get, you know, abreast of the news, they don't actually read much. And if I was looking to work in a particular industry, I'd be following what's going on in that industry pretty closely.

Particularly if it was a new, an industry that's new to me, you know, you've gotta be able to converse in the jargon if you.

Renata: absolutely.

Geoff: to be able to convince somebody that you are worth taking a risk on.

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: And if you don't understand the industry and what its requirements are or what the jobs are in that industry, then it, it lessens your chances considerably.

Renata: Yeah. That's one of the biggest misunderstandings in, in job hunting is the amount of research that you have to do in order to 

move forward with the recruitment and selection process as a job candidate and that carving out that time. Is something people need to do. You know, it's not just that you want the job, it's that there is homework to be done between you wanting the job and you actually getting it.

And it may include you catching up with people that work in that industry, reaching out to maybe former colleagues or 

Geoff: your networks. 

Renata: using your network. Plus the. Plus absolutely. The reading. 

Geoff: One of the things I say, one of the things I say to my consultants here

Renata: mm-hmm.

Geoff: is when they say, oh, there's nothing happening much in my industry that, fortunately, that's not happening at the moment, but we have had times when that's been the case. I say, pick up the financial review, pick up the age business pages and look at what's happening.

Wherever there is change, there's opportu. You know, a company might be buying a new computer system. It might be it might have sacked its advertising agency. It, it might have acquired another company. It might have; it might be putting people off. Wherever change takes place, there's opportunities.

And, you know, regrettably, not everybody takes a lot of notice of that, but I've always worked on it. Time I've been in the industry and said, well, you know, for instance, yesterday I heard on the radio when I was driving in that a woman had been appointed as the CEO of one of the AFL football clubs. they mentioned where she was currently. And that she was moving into this job and I rang, we've done some work with that company that she's working for now. And I rang my CEO of Trans Search, and I said, you're probably not aware of this because it's just been announced. Can you get onto the our contact at that company and see if you can pick up that assignment

Renata: absolutely. Yep.

Geoff: and you have to move quickly.

Renata: And in the same way that you have noticed that in picking up an assignment for your company as a recruiter, candidates can do that if they feel they can, you know, fulfill that role, and they can Do that opportunity that has just been made vacant. And and I encourage my clients to do that often as well when they see something in the news.

And they, very recently, one of my clients saw just like you. And something letting people know that the CEO was resigning and how wonderful it had been that he had done so much for that organization for the past decade or so. She immediately contacted somebody on the board that she knew. And we workshop, you know, how she should say it.

Because being on the board level means, you know, it's not always that you can or should take a candidate forward, but that person let her know who was running the recruitment for the new CEO of that organization. And that hasn't been. Advertised yet, and she's already in discussions with the recruitment company, already has the position description, and knows when the deadline is.

And there are some things in the position description that she, some selection criteria that she doesn't have. But she has already discussed that with the recruiter. And the recruiter said that's fine. So, and that has all happened before the position is advertised. That, you know, that, that's a great story.

I think to inspire people to feel like they not only should reach out, they have to reach out to show that they have the advocacy for their careers and they're willing to put their hands up.

Geoff: I think re one of the things you people need to think about when they're looking for jobs. They've gotta be a bit entrepre.


The same way our pe I have to be entrepreneurial. I, I recall many years ago now, but a, a young fellow who wrote to me and, and said that he, he was working in the superannuation space and he had a degree, and he felt he wasn't being appreciated.

and lots of people have this; they do, they underestimate what it is they. To offer in the way of either qualifications or experience or both. So I looked at this, this young fellow was only 23, and I looked at his CV, and I rang him up immediately, and I said, I'd like you to come in and see me tomorrow morning.

So when he came in, I said to him, I think you are very placeable. And these are the reasons. And these are the companies I'm thinking of where I might be able to place you. But I want you to agree with me that you won't apply to anybody else whilst I explore these five options that I have for you. And I'll I'll undertake to do that in the next 48 hours. So don't go and be interviewed by anybody else, either directly or through a recruiter. Leave it with me and let's see if I can't find you.

Renata: Yes.

 I had three interviews lined up for him within 48 hours, and I had him placed within 48 hours because he took the first job that was offered to him.

Renata: That's

Geoff: as far as I was concerned, as a 

recruiter, interested in making a dollar that was money for jam,

Renata: Yes.

Geoff: but he hadn't recognized what he brought to the table.

So you need to understand what it is. Again, the supply and demand equation, you know, are my skills in short supply.


way you can, you can actually negotiate a much better opportunity than you might normally be able to do.

Renata: Yes, it's incredible, isn't it? I think people get caught up in the internal politics of their workplace and what's happening internally, and they forget to do that benchmarking exercise and understand what is it that they add to the market and position themselves. Decision makers like yourself or other employers, and they, they don't have even the narrative to explain what they do.

it comes from being great at what you do and doing it so naturally, day in, day out, that you forget that that's a strength.

Geoff: Yeah. That's. Interestingly, let me take you back to your question about, you know, are there, are there opportunities in the recruitment industry for people at this time?

Renata: Um-huh

Geoff: I would say that anybody joining the recruitment industry at this time will never find a better case for doing it. You know we had two people join us last year at two years. They had been in the industry with somebody else. They were being very well paid in terms of a base salary. I offered them an opportunity to take a much lesser base salary but a much better incentive scheme. One of them last year earned over $400,000 for himself.

The other one earned over $600,000 for herself. Now, how many industries do you know where that is.

Renata: not Manny, Geoff 

Geoff: if you are good at it and you are dedicated to it, and you are prepared to be really focused and understand your clients and build relationships, and what I love most about this industry, I fell into it from the other side of HR in a big corporate 50 odd years ago, as you know.

And what I love about it is you can. how well or how badly you do,

Renata: Yeah.

Geoff: but I think it applies to other industries as well.

Renata: No, it does. 


Geoff: If anyone came to me and said, I really wanna work in this industry and, and they could get me to understand why they would really want to work in the industry and what they bring to bring in the way of added value, I would talk to them.

And so would every other recruiter in town because everybody's looking for people.

Renata: Yes. and Geoff, that leads me to one of the biggest challenges that I, I have with my clients and professionals in general. Even when they don't work with me, they tell me all the time is LinkedIn. You know that they observe, and they can kind of see from a distance the power that it can have in their careers, but they're reluctant to take it up. You know, there's this, I don't know, people are usually afraid of not having control over. LinkedIn and how it's going to be portrayed or that they may say something in a comment or post something that may not be well received. They find it really hard to develop an ongoing presence on LinkedIn, which I believe now is crucial for.

Employment opportunities. I have seen, you know, I have a service called LinkedIn Audit. I know Anita, your wife is a big fan of the LinkedIn audit. She keeps referring it to other people. But once the LinkedIn profile and if we can go a step further, the activity are set in well designed for in aligned to that person's profess. it just generates so much interest. You know, I can see people getting more views. I can see them getting more messages from recruiters or talent acquisition managers saying, we have identified you for, you know, a role that we're advertising. We are you willing to have a conversation, or he's the link to apply.

So we tweak and tweak until we reach. Perfect alignment. You know, sometimes I have to admit, sometimes you, you do a LinkedIn audit, and the roles are not, are just a level below. There's a little bit of tweaking that we need to do then with the wording on the about section or in the experience or the way that you present in the activity to aligned to make sure that it's correct, you know, that it finally aligned.

But it can be done, and it's such an easy way, in my view, of making and something automated. So you, you basically, LinkedIn is working for you in your sleep. You don't even need to be there, and it's working for you. But there is a great reluctance, and so I, I know that there will be people listening now or, or later. Who this may help. I would love to hear your views about it. How does your team use LinkedIn, and is it as important to them as it is to, you know, I know that in the US, for example, you can't be in the corporate sector without a LinkedIn profile.

Geoff: You have to use everything at your disposal.

LinkedIn is just one of those things. But I certainly wouldn't ignore it,

Renata: Yeah.

Geoff: that it is a very powerful opportunity creator for you. the one thing I would say, however, is, well, two things I'd say. One is it doesn't matter what it is you do in life; you really get a reward unless you take a risk.

That's my experie. Secondly, if you do get an opportunity, whether it be through LinkedIn or a recruiter or directly, you should do due diligence because your career is very important to you. It's like buying a house. In fact, you might not have the house if you make the wrong career choice. That's the reality. If you make the right career choice, You might have two houses, who knows, but you must do due diligence on the company that you are thinking of joining. You know, what sort of organization are they? What are they like in terms of promotion and rotations? Do you get opportunities to be developed further?

One of the things I took on board many years ago here was if I couldn't. To pay absolute top dollar to attract the best people I could into the business. It occurred to me that companies like the Big Four Chartered firms, some of the investment banks, et cetera, if they couldn't compete on dollars, they competed very much on personal and professional develop.

Renata: Yes,

Geoff: and we adopted that here. So we do a lot of development of, of our staff more. More than they probably want. Yeah. I'm always too busy. They come up with all sorts of excuses, but you know, I'm too busy to be able to attend that training program. Well, I'm sorry, you have to attend that training program.

Renata: Talking about, I think as, as a final question to you, at least from my side Geoff, is are you seeing more flexibility. and part-time opportunities at the senior level because I have noticed a lot of people interested in working, let's say, four days a week or three days a week at that senior level.

Do you, do you think that there's an appetite for employers to take that up?

Geoff: Depends how senior you're talking about, at the very senior level, I'd say no, there's not much of an appetite.

Renata: Mm-hmm.

Geoff: But it can happen. It does happen.

I think there; there is much more of an appetite than there was even two or three years ago to have people working three or four days a week at, at the sort of secondary level or, or below that. However, I don't think that many companies are prepared to sort of say, I'll pay you the same money to work four days a week as I would be paying you for five.

Renata: Yeah, I don't even think that there's an expectation from the candidates that the money would be equal, could be wrong there. I think it's really more, you know, the, how the pandemic has changed people's goals, priorities, yes. Yeah.

Geoff: Look, I have seen people who expect five days pay for four days work.

I've seen some companies offering it even in our industry. And they claim very quickly thereafter to say, you know, productivity hasn't been impacted at all. I'd be very wary of that. But I do think companies need to address the hiring challenges that are out there.

And I think promoting hybrid working models is, is one of them. I went to a seat conference just a few weeks ago, and they had. Researched their executive database and found that 61% of executives on that database said they wouldn't entertain taking a new job unless there was working from home arrangements. That seemed pretty high to me.

Renata: I would say it's a hundred percent of my clients, yes.

Geoff: I think companies are also having to use external talent acquisition partners to augment their internal functions. I think they're moving more quickly onto automation, robotics, and digitization-type approaches,

and I think they're offering additional incentives to get people, so that's how they're addressing the challenge of finding new hire.

But I think in, you know, in summing up, I think the differences in the recruitment industry since the pandemic, the major differences are that the power has shifted from client to candidate and that demand outstrips the supply. And people looking for a job now should be pretty well placed if they know how to approach.

Renata: Yes. Well, Geoff, I think that that's a great statement for us to finish our conversation today, and I think it gives people great hope and some ideas on what to do. Moving forward, December. Who knows, if you want to keep looking, you have our blessing here. we have given you a few ideas of how to do so.

If you want to wait until next year, we're equally happy for you, and you know where to find me. And this podcast, you will be able to find Geoff on LinkedIn and on the his company's website as well, the slate. I will have the links to everything that we've discussed today. If there are any articles or services that we've discussed, I'll make sure that the links are the in the episode show notes for the podcast.

This episode is coming out very soon, before the end of the year. Geoff, thank you so much. There was a point where we had close to 50 people listening today, so that was great to see. We had LinkedIn users saying thank you both. Great podcasts, no questions, people were very quiet, just taking it all in.

Geoff, no questions for us, but it's nice to know that people were watching us, and thank you so much once again. For another great episode. Oh, and by the way, I'll put a link to the previous episode with Geoff, which is episode 52. If anyone wants to have a look, that one was recorded right in the middle of the pandemic back in 2020.

Geoff, thank you so much. Merry Christmas and have a great day with the team on Saturday and say hello to everyone for me.

Geoff: And the same to you, Renata, and all your listeners.

Renata: Thank you. Bye-bye.

Geoff: Bye.



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