Vantage started operations in July 2003. At the time Sydney was still feeling the effects of the hangover created by the Dot Com crash and like all hangovers, the recovery was dragging on and certainly not nearly as much fun as the party that created it before hand.
Whilst the internet age was upon us and “times were a changing”, there was as always a place in the market for experienced, caring and capable recruiters to shine in a recruiter landscape that was rapidly becoming commoditised. This change wasn’t just forced on us by a cost conscious corporate customer base that was fighting their dot com hang overs too. It was equally accelerated by fellow industry participants as they pursued KPI sales metrics as a cure all for actually “consulting” with our clients and candidates and marrying great people together to create extraordinary value for each other.
We had some of our own ideas too to do things different and better. Initially these centered around exclusive recruitment undertakings based on agreed flat fees. It was a win-win for client, recruiter and candidate, right? I mean, how else could you as a recruiter afford to spend more time on each assignment, charge the clients less, invest more time with candidates and get better outcomes for all parties concerned?
Whilst some of our clients slowly came on board and then loved it, most had been so burnt by recruiters charging retainers and delivering nothing that there was no way they were going to hand over some money (even a small amount and typically a third of a standard fee) on the potential of not getting an outcome (Yes we did have money back guarantees but it was still just a “NO !”). Funnily enough though, these same companies would more often than not turn around at the end of our presentation and a conversation would typically go something like this…
Client: Look, we’re just not interested in paying any money as a retainer for a recruitment assignment. You certainly seem like you know your stuff though. We have this important role that’s just come up, would you be interested in recruiting for it on a normal contingent basis.
Us: Yes we could be, what do you have in mind
Client: Well, what are your standard contingent fees for a recruiting assignment?
Client: why so low?
Us: we can go higher if you wish.
Client: laugh …
Us: could we at least have the assignment exclusively for a period of time, say 4 weeks.
Client: that sounds reasonable. Sure.
Us walking away: Gee, we just offered to recruit a role for a flat fee of $6,000 and now are walking away with a contingent fee (potential) of $18,000. What just happened?
Anyway, we delivered and clients kept coming back. Volumes increased and then soon we couldn’t recruit all the roles exclusively and clients felt the need to bring more suppliers on board in a PSA arrangement. Our revenues climbed still, but our success rate decreased, overheads increased, the company got bigger and then the party once again was in full swing. Yes – time for the next hangover.
This one was (or still is?) called the GFC.
Wow – here we go again.
Once again, “times are a changing…” or are they ?
Certainly the take up of RPO recruitment models, the rise of LinkedIn as a finding candidates tool the continued dominance of Seek in the recruiting site space (how and why in Australia is that the case?) are new things.
What remains the same is what we do. Value creation through the connection of great people. The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts or, put another way, 1 + 1 = 3. I’ve certainly seen the explosive value of people coming together at the right time and that equation looks more like 1 + 1 = 1000 !
In order to achieve these outcomes, we need to work together and for us, that means putting the “consulting” back in “Recruitment Consultant”.
To find out more, please check out our pages on our philosophy and methodology to recruitment under the Engage with us tab. It’s a dynamic work in progress that is a culmination of my 20 years in recruitment and the people that have influenced me. Writers, trainers, clients, candidates, contractors, industry colleagues, sports people etc. It is truly all about people. We try to keep it practical and “fit for purpose” and look forward to collaborating with you to achieve success for you.
Please insert some bio/description here about Phil Jostsons.