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I’ve just finished reading Deloitte’s Positioning for prosperity? Catching
the next wave
report, the third paper in their Building the Lucky Country
series. This report includes the actions
that businesses and governments can take to position their organisations, – and
ultimately, Australia – for prosperity.  

It also introduces the full “Deloitte Growth
25”. These are the themes of future prosperity – sectors that will see
significant growth and opportunity. In addition to Mining and the
“Fantastic Five” (Agribusiness, Gas, Tourism, International Education
and Wealth Management), it gives an overview of an additional 19 “pockets
of growth” across the economy.


The most interesting part of the report, for me at
least, was the section Creating opportunities for growth   in which
Deloitte identified the five major areas that Australian businesses need to
take action on to ensure they are able to take advantage of the potential
growth opportunities that come their way. Deloitte calls these the ‘prosperity


These five ‘prosperity levers’ are:


1.      Portfolio mix

2.      Resource allocation

3.      Opportunity radar

4.      Competency advantage

5.      Structural advantage


Each area has a brief explanatory paragraph. Here’s
what the report said in explaining ‘competency advantage’:


Gain significant operating advantages through superior
talent and/or business practices:


·  Better  recruitment, motivation and retention of
high-quality talent
 (my bold)

·  Incremental innovation within business

·  Institutionalisation of superior practices

·  Ability to tap into third parties


In the pages that follow, the report provides more
detailed comments about each of the identified prosperity drivers. Under
‘competency advantage’:


Companies can build on their structural advantages by expanding their
competencies. A rapid way of increasing a company’s competitive advantage is
to develop superior talent. The focus here is on enhancing recruitment,
motivation, day-to-day management and training practices to find, retain and
develop the best people  .


To ensure this advantage is sustained, those practices must be
embedded and institutionalised within the organisation  . They should also be
complemented by innovative and incremental improvements to business processes
that support greater productivity.


Looking outside, companies
can partner with third parties   to expand their areas of competency and
create unique capabilities. This might include forming alliances with
technical specialists  , and outsourcing commoditised work that doesn’t
deliver an opportunity to differentiate.


(my bold)


It’s very significant that a respected global firm
from outside of the recruitment industry has made these, very considered,
observations and recommendations. I firmly agree with what Deloitte has said.
These comments are very pertinent to the long term and profitable future of the
recruitment industry.


The Deloitte report is pointing to the critical change
that the recruitment industry needs to make if we are to continue as a valuable
and profitable sector in the long term; we have to become genuine recruitment consultants.  


Our industry has labeled its practitioners as
consultants for many years but the reality is that very little genuine
consulting has been delivered as evidenced by the fact that only a tiny minority
of recruitment agencies have been charging for their time or technical
expertise. Invoices for ‘services rendered’ have been issued on a success-only
basis ie if you deliver the successful candidate for the vacancy you can send
an invoice for a fee, regardless of how much ‘technical expertise’ you
delivered, how much genuine ‘consulting’ you provided or how much time you


The threat to the existing recruitment industry
business model, and the concurrent idea of developing genuine recruitment
consulting services, are not new topics for me, or other prominent recruitment
bloggers. I have written about this topic in 2013, 2012, 2011 and as far back as 2009.


Greg Savage returned to this same topic earlier this
month  which generated a long stream of comments.


I don’t think I can articulate the opportunity for recruitment agencies
any better than I did almost exactly two years ago (04/04/12) when I published RPOs: agency threat or opportunity?

in InSight 225 after having attended the Recruiters’
Hub conference in Sydney.


As I articulate in that article’s summary, it boils
down to honestly answering a critical question: ‘Do I want to be a
transactional recruitment partner or a strategic recruitment partner to my


The answer will be important in determining your
future profit because you will have to be very clear about, and take the necessary
action around:


Your service
offerings and pricing

Your internal
recruitment and development of talent

Your internal
remuneration and reward structures


This may mean that some tough decisions need to be
made – now.

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