Media Release. People Puzzle a Priority for the Region’s Key Employers.

For immediate release. Geelong 19 February 2019

Historically speaking, Geelong’s enterprises have had it good. For the most part, employment choices have favoured employers; the region’s supply of labour has been more abundant than demand, so employers have been able to select their staff from a range of individuals, employees have accepted less than desirable salaries, employment terms have been rigid and the region’s employers have invested less in the staff than their capital city counterparts.

And then came Geelong’s transformation. Dated back to TAC’s arrival over 10 years’ ago, Geelong’s employment landscape began to change. Now the pace of transformation is so rapid, our region’s organisations are struggling to keep up.

With the entry of some key employers combined with Deakin’s meteoric growth, today many employers are left out in the cold. It is now a candidate’s market. Now, candidates can pick and choose who they work for. They are looking at what the employer can offer them. Questions that employers need to be across more than ever are “How flexible are you?” “What other benefits are there?” As for the discount in salary, the region’s key employers have made a permanent change to our wages landscape where small and medium employers need to compete with the big end of town if they want the best.

Harvest Talent Recruitment and People Solutions Director, a Geelong local, has seen this shift in the landscape. Maree Herath comments that “Geelong employers have been blindsided. When one major employer entered the region, the impact was minimal. Now with multiple, similar companies seeking similar skills the war for talent is real!”

It is why Harvest has embarked on its first ever HR Index survey. This survey will span the complete business landscape and cover employment trends, casualization of the workforce, talent attraction, leadership capability and other HR challenges that are keeping employers awake at night.

Even Council is putting priority here with Head of Economic Development, Tim Ellis commenting that the City is addressing workforce planning.

The survey closes on 3 March 2019 with the results presented at a host of regional forums from late March onwards.

“There’s never been a better time for employers to gain a clearer picture of our current employment trends, the challenges and potential opportunities faced by the region’s employers and the key HR focus for companies today.” Herath says

To have your say, the survey can be accessed on line at or a Harvest team member can conduct the survey directly with employers on 1300 363 128 for those who wish to participate in the survey.

Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry

Author: Maree Herath, February 2014

“We seem to struggle to get the right people for our business.” “Where can I find the right candidates?” “I don’t have time to commit to the recruitment process . I can’t even judge if I have the right fit when they are standing there in front of me.”

Over my 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry these are just some of the statements I hear our clients say when it comes to recruiting staff. The most common theme that comes up time and again is that managers are challenged in finding the right people or, when they have a group of candidates, selecting the right people for their needs.

BUY Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry

Proactive managers are fully aware of the huge benefits, having the right people bring. They become high performing as they have high performers. These team members bring the right blend of skills, qualification and motivation to achieve the goals they, as an organisation,  are striving for.  They believe there is power at the intersection of people and performance and that there’s never been a better time to source and select the right people that will give them a competitive edge.

Speaking with my clients I have found recruitment issues fall in two main camps:

  1. Sourcing candidates – many organisations find themselves in a skills shortage arena. For these clients the ability to actually find the candidates is key.
  2. Selecting the Right Fit – For a number of reasons, once the company has a group of candidates to select, they are stumped on which person is best for their needs. Alternatively, they make an employment decision, only to realise upon commencement that they have got the wrong person.

I have developed a framework which culminates my formal education in business and human resources and my experience within the recruitment industry. For 20 years I have been working hand-in-hand with clients covering the full spectrum of size and status from micro, small, medium to large multinational enterprise, assisting them overcome common hurdles they have in recruiting staff.

So why do people often find themselves stuck in the recruitment process or with the wrong person in their organisation? From my experience there are a number of common sticking points.  These include:

  • They don’t identify what they need when embarking on a recruitment exercise,
  • They don’t take the time to really nut out the role including the soft skills and what a cultural and values fit looks like in an individual,
  • They conceive a position that is too broad,
  • They lack a firm start date,
  • They don’t allocate the appropriate time, people or resources to the recruitment process,
  • They don’t gain buy-in from all of the decision makers/stakeholders the role interfaces with or,
  • They don’t use the right channels to source candidates.

And what are the issues managers face once they gain a group of candidates?

  • When they have a group of people from which to select  many organisations are haphazard and unstructured in the screening and interviewing process,
  • They fail to incorporate diverse selection tools that will yield a balanced candidate assessment,
  • They don’t ask the major questions at the start which leads to a fall-off at shortlist or offer,
  • They don’t communicate enough with the preferred candidate/s,
  • They lack the appropriate documents and templates to offer their preferred candidate,
  • Their onboarding processes are inadequate.

So how do we overcome this long list of sticking points? I focus on seven key areas of the recruitment process that, if done correctly will ensure proactive managers and recruiters not only find the right fit for their organisation but they also enjoy the benefits of being fully functional through having  the right people, performing in the right roles.

The seven key areas that I cover in Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry include:

  1. Having the Right Recruitment Framework
    The framework I have developed starts with clarifying the staffing need and crystallising what person is required and proceeds through every stage of the recruitment process including the placement and onboarding of the employee.
  2. Creating a Plan for the Recruitment Process
    Successful recruitment exercises are often underpinned by a bullet proof plan and process. I give the framework for successful recruitment and discuss every step of the recruitment process, leaving no stone unturned.
  3. Finding Candidates
    To gain a successful outcome we need to be identifying where our preferred candidates are. We will address the channels by which to gain candidates and what channels work best for different disciplines being recruited. We will also unlock the secrets of search (“headhunting” or “bodysnatching”) and when to engage this as a strategy. Once we have gained a decent pool of candidates we can progress to selecting those most applicable to your vacancy and your organisation.
  4. Getting the Right Fit
    Once we have a group of applicable candidates we can move towards selecting the right fit for our organisation. This section looks at screening methods and tools, interviewing and winning interview techniques for employers, the importance of reference checking and how to conduct a reference check that will give you the insights you need regarding a potential hire.  We also cover other tools, tests and examinations including assessment centres, personality profiles and their merit, general aptitude tests and when to perform a pre-employment medical.
  5. Making the Offer
  6. Placement
    While many roles and recruitment assignments pass smoothly from offer to placement we address common pitfalls that proactive managers need to be aware of between offer and placement and actions to take to ensure your employee walks through the door on Day 1.
  7. The Honeymoon Period
    Many recruitment exercises are seen to be complete once the incumbent commences in their role. We discuss what turns an employee off and what makes them leave in their first days and weeks of employ. By employing simple and effective processes managers can ensure the onboarding experience is smooth and the employee feels comfortable in their role, in their team and with the company overall.

As this book will be used by managers within an organisation and recruiters from the recruitment industry, I cover how to engage a recruitment firm for employers and how to work with clients from an external recruiters’ perspective in the appendices section.

Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry is the first definitive guide to help proactive anagers significantly increase their chances of getting the right fit for their organisation, the first time. I have shared my best knowledge and experience based on the trials and tribulations I and my clients have faced in the recruitment process and I believe there’s never been a better time for organisations to function fully by attracting and securing the right people. If you are tired of getting bogged down in recruitment or are frustrated at continuously getting the wrong person for your team then stop faltering and start excelling.

Gaining and keeping the right people starts with and ends with recruitment. Once you learn and apply the secrets of the recruitment industry you can truly become a key player in your industry. I have personally witnessed the difference between the right and wrong fit of people in an organisation and it is through people organisations truly succeed.

Watch Maree’s book launch video