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Recruitment is a Race – But Not in the Way You Think

Rlm Recruitment Process Ft

​What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you. Here at RobLawMax we’re big believers in challenging yourself to do things a little bit differently, and to try and get better results in the market.

In our Auckland office here at RobLawMax, we’re a pretty active bunch. Many of us are into different outdoor activities, and generally just taking opportunities to challenge ourselves and go outside of our comfort zones. I’m partial to outdoor trails and running myself. That was one of the reasons that I signed up to take part in the Coastal Challenge, a 33km race along the North Shore coastline.

I like to sign up for interesting races that are also difficult, so the Coastal Challenge was an exciting prospect to do something in a different environment, running somewhere that I usually wouldn’t get the chance to. It also reinforced to me that challenging yourself is a mentality that you can bring into everything you do, including the workplace; how do we give a better service offering to our clients? How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we take ourselves out of the comfort zone of day-to-day recruitment and ask ourselves some hard questions around our performance?

We’re always trying to get closer to our clients and find out where we can add value. Rather than just taking a job brief and going away and filling the role, we encourage a culture where our consultants become real partners with our clients. Get in early, talk to your clients around what their current activities are, the business that they’re trying to win and what their needs will be if they do.

It’s the same principle as with the running events that I take part in. I sit down at the start of the year and plot out the events I want to take part in. This means that I know what I need to do in advance so that I’m ready when the time comes. If I’m not prepared, then I won’t succeed (a lesson that I’ve very much learned already!). The same goes for recruitment. If we’re only there when the client needs a Project Manager, then we’re going to make things difficult for ourselves and the client; needing to find skilled people in a short frame of time while everybody else is looking for those people too.

With recruitment, especially in the busy Construction and Engineering sectors, it can be easy to get bogged down in the details. Being able to take a step back and relate to the needs our clients is how we build better relationships and create better results. It’s never too early to talk to us – a key mistake that some companies make is spending so much effort winning work that delivery almost becomes secondary. For us, if we know early on, we’re able to look for the people you need from that moment forward and present them to you early, which means that you don’t have to chase your tail and fill holes when it comes to actually going online with the project.

The thing about recruitment is that it works best when it’s happening all the time. Only recruiting when you need people makes for a less strategic approach, and inevitably, less desirable results. A couple of years ago I did the Rotorua Marathon, on a bit of whim. My thinking behind it was that I’d already done a couple of marathons, “I’ve been here before, I can handle it.” Or so I thought! The day came and I was woefully underprepared, and that was reflected in my poor time. With the Coastal Challenge, I got myself fit in advance, and got out there on the weekend to do a lot of site-specific training down the shoreline and by the sea. It was great preparation. I was focused on the goal, what I wanted to achieve and get out of the challenge, rather than what I was doing that day, and that was reflected in a good result!

At the moment the Construction and Engineering market is very buoyant and busy – which makes for a great time for us. But it’s also a time where we should make sure we’re asking ourselves the hard questions and looking at how we can do things better. That way we’re in a better position for the long term, and better set up for when things aren’t so good. It’s about popping your head above the parapet sometimes, even when you’re so busy with the day-to-day, and looking at the big picture, and asking: is what we’re doing successful? How can it be more successful?

The biggest takeaway I can share is that the race doesn’t begin when the starting gun goes off, it begins when you make the decision to take part. It’s everything you do beforehand that builds up to getting that result.

Hamish is our Regional Manager for Auckland. With over 15 years of Recruitment experience across the globe, he has developed a strong track record in the sourcing and placement of senior construction and engineering talent into all levels of organisations. You can get in touch with him here.