Stella Petrou Concha explores four ways to head off the challenges facing the recruitment industry


Industry sites, blogs and social media postings for people in the recruitment field will have varying opinions about how to solve the various challenges being faced throughout the industry today.


That’s the thing about opinions: everybody’s got one.


But at the heart of it, you’ll find that there’s a near-universal agreement on what these problems are.


Most will agree that the evergreen problems and challenges in the industry are the same. Market fluctuations is a big one – when there’s more talent than jobs, or more jobs than talent. Or dry spells. Sometimes, it’s a buyers’ market. This can change all the time and is often seen as the biggest challenge. Then there are the issues caused by socio-political factors, like Brexit. A recent article from LinkedIn’s head of UK talent solutions found that 96% of surveyed HR professionals and recruiters reported Brexit as having a significant impact on their hiring strategies, with 46% of those surveyed describing the impact as being either ‘big’ or ‘huge’.


Outside of geopolitics, there’s the regular challenges, like the process of sourcing your candidates. Be it your fellow recruiters offering stiff competition, a challenging part of business and industry, or meeting the needs of the specific candidate, you’ve got your work cut out for you there, too. You must manage your client’s expectations – they might be expecting the cream of the crop, yet the best candidates may not be available.


Your talent pool may also have heightened expectations of you and your abilities to land them their ‘dream job’ in a short space of time – ‘time’ being the operative word there. The recruitment process requires a lot of it, and not everyone has the luxury of being able to wait for the perfect role or candidate to emerge.


While there are not a lot of differing opinions about the problems, there are some healthy conjecture when discussion turns to solutions. The key to meeting these challenges and overcoming them is, according to Reo Group CEO Stella Petrou Concha, a simple equation which boils down to knowing your business, having a clear vision of what you want the business to achieve, being accountable, being strategic, and flavouring the whole process with social responsibility.


It’s not such a big ask when you get down to it, as Stella explains.


Start with clarity


“Every recruitment agency should have its own recipe to create the outcome they can offer to their customer,” Stella says. “Truly understanding what the recipe is for delivering the outcomes you want for your customers will be pivotal to your success.”


Stella’s firmly of the belief that you can’t scale a business on hope alone, and that being strategic is the key to success


“If I was to reverse engineer what we have done at Reo to create scale, it’s a clear strategy that cuts across business, process and people.


“By applying a specific method to your process and establishing key ingredients, you can bake the perfect ‘recruitment cake’ every time. Just like any recipe, if something is missing or goes out of balance – you end up with a differing result.


Create a culture of accountability


Recruitment is a numbers game – the number of jobs, the number of candidates, the sheer number of hours and days it takes to bring it all together. Stella is convinced of the paramount importance of being on top of these numbers.


“From a business perspective, whatever your goal, know your numbers,” she says. “Stay close to those numbers and ensure you can shift your business focus with agility to get the overall results you need for success.”


Stella also believes that if you cannot track, measure and improve performance of your staff in recruitment, you cannot grow your team. The buck, as they say, stops with you.


“To get the results you want, you need to create a culture of accountability. Reo is using the Cube19 platform in conjunction with Bullhorn to provide our team true data insights to enable them to understand and stay close to their performance indicators.”


Build a solid Learning & Development (L&D) strategy


Turnover rates in the recruiting industry are demonstrably higher than in most industries; Staffing Industry Metrics found in a recent survey between 43-48% level of ‘churn’ in the industry was reported among more than 120 recruiters in Australia and New Zealand.


Reo Group make a habit of speaking to other agencies in the industry; they’ve found that many of them have yet to implement a true L&D strategy to enable their staff to grow.


“This seems a bit wild in an industry that has more than 47% turnover and no barriers to entry,” Stella says. She says that since Reo Group have built a strong strategy to focus on their staff’s learning and development throughout every stage of their careers, the end result is what she terms “a team of industry leaders”.


“Our selection process is focused on an assessment of baseline qualities that indicate success in recruitment, which enables us to hire people outside of the barriers of industry experience.”


Recruiters should be aligning their staff to their corporate culture, vision and strategy from the get-go, the results of which, Stella maintains, will be self-evident.


“We’re a uniquely unified and collaborative team,” she says; a rare commodity in this industry.


Think big and do business for good


Outside of what makes good marketing sense, a nice sideline to business interests or what passes as corporate social responsibility, corporations doing good for their communities and the wider world is becoming more commonplace. There are some great examples out there, too.


“As finance professionals and leaders,” she says, “it’s easy for us to get caught up in the day to day of our jobs and lives.”


Reo Group’s C-suite are unified in their belief that corporate good is singular goal on its own, committing, for example, to the United Nations Sustainable Development Global Goals.


“Our core focus is on UN goal #4: to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”


Reo Group gives 50 days’ technology education to children in remote Australian communities every time they place a candidate. To Stella, such good deeds are their own rewards, but they can – and do – have immensely positive follow-on effects.


“Since beginning our corporate social responsibility program, so many people have wanted to learn and understand more about our work with B1G1 (Singapore-based Buy1Give1, a business, social enterprise and non-profit organization).


“We hope to inspire more businesses to share their success through giving. Our advice is that you are never too small to have a big impact.”


This initiative has the power to lift not only the people it is designed to benefit, but also all those who help make it happen. As it succeeds in Central Australia, it will succeed in elevating Reo, and the wider community. As humans first, and especially as business leaders, we have the power to shift entire communities, if we have the vision and a passion to make a difference in the world!


By Stella Petrou Concha


About Stella:

Stella Petrou Concha is the inspiring Co-Founder, CEO, and driving force behind fast-growing brand Reo Group. Through her energy, intuition, and vision, Stella brings a unique and powerfully ‘human’ perspective to the Australian recruitment and consulting industries.


She believes that it is only through facing and overcoming life’s great challenges, in particular failure, that individuals can grow and develop, and has built her organisation on the notion that ‘failing forward’ is the key to success.


Web: /

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *