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What are the keys to a long-term career?

By Paul Gay

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With the intent of getting our house ready to let out over the Christmas break, I spent the weekend sifting through the garage and subsequently stumbled across a box of Memorabilia. Needless to say, I was distracted for the next couple of hours taking a walk down memory lane.

Amongst family photos and long gone, but often thought of sporting memories was a dusty yet still intact, two ringed red folder that encapsulated my entry to the recruitment sector back in 1995!

Inside this folder were numerous press articles highlighting a regional jobs drive campaign that injected me into the world of Recruitment.

That’s right 1995! Twenty-three years of business development activities, drafting job adverts, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates and placing candidates.

I can’t even begin to imagine what the various stats over this period would look like in detail, however approximately and conservatively @10 interviews a week, I estimate to have interviewed over 10,000 candidates to date!

Starting out on the Mornington Peninsula assisting Year 12 school leavers make the transition from school to work to currently sourcing Project Directors for Billion-dollar construction projects across our capital cities, it’s been a long but exciting and ever-evolving journey.

Internet, job boards, linkedin, all these resources have had a significant impact on our industry over the years some would argue whether it has been for the better. One thing I have learnt over the journey is that although these tools are important in today's “Recruitment World” they will never replace the ability to build, nurture and maintain relationships, that’s if you’re in it for the long run!

Over my time many recruiters have come and gone as have many recruitment firms, more often than not their demise was impacted by the fact they didn’t truly value relationships, often with a focus more centred around a quick outcome at all costs.

Having now lead Foundation Recruitment for over ten years I have continually embedded a “big picture” mentality in our culture, it’s this approach that has allowed me to build long-standing trusting relationships with both my clients and candidates. It's this approach that has provided me with an exciting and sustainable 20+ year career to date in an industry that is notorious for short tenures. The last fourteen of these specifically in the Construction Management sector.

The message that rings loud to me and one that I wanted to share from this impromptu reflection is that long-standing careers within a specific sector are more often than not a result of believing and applying a big picture mentality throughout your day to day dealings and truly valuing relationships driven off the back of mutual respect.

Now that I’ve shared my reflection I must get back to the task at hand, more packing and less reflecting of times gone by with hair on my head and patterned sports coats ….