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Two weeks ago, Big 4 professional services firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) released the April 2010 issue of their twice-yearly Private Business Barometer (PBB).  
For this edition, 751 owners or executives of Australian private companies, with an annual turnover of between $10 million and $100 million, participated in a telephone survey to answer questions about their business views and operational practices.  
Of most interest to recruiters was that the survey respondents stated that the overall #1 barrier to growing their business was ‘Securing, retaining and motivating top talent’. This replaced funding, which was the #1 concern for surveyed private business executives six months ago. On the issue of talent the PBB goes on to say (page 40):  
The core questions for private businesses are:  
• How can we attract and retain talented people to ensure we achieve ambitious growth targets in the short and longer term?  
My comment: How about partnering with a recruitment agency who is a specialist in your area(s) of need?  
What processes can we use to ensure we hire people who are the right fit culturally and dedicated to continuous improvement in every aspect of their working life?  
My comment: How about partnering with a recruitment agency which uses validated, job-specific, candidate profiling and assessment tools?  
The PWC survey was released in the same week that industry news service, ShortList, reported the following:  
Human Capital Management Solutions has been appointed to manage a specialist talent sourcing unit for Westpac.  
The new unit will focus on building pipelines and pools of hard-to-source candidates and will also be responsible for redeveloping and managing the bank’s employee referral program and social media sourcing strategy. (ShortList, Tuesday 27 April, 2010)  
Also dropping into my inbox last week was an email promoting the Australian Talent Conference 2010 (see Ross Recommends below). Included in the promo copy was the line ‘ANZ to reveal how it increased efficiencies by scaling back its reliance on recruitment agencies by 78 per cent’.  
My conclusions from these three (seemingly) unconnected pieces of information is that SMEs need a skilled and committed recruitment agency partner more than ever and The Big End of Town is committed to reducing their reliance on recruitment agencies more than ever.  
Who would you rather market to and work with?  
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Specialist News Pty Ltd for permission to reproduce the ShortList content quoted above.

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