What’s the secret to running one of Canberra’s top recruitment companies? If you ask Ian Lindgren, who has owned recruitment agency Effective People alongside wife Maria since 2015, the answer may surprise you.
While other recruitment businesses rely on generous commission structures and measure success by the number of candidates placed in roles, for the Lindgrens, it’s all about people and results.
In fact, they take their commitment to looking after clients and candidates so seriously that their recruiters work without industry-standard incentives like commissions. This means recruiters can spend more time with candidates to identify their genuine needs and capabilities, rather than being driven by performance targets.
The idea for this unconventional approach to operating a recruitment company began to crystallise while running the family business, PayMe Group. Both Ian and Maria had been at the receiving end of recruitment services, frustrated that the candidate resumes they were sent to fill positions most often didn’t meet the mark.
It was obvious that many recruiters cared more about getting paid than they did about finding the perfect candidate.
“We interacted with more than 250 recruitment companies nationally and encountered the good and not-so-good. We wanted to strengthen our family business and provide a trusted alternative locally to other Canberra-based recruitment companies,” Ian says.
“We wanted to source the most effective people for the most effective roles, adding value along the way. Our aim – then and now – is to only send resumes that are as close as possible to employer requirements 90 per cent of the time, saving employers time and reducing candidate frustration. We’re not about a hit-and-miss approach.”
They jumped at the chance to purchase Effective People in 2015, and haven’t looked back. Effective People recruits in both public and private sector, at all levels, building a sense of trust with clients and candidates. It is also a proud supporter of the Canberra community, sponsoring CBR Brave, Canberra Cavalry and the Canberra Capitals.
Effective People’s five-member team is led by Chief Executive Officer Dean Hill, who shares the Lindgrens’ people-focused business philosophy.
“The industry is renowned for saying it cares about people and I’ve no doubt recruiters do on one level,” Dean says.
“Most work on commission, however, which means they’re driven by filling one job and moving quickly to the next. The amount of time these recruiters have for ‘genuine caring’ can therefore be limited.
“Our recruiters don’t work on commission. They’re free to spend quality time with candidates to suss out their genuine needs. They’re also free to spend time understanding what employers need.”
The good news for candidates is that a commission-free approach gives recruiters more time to think laterally about transferrable skills. Oftentimes, an Effective People recruiter will identify skills that can be transferred to opportunities the candidate might not have thought of themselves.
One shining example is an ex-military person who wasn’t sure what to do with his career.
“He came out of the Army as an infantry soldier and thought his only skill was using a rifle,” Dean says.
“We knew he had so much more to offer and helped him land a six-figure position working as an explosives expert in a major mining company in Queensland. We helped him understand how highly transferrable and valuable his skills were in one of the biggest industries in the state.”
Another model differentiation is the amount recruiters are paid to place permanent candidates. Effective People charges a much lower flat fee, which often equates to less than half what other agencies charge. This has increased Effective People’s client base and enabled the company to retain a high ratio of return clients.
Effective People also differs in how it relates to compliance with all aspects of labour hire employment. According to Ian, the Effective People team spends a great deal of time educating candidates on what their real status is and what their responsibilities are and expectations should be.
“An example is with labour hire employment,” says Ian. “Many who work in this industry believe they’re contractors with certain rights but that’s not necessarily so. They’re casual employees. There’s a big difference and it’s valuable for them to understand that.”
And while Effective People has already achieved much success – both in Canberra and nationally – Dean is confident that this is only the beginning.
“Our team is strong and everyone is moving in the same direction, operating with the same ethics. We’re positioned to assist anyone seeking employment, not just those looking in government or information technology or another specialised industry. We have no boundaries,” he says.
“Our team is strong and everyone is moving in the same direction, operating with the same ethics,” says Dean. “We’re positioned to assist anyone seeking employment, not just those looking in government or information technology or another specialised industry. We have no boundaries.”
For more information or to get in touch, visit their website.