Sharp & Carter is in the business of recruiting key people, and Partner and Owner Anthony Holdstock, who bought into the business in 2013, talks about how they apply their hiring principles to the firm. From seven people in Melbourne, it grew to 120 people across Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane to become an established specialist recruitment firm in Australia.
As an active Partner in the Sharp & Carter business, Anthony shares some insights on the significance of having a strong team and providing tools in building and maintaining one. His many years in staffing enabled him to recognise the cost of recruiting new members as compared to retaining good employees. With that, they have been advising clients to retain their key staff because of the intrinsic value in that. He goes on to say, “Businesses that are driven by people and legacy, as opposed to profit and growth, tend to keep people for longer.”
Providing expertise in executive search and human relations for companies is among the strengths of the firm, which are significant components in the success of a venture. Anthony cites tools that are important to the employment and retention of staff.
Focus on relationships
Building good relations with team members include understanding their needs and treating them right. Protecting a high-performance culture where people are satisfied and where their children will want to work is essential in their standards. Since relationship-building is situational and dynamic, Anthony names warmth and strength as the two key components around influence. These connect people and make them comfortable in a work environment.
“The chances of a business being successful are going to be a lot higher if one can keep good people for longer,” according to Anthony. People may leave for various reasons, among them would be lack of career progression within the organisation, bad culture, poor leadership or the feeling that the company does not invest in their growth and development.
One thing that the firm did is set up an organisational development team early on. It’s among the first areas that they invested in to develop the people within while taking a continuous improvement mindset. That means that whoever comes to their business is being invested in by the company to become better at what they are doing, including a better life outside of work.
Conduct a character scan
Many organisations hire people based heavily on skills set. For Anthony, this component should only comprise 25% of the selection criteria for a job. The other 25% is about how the person can fit into the scope of the organisation. The biggest bulk, which is 50% must focus on character and culture fit.
Usually, the criteria and the process is tailored based on the requirement and need of the company. Citing Sharp & Carter as an example, part of the hiring process is an emotional intelligence test. Among the things they consider are optimism, empathy and resilience. They also do DiSC profiling to understand the core needs of the person they’re hiring.
Recruit for now
One of the mistakes that some companies do is employing a person based on where the organisation is going to be in a few years’ time. “I think most people want to hire for the future, but we don't know what's happening in the future. So, hire for now and rehire down the track,” he suggests.
Get the right mix of people
“When it comes to recruiting professionals into organisations, think about the mix of your team now. You need to have people who want to be stable, who are happy to do a great job, and who are happy to work from 9:00 to 5:00 and do an awesome job, but their number one priority is family. You also need people who want to take your job and progress through your organisation, if possible. Getting that mix is important,” Anthony remarks.
Partner with organisations that can add value to you
Companies acquire the services of firms or individuals that can help them find the right person for the role. Similarly, agencies partner with recruiters who scout talent outside their network. His recommendation is to choose a third-party partner that focuses on adding value to your organisation. They have to know your culture and what you stand for and match the best talent according to your needs.
Aim for good leadership and continuous improvement
“EO for me, as a new member of the organisation, has been all about growth and continuous improvement. It is learning from people who are great and being able to implement what they do great,” says Anthony. He stated that leading a company means business owners seeking continuous improvement to become better teachers and guides to people’s journeys. To continually get better and stay ahead of the curve, business leaders have to keep innovating and look for ways to become better.
For him, it comes down to leadership and decision-making, particularly in shaping the culture of the business. It brings back to understanding the needs of the people and providing them with the development they yearn, which contributes to the overall growth of the venture.