This week Shaun speaks to Greg Savage - world renowned recruiter, author, speaker and entrepreneur with over 40 years’ experience in the recruitment industry. Greg has scaled 4 highly successful businesses, is a regular on the international speaking circuit and soon to be author of his first book 'The Savage Truth'.
Topics discussed in this podcast:
· What it takes to be a successful recruiter in 2019
· Winning the hearts and minds of a team to achieve great things
· The effect of AI on the future of the Recruitment Industry
· The importance of reputation in recruitment and business
Can you give us the 3-minute summary of your recruitment CV?
I started in January in 1980, I worked in executive search in Australia for a few years, went to London worked for accountancy personnel which is the company that became Hays, this was before the internet, so it was all old school recruiting in it’s truest sense. I then came back to Australia with the same company and when hays bought that company, myself and 2 other guys jumped off and started our own business which was called Recruitment Solutions. It was a long journey but it was a lot of fun and a lot of success and we grew that business from the three of us in a room to 250 people across Australia and New Zealand and enlisting on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1998 which was the 3rd recruitment com ever to list. That was a lot of fun, I stayed on the board for some time after that, but that’s a different story.
What in your view does it take to become a successful recruiter in 2019?
It’s the million-dollar question, and I think that a great recruiter going forward will be an expert in the use of the best technology and they will harness that technology and they will extract the value of it, but it will synchronise with highly sophisticated human influencing skills. That’s the marriage of art and science that makes a great recruiter in my opinion. And so its wrong for people to say that automation will do recruiting, its equally as wrong to say that its all human and its all the old school its neither its not binary. It’s a mix and tied in with that is the ability to build brand – and really I’d say it like this a great recruiter has to provide clients with something they cant find themselves, our competition isn’t other agencies, it isn’t LinkedIn or Seek – all of those things are chipping away and playing their part the real crux of value is to bring to clients what they cant find themselves and that is of course unique candidates. You need to act as an agent for great talent and represent them in the marketplace.
What are your tips for clients when engaging with agencies?
The recruitment industry in its current model is dysfunctional, and its partly because recruiters have allowed it to be that way, but partially because clients drive it that way through contingent multi-listed job orders. So our biggest tip for clients is work with less recruiters, expect more from them but provide them more commitment. That is the key, you should give your jobs to a great recruiter exclusively and then expect the best from them. Provide them with all the information they need give them transparency, bring them into the tent. You need to partner with them not interact with them in a transactional context. The decisions making by clients on how to use recruiters is totally dysfunctional and harmful to all parties, this includes the candidate. My big tip is high expectations of your recruiter but give them high commitment.
What are your tips for creating and sustaining a high-performance culture?
Creating a high-performance culture starts at the very beginning, you’ve got to hire the right sort of people. If you hire mediocre people then you only get mediocre results, drive and motivation. You can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig! The second thing is clarity around goals, great clarity about what good looks like, transparency around measurement and the scorecard, and reward high performance exponentially. You want to over-reward high performance, you want to be generous with what you share. We want a business where high expectations are seen as a job perk, good people want to work where expectations are high and striving from other people in the team is consistent. The final part is accountability and consequences, a high-performance environment has accountability, if you play for the greatest rugby team in the world, then you get dropped if you underperform. And there’s huge consequences, financially, moral everything else. It’s the same in business, I’m not saying people are going to get fired for making a mistake – its not as blunt as that, but we have expectations for culture, behaviour & performance. They are clear, they are communicated they are agreed with, and then if they are not met then there is a consequence. I’m not talking about a hire and fire environment or a punitive environment, I’m talking about a collaborative team environment. But if you want to play on the best team, then you have to perform to that teams’ expectations. Create an environment where feedback is cultural not personal.