A Winning Attitude Takes On New Strategic Importance In Business Support Recruitment


‘Companies appreciate the strategic importance of these interactions with their clients’ says Fiona Tolich, Chandler Macleod’s Manager East Auckland. “More and more we are seeing organisations reviewing customer facing roles (for example, PA, Reception, Customer Service, Contact Centre) to improve productivity and more importantly to ensure they add strategic value to the business’.

As a result, finding the right blend of skills and personality to meet the company’s strategic goals is taking the number one place on the hiring manager’s wish list for permanent business support appointments.

Most employers are less focused on finding an absolute skill or experience match and are much more focused on tapping into the ‘softer’ skills, such as the candidate’s interpersonal skills, or their attitude towards taking on new challenges with minimal supervision.

Quality Permanent Candidates in Short Supply

Work-life balance & flexibility of hours are motivating factors for many business support professionals and when combined with an increase in short term travelers coming to New Zealand on their OE’s, companies are finding it more difficult to make permanent appointments.

As a result we are seeing more companies opt for short term roles, which currently account for 60 percent of Chandler Macleod’s business support placements. Many of these short term roles can become permanent if candidates are willing to ride the market’s waves.

This trend has been particularly strong in Wellington, where many short term Government roles were made permanent or fixed term ahead of the recent election.

Chandler Macleod’s Wellington-based Manager Siemone Neutgens, says, “Salaries for permanent or fixed-term Government roles have barely increased, and when compared on an hourly basis temps earn more.

“Convincing candidates to make the switch has been a theme for us, and we have relied on our strong relationships with both candidates and clients, and regularly having conversations and consulting with them, to help them reach an agreement.”

Flexibility is key for long-term success.

Tolich and Neutgens agree that in the current climate, clients and candidates need to be flexible and open to new ideas, and a recruiter’s role is increasingly about finding new solutions for clients and showing candidates the benefits of a broader approachto their career development.

“We encourage candidates to think about their ‘non-negotiables’ and how set in stone they are. For example, permanent PA jobs don’t come up as frequently as they used to, so a PA may need to temp in an admin or reception role while waiting for the right permanent job to become available. The candidates who demonstrate this level of flexibility are the ones we are more likely to keep in work’ says Tolich, “because naturally it is easier to place and approach people with flexibility as well as the right skill set”

Neutgens adds, “We make a point not to pigeon-hole candidates, and always look for transferrable skills they can take anywhere. It’s important candidates view themselves in this way.

”To combat the candidate shortage, Chandler Macleod has opened an office in South Auckland, to tap into the business support workforce outside of the city centre. Another satellite office in Auckland’s North Shore is also on the cards.

Candidates and clients can be reassured that constant change within organisations such as call centre mergers, new projects and company relocations, create a good turnover of new roles and available candidates. And recruiters are taking extra steps to bring the two together.

A Proven Approach in a Competitive Market

In this competitive, candidate-short market, we know that it is critical to make the right people selection decisions quickly. So we understand the temptation on the part of recruiters to skip psychometric assessment, in order to speed up the recruitment process.

However, the most successful organisations and recruiters recognise that they need to delve increasingly deeper, in order to understand an individual’s fit for the role and the environment in which they will ultimately work. Utilising the standard approach of resume + interview + reference check simply doesn’t provide enough accurate information to guarantee successful hiring decisions in this war for talent.

How BestFit™ Works

Our objective is to find the candidate who is the ‘BestFit’ for the position and the organisation; thereby increasing not only the performance level in that position, but also the average level of performance across the organisation, effectively maximising the value of human resources while decreasing costs associated with turnover and poor performance.

Our aim is to ensure that a candidate is ideal, not just for the position, but also for your organisational culture, management style and team environment.

As part of every BestFit™ assignment, we undertake a complete Job Evaluation, which includes analysis of the organisation, the role, and the person. We clearly define the required outcomes and Core Competencies, and therefore the Key Selection Criteria.

We then design a tailored recruitment process that will identify candidates who match your performance blueprint. You will meet only those candidates with the right knowledge, skills, motivators, style and abilities. For all permanent appointments, you will also receive a Candidate On boarding report, which will help you to manage your new staff member effectively to full competency faster.

For more details on Chandler Macleod’s BestFit recruitment process contact your nearest Chandler Macleod consultant

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