Last month the RCSA Awards Night for Australian members was held in Sydney. Unfortunately, due to the most recent Melbourne lockdown, I was unable to attend. However, I was delighted that MAYDAY Recruitment’s Hannah Deady was the winner of the prestigious Recruitment Professional of the Year.
Hannah is a participant in my current Leadership Coaching for High Performance program so it didn’t take too much prompting for Hannah to agree to answer my questions about her background, her current role and her award win.
Ross: What was your background prior to becoming a recruiter and how did you come to choose recruitment as a career?
Hannah: I started working at the age of 14 as a pot washer in a local pub, and then continued to work in hospitality positions whilst studying. I was really unsure what I wanted to do when I finished my studies, and so I ended up taking an apprenticeship with a great recruitment agency in Cornwall. I was paid $2.50ph in my first year, but I loved the variation and the fact you could drive your success by the work you put in. Since then, I have never looked back!
Ross: What aspects of recruitment did you find the most challenging when you started?
Hannah: I truly think there is a new challenge every day in recruitment, which is what I love about the role. When I first started, my main challenge was my own self-confidence, and then very real fear of failure when making 50 cold sales calls a week. I also supported a construction team so getting sworn at by site managers at 7 am when their labourers didn’t show up was definitely character building!
Ross: What was your motivation for leaving your recruitment career in the UK and starting again in Sydney?
Hannah: I feel blessed that I worked with two amazing agencies, (Concorde in Cornwall and Juice Recruitment in Bristol), who absolutely set me up for success in my career… but I caught the travel bug after exploring the States for 6 months and wanted to experience Australia too.
I was completely unaware of the Sydney market when I moved over here, and I’d planned to temp in Sydney for 6 months before backpacking around the country…which didn’t happen!
I started working at MAYDAY and have never looked back.
Ross: What have you found to be the biggest differences between your experience of agency recruitment in the UK and agency recruitment in Sydney?
Hannah: I came from a smaller town in the UK so I’ve loved working with such varied brands across Australia. There are lots of differences in procedures, candidate pay rates and the way clients like to work, but in my experience, I’ve found companies in Australia are much more open to partnering and working with agencies. I love that it means I’m able to really consult with companies and find solutions that are tailored to their needs specifically, which leads to building trusted relationships.
Ross: What niche do you recruit in, what have you found to be the biggest challenge of recruiting in that niche and how have you overcome that challenge?
Hannah: My niche is Insurance, and when CATS (catastrophes and natural disasters) happen, the challenge can be in sourcing 20 – 40 claims temps within 48 hours. Experience has helped; I have now recruited across four CAT seasons and have fine-tuned that process by being prepared, staying up to date with the news, knowing the candidates who are in the market and staying in contact with our clients.
Ross: What do you do to continue the development of both your recruitment and personal skills?
Hannah: Staying inquisitive, never presuming I know everything, and taking part in multiple mentorship programs, internally and externally. There is always something to learn, something to re-learn, and something to refine, no matter how long you’ve been in any industry or position.
Ross: Do you use statistics or KPIs to manage your performance? If so which ones and how do you use them?
Hannah: Yes; sales calls, client visits, and revenue targets, which are numbers-focused, and Recruiter Insider, which is feedback-focused.
Recruiter Insider sends anonymous surveys to all clients and candidates that we are working with to provide feedback and data-driven insights into our service. It gathers statistics that show us how we can improve our client and candidate service, as well as written testimonials to gather further understanding, which is my main performance measure here at MAYDAY.
Ross: Who have been important influences in your recruitment career and what have those people specifically contributed to you?
Hannah: The four directors at MAYDAY have been massive influences in my career. They all are leaders in their field and are very inspiring in how they have set up and run MAYDAY – a women-owned agency that has just turned five years old!
They have all invested in my career development and have been flexible in offering me opportunities to try areas of the role differently, and have given me 1-1 mentoring. They also all have very different strengths, which has helped me in growing to the next level as I’ve been able to learn from each of them in different areas and ways.
Ross; What do you attribute your win in RCSA 2021 Recruitment Professional of the Year to?
Hannah: The people I work with, who are positive, dedicated, and who are a real team. I am also genuinely passionate about working in recruitment even after 8 years; I think it’s easier to be successful at something you love doing.
Ross: What are the most important things that an individual recruiter can do to maintain his or her relevance and credibility in their market?
Hannah: Be honest, be driven and proactive, always ask questions, and learn to be an expert in your area of focus by staying up to date with market trends.
The moment someone hits autopilot or lets things simply happen to them is the moment things start to turn south. Keep learning, keep growing and create goals that motivate you.
Ross: What personal philosophies drive you each day in your job?
Hannah: It may be simple, but I am a naturally positive person and I never take myself too seriously. I believe that if you have good intentions, help others around you and have fun along the way, you’ll do really well in life. If something doesn’t feel right or won’t affect someone in a positive way, just don’t do it.
Ross: What advice would you give to a recruiter just starting their recruitment career?
Hannah: This is a fantastic industry and career path, where you’ll be challenged every day, and you’ll meet lots of interesting people. Remember to stay inquisitive, ask your employer to get you involved with internal and external mentorship programs, and always trust your gut!