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One of the things I am most ashamed of in my whole
career is an event from about 15 years ago. The temp accounting team I was
leading had set our sights on having 300 weekly temps working. The week we
achieved it, I shouted the whole team out for a night of expensive cocktails at
some trendy bar.


We had a great night out but the next day I was
horrified to realise that I had not invited our receptionist to join us in the


Our receptionist was an extremely capable and valuable
member of the team but in my self-absorbed world, I only thought about the
recruiters in my team, not the whole   team. I missed the person who did
the most to support the recruiters.


Our receptionist was very gracious about it but it was
obvious that my snub had hurt her. I felt terrible. I had failed a key aspect
of leadership – acknowledging and celebrating the role that each person  
had played in helping the team deliver a key goal. Unsurprisingly she resigned
to go to a better job shortly afterwards (clearly any other job was better than
working for an unappreciative boss).


I would like to think that devastating experience was
an important lesson for me.


Yet, how common is it in our industry? I suspect in
most recruitment agencies the recruiters get all the kudos and the support
staff get little, or none.


I know this is not the case everywhere.


I was prompted to think about this topic after
visiting one of my clients, Aspect Personnel  . I was (as usual) warmly
greeted by Cassie   on reception and then Leanne   (Administration
Manager) ensured I had everything I needed for my meeting. Cassie and Leanne
are the two permanent support
for CEO, Matt Sampson and his team. Every time I have visited
the Aspect office, Cassie and Leanne consistently demonstrate their skill and
commitment. It’s wonderful to see. They are both are an important part of
Aspect’s success.


That night I asked my wife (10 years experience in the
recruitment industry) who the best non-biller was that she had worked with
during her time in recruitment. She quickly responded ‘Carolyn Hyams‘.


Carolyn was (and still is) the Marketing Director  
for Aquent (incorporating Firebrand Talent and Vitamin T). She is now in her 13th
year in that group of companies.


Most of you would know of the high profile that former
Firebrand/Aquent CEO, Greg Savage  , has in the local (and global)
recruitment industry.


How did Greg build his profile so effectively?


Greg has a lot to say and all of it is worth listening
to but when you run a multi-national recruitment business, there are plenty of
operational issues to keep you occupied 100% of the time without the
distraction of blogging, tweeting and speaking at conferences and events (to
name just three brand-building activities).


If you also want to build a personal brand to directly
benefit your business, then you need a highly capable executive to build and
execute all the behind-the-scenes marketing and branding strategies that are
the foundation of building a strong brand.


Carolyn has, for but a few months, since Greg joined
Aquent in 2001, been that key backroom executive. Starting as a Marketing
Associate, Carolyn has proven her immense value to Greg and everyone at
Aquent/Firebrand because of two critical factors:


a) She was/is the accountable person (no billings
target or anything else to distract her).

b) She was/is highly capable and thrived on building
her marketing knowledge to benefit the business.


I’ll leave the final word on Carolyn to Greg’s:


I only write LinkedIn recommendations if I truly mean
them. And when I say Carolyn is unique, I mean that.  
Her loyalty, diligence, commitment to the cause, and dedication to excellence,
is simply as good as I have seen in 30 years of managing people.  
Her specific skills, which are many and varied, you can see in her profile, but
what you really need to know is this. She is hard working, honest, intelligent,
innovative, in love with marketing, even more in love with digital marketing,
“gets’ social media for branding, a great net-worker, a superior people
manager, collaborative, has a smart design-eye, can run a team, can take
direction, speaks up when she has ideas, can coach, can be coached, has
patience, is demanding of herself and others, understands and delivers on the
need for ROI…. and rather useful as far as I am concerned… is good for
laugh and a glass of red when the time is right.  
Simply this. If she offers herself. Hire her


How are you ensuring that your non-billers are
acknowledged and celebrated?

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Matt Sampson

Great blog, Ross.

If billers are the cogs that turn the recruitment machine, support staff are certainly the oil. Without the oil, the cogs won’t turn at all, let alone in coordination with the rest of the machine!

Thank you for mentioning Leanne and Cass – two of the best administrators I have had the pleasure to work with. When you are spoilt by good administration staff every day, it can take someone from outside the business to remind you how lucky you are. But it shouldn't!

To all the recruiters and managers out there, don’t take your administrators for granted. Thank them for their hard work, include them in your successes. For, in the words of Joni Mitchell, you don’t know what you've got till it’s gone!


Carolyn Hyams

Ross, I have to tell you that your article came as a complete surprise to me. It kind of brought a tear to my eye and it's really nice to feel appreciated.

I absolutely love my job, however as with most marketers, often our efforts fall under the radar and are not acknowledged as often as those who are the GP billers.

So needless to say, I LOVED IT 🙂

Thank you!


Well said Ross – it's rare to hear comments made about non billers in a positive way rather than the traditional complaint that they are overheads / expenses to the business.

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