I originally came out to Australia for what was meant to be a year, but 10 years or so later I am still here. I have spent that time going back and forth between England and Australia, working for a variety of different recruitment companies and in different sectors. Over this time, one thing has become very apparent to me with regards to the recruitment industry in both countries – Australia is a much better place to do work. This is a personal view point but the path I have taken has been well trodden by UK recruiters for many years and that trend seems only to be getting stronger...so obviously I am not alone.
The shortage of recruiters in Australia means that I am continually sourcing talent from the UK and having conversations with recruiters who are based there about moving to Australia. After we have got beyond the improved climate and potential for a much improved lifestyle the conversation turns to why it is different recruiting in Australia. Based on my experience, this is what I tell them:
The "fair go" Australian attitude means that people here will more readily give you a chance to prove yourself. In England, I would often find myself having to beg a receptionist to put me through to a hiring manager and then have to beg again for a meeting which would only happen because I had bored them into submission. A painful and unrewarding experience all round. In Australia, the majority of times I call a new client I get through to the hiring manager directly, they are happy to speak and as long as I am credible and pleasant they will agree to see me. It doesn’t even feel like a sales call. In fact the meeting will more likely be in a coffee shop than a boardroom.
Australian’s are intrinsically more genuine, more honest and more respectful. In terms of recruitment this makes for far less messing about with uncommitted time wasters (the scourge of every recruiters life!). You can leave any bravado at the door and you will find yourself being able to be far more consultative and not just a sales person / job filler.
The shortage of skilled recruiters in Australia means less competition with other recruiters working in the same sector as you. The usual state of play in England is that most market sectors are far too over subscribed with recruiters all going for the same piece of pie. So yours will likely be the tenth sales call that hiring manager has received that day. Whilst the Australian recruitment landscape is competitive there are not as many providers - it easier to get heard when the background noise is not as loud.
The economic climate in Australia is amongst the healthiest anywhere in the world and, with the caveat that I am not an economist, it should continue to be a rich playground for recruiters. Compare this to England (or other parts of Europe and the US for that matter) and you have a further reason why recruiting in Australia is a more pleasant experience.
The Friday night drinks trolley can appear as early as 4pm ...and includes nibbles!
If you are a recruiter who wants to be recognised as an expert and respected as a peer by your clients, play on a level playing field and, let’s be honest, would prefer your job to be easier then there is no better place to ply your trade than the lucky country down under.
Footnote: whilst this blog may not appear so, I am at heart an Englishman. I cried when we won the Ashes and will be supporting England over Australia in the Rugby World Cup !