4 March 2024

Revolutionising recruitment: the rise of a disruptive agency changing the hiring game

| Dione David
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Rubik CEO Guy Earnshaw

Guy Earnshaw has never struggled to find really awesome people – and his new recruitment firm is tapping into that uncanny ability. Photo: Jack Mohr.

As COVID triggered a spike in Australians changing jobs, and lockdowns exacerbated skills shortages, the recruitment industry came under immense pressure.

But while many scrambled to recruit talent in response to the “Great Resignation” as it became known, Guy Earnshaw – a four-time AFR Top 100 lister – was not fazed.

“We’ve never had problems finding quality people. We’ve been very fortunate in that we have those people knocking on our door,” the Really Awesome People CEO says.

Though it might sound like a humble brag, this dynamic is not something that fell into his lap – it’s an evolutionary by-product.

“Too often recruiting is reduced to finding a space and putting a person into it. For us it’s about hiring people who are going to go into an organisation, work hard and make a difference. We find those ‘change agents’, and we tend to attract them because of what we are,” Guy says.

“We focus on the culture we have and that tends to attract the people who align with us.

“We also know when it’s not going to work and we don’t push it. If a client comes to us and says ‘We want this person’ and we don’t have them, we simply tell them we don’t have them. It’s best to take a long-sighted approach so clients know they’ll never get anything but the best from you.

“When I started my first workforce company, we started strong, we were successful in a short period of time and learned so much about finding good people, giving them the space they need to do their thing. I also learned a lot about the importance of fostering a positive workforce culture that encourages creativity, collaboration and growth.”

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Really Awesome People is the embodiment of that – and the company name says it all. The recruitment and consulting company focusses on finding awesome talent, creating positive workplaces and assisting clients with organisational design.

“When the Labor government came in, there was a push from consultancy to recruiting. We could always find really awesome people to hire as contractors – there’s no difference between that and finding them as an employee,” Guy says.

“I know the word ‘disrupter’ is used a lot these days but that’s what we’re doing. Traditional recruitment doesn’t serve us, our candidates or our clients.”

For this reason, Really Awesome People doesn’t rely heavily on conventional recruitment methods such as job ads.

“Seek is good, LinkedIn is good, particularly for general jobs like financial accountants. But for more specialised capability, we’ve never found our awesome people that way,” Guy says.

“It’s not about ‘Give us your CV and we’ll send it across’. It’s about building strong networks and then connecting the dots.”

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A big part of this is gaining a better understanding of the clients and candidates.

“For the business or department seeking, what’s their maturity phase – are they in a growth phase or established? What’s their culture like?” Guy says.

“And for a candidate – what motivates them inside and outside of work?

“Knowing which people will fit, and which people will shine, comes down to knowing the client and the candidate.”

It also doesn’t end once there’s a bottom in a seat. Offering ongoing guidance for clients and candidates is key to maintaining productivity.

“We want to know what a candidate wants to achieve professionally and financially. To do this you have to know what’s important to them, what their goals are,” Guy says.

“We’re currently reviewing contracts for possible extension. You have to get out and see the employees because it’s not just an extension process, it’s a process you’re going through to get a candidate excited for the year ahead.

“When you tick and flick you end up with people just sitting in seats and going through the motions. That doesn’t build the culture our brand is founded on and isn’t the reason people come to us.”

For more information visit Really Awesome People.


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