Tim Moran, Country Director at SThree Australia, talks to us about the importance of competitive differentiation, the challenges of managing a specialist recruitment agency under a global brand and the training initiatives he’s implemented for new hires.
How important is competitive differentiation to SThree Australia?
Competitive differentiation has always been a crucial part of SThree’s success, from whichever perspective you view it. We’re a UK-based company, so it’s vital for us to carve a reputation that’s as strong in overseas markets as it is in the UK & European markets. I was hired from another agency to join SThree seven years ago, and I’d say that SThree is viewed differently to other global recruitment companies. We still have the global infrastructure and capability, but we are sector specialists at heart, focusing on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) markets. We want to maintain the specialist nature of our business through our branding activities.
SThree has evolved and developed nine separate recruitment brands to date. Is this something that you promote heavily to clients?
Yes, definitely. We always promote that our brands are specialist, and have evolved organically over time. In the Australian office, I find that our clients work in unison with several brands at once under the SThree name. We want to strike the right balance between the niche feeling of a boutique recruitment company, whilst being backed up by the global SThree brand. My job in Australia is to get in front of clients and show them that we are working with one recruitment brand rather than lots of separate entities.
Does SThree Australia prefer to hire new graduates or more experienced recruiters?
When looking for new team members to join us, we do often seek to hire experienced recruiters from similar firms. Having said that, we also want to attract the best graduates entering the industry. I always think it’s important for people to understand the local story and culture of the business in Australia. I joined SThree when there were only 11-12 people in the Sydney office. Now, we have over 50 people, and we have teams recruiting into Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne across 3-4 different industries.
What kind of pull factors does SThree offer to entice experienced recruiters into joining the business in Australia?
We know the competition to hire exceptional recruiters is high, especially in Australia; there’s a very talented pool of people here. I think one of the most forward-thinking perks we offer is flexi-hours, as well as the ability to work remotely. We have invested lots into technology and software that gives our recruiters the option to do this without any interruption to their productivity. We also offer other benefits like company trips and executive lunches for recruiters who hit milestone targets. Of course, we also offer an uncapped commission structure as well.
Could you tell us a bit about SThree Australia’s internal training initiatives?
We use our training schemes as a big selling point for new hires. We have developed something called “The Rookie Bank’’ in Australia, which is a project that’s now being rolled out in some parts of Asia. The aim of this is to centralise the onboarding and training of new recruitment consultants. All consultants receive intense knowledge training relating to whichever sector they’re specialising in. Most of our training is delivered by senior and principal consultants, but is sometimes taken by senior managers at director level as well. This means that our clients get the same level of service regardless of which consultant they are dealing with.
How might a typical entry-level recruitment consultant spend the first six months in their role?
During the first couple of months into the job, an entry-level consultant might spend their Mondays and Fridays training with the team, then spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on The Rookie Bank with all of the other trainee recruitment consultants that started around the same time as them. During this time, they’ll learn about recruitment best practices, the recruitment process and specialist vertical markets. We want to make sure that all consultants receive consistency in terms of the training, onboarding and experience that they gain. Spending time with other new hire consultants also helps to build camaraderie for their first year in the job.
Can you tell us about how the SThree Foundation has evolved? Is it emphasised internally within the organisation? Can it be used as a competitive advantage?
I think many companies have variant levels of execution when it comes to how much value they give CSR internally. For us, The SThree Foundation is a huge part of what we do within the organisation, which gives us the edge over rival businesses. Just to give you a small example, a banner pops up on the SThree global intranet showing where we’re at with our CSR targets. The truth is that clients have always been interested to see how we can add value where diversity and CSR are concerned. Gary Elden [SThree Global CEO] holds this part of the business in high regard, and it’s something that he’s been recognised for, having been awarded an OBE for his achievement and service to Diversity in Business last year.
If you are interested in finding out more about SThree Australia, you can contact Tim Moran at email@example.com. Alternatively, if you are interested in a career with SThree, you may visit our careers page here.