The second stop in the #globalrecruitment series is Australia.  Why?  The country fascinates me and I really wanted to learn more about the country and how recruiting is different than in the USA.  In the first of series of posts, I collaborated with the founding Director of people2people, Mark Smith . I asked him “What are the most successful ways of attracting candidates in Australia?”.  Here is his answer.  It surprised me a bit.

Mark:  The holy grail of recruiters everywhere is to be able to attract the best candidates, fast.

In my experience, remuneration alone rarely attracts the best available talent in the market. The majority of people want to be paid current market rates or a ‘fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’. Of course, a significant premium or increase will attract a person’s attention, but if you are looking to attract the best talent in Australia, only increasing the salary on offer is not likely to give you an advantage. The recognised good reputation of the organisation, a definitive culture and an obvious career path with training and development are more likely to attract the best people. The consultants at people2people always ask jobseekers if they were to be offered two identical roles with two different organisations what would sway their decision. These are the most reliable motivators to attract the best talent.

Of course, the implication is that you have been able to attract interest in the role. In Australia, job boards are still the most effective way to attract applications. Social media, and in particular Linkedin, has facilitated the success of more direct approaches, and people2people’s use of third party databases (Linkedin included) has increased exponentially in the last few years. In addition to job boards, our well developed and highly valued referral network and internal database are all essential cogs in our ‘talent acquisition wheel’. Despite all the noise surrounding the success of direct approaches though social media, the source of people2people’s applicants has remained the same since our incorporation 10 years ago.

As a footnote, I would like to point out that people2people is in the ‘middle recruitment market’, and, anecdotally, recruiters working in the executive market have been disrupted by social media more significantly than we have.


I’m really glad I asked this question Mark.  The USA is fairly complex on how and where to find candidates.  I do find it interesting that job boards are effective in Australia.  In the US, it was once the best way to find candidates, but it has changed considerably over the years.  I have written a lot about a Recruitment Revolution.  I think it is happening in the USA.  You can read the comments from Bulls Eye Recruiting here and and on ERE’s site here.

Today (and I want to emphasize Today) most American organizations are investing in LinkedIn.  Recruiters at least start there.  They may not use LinkedIn exclusively, but most every American can be found on LinkedIn.  The problem is a lot of the data is missing from the majority of the candidates profile.  Some of it is by design.  This may be because they don’t want to be found or because they don’t know how to create a great looking profile.  LinkedIn is changing the rules daily though and frustrating a number of people.  Recruiters and Candidates are quickly getting disgruntled with the tool.

Job Boards are still around.  Monster, Career Builder, and Craig’s List are some of the more popular tools.  Glassdoor is becoming increasingly popular.  Indeed is a tool that a lot of companies are investing money in.  Most companies today still have to post their jobs, but the candidate they find may or may not come from someone that applied.

Referrals are still king. All companies must have some sort of referral program in place.  The best culture fits and the people that stay the longest with the company all come from referrals.

Effective recruiters in the USA have to be social media savvy.  We may start with LinkedIn but we use a variety of other tools to attract the candidate and get their attention.  Some use Twitter, some track down candidates in Meet-up groups by skillet.   Text, phone, and the simple sales skills are still the most effective way.  Personally, I use Skype and Google Hangouts daily.  As you mentioned, who ever can get to them the quickest wins.  With mobile devices in every American’s hand, we really have to find out the best way to communicate with the candidates.

The economy was in a recession for a number of years, but we are beginning to pull out of it.  There are more people available than jobs though.  A candidate also has to be creative if they want to find a job.  They simply can’t apply.  They have to be culturally the right fit.  They probably have to know someone.  The pure mass number of people that apply to a job in the United States means that a majority of the candidates that apply may not even get viewed.

Creativity and Differentiation are the key to finding a job in the United States.  The pendulum will swing again, and I think the United States is just seeing the beginning of it.


markpeople2peopleMark Smith is a foundingDirector at people2people.  Commencing his career with Deloitte in the late 1980’s, Mark is a qualified Accountant. In 1994, he decided to make a career switch to the recruitment industry. During his early recruitment career with two listed recruitment entities, Mark recruited and managed teams in both temporary and permanent disciplines, in the Sydney, Brisbane and London markets. In February 2005, Mark established people2people with Manda Milling and Simon Gressier. Mark is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), a member of the Recruitment & Consulting Services Association (MRCSA) and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).