Expert Advice

face2face pays it forward and gets the job done

Wendy Johnson23 March 2020
face2face Recruitment celebrates 15 years

face2face Recruitment celebrates 15 years of star performance, Gatsby style. Photo: Kerrie Brewer Photography.

It’s said that one-third of small-to-medium-sized businesses fail in their first year of operation and half fail in their second year.

So when Canberra business face2face Recruitment turned 15 this year, owner Kate Prior and her 24 staff popped the cork on the champagne.

Kate knew she was daring when she opened the business. It meant she had to quit her full-time, high-flying, high-paying job, which had seen her personally place thousands of jobseekers while working in national and international recruitment firms. But at the time she didn’t know just how daring.

“Today’s business environment is so radically different from when face2face first entered the recruitment market and it keeps us on our toes,” says Kate. “Recruiters now have to deliver more and be more to clients and jobseekers in less time. Also, there are more recruitment companies in the market than ever before.”

Kate has plenty of tips for business owners in today’s radically and continually evolving business environment. Staying calm is one, building a team of external professionals who are experts in their own fields and on board to help when needed, and being prepared to make the hard decisions in all areas of business, including internal recruitment, are some of Kate’s top tips.

“Businesses need to define their competitive edge and be wary of wasting time chasing jobs that will only cost money to win,” says Kate. “I also believe businesses need to market every single day and build a culture that celebrates wins.”

Although she has faced many challenges on her business journey – including some unexpected and beyond the company’s control – Kate wouldn’t change a thing and remains passionate about the recruitment industry.

“At the end of the day we’re driven by helping people and about face-to-face interaction,” says Kate. “It may sound clichéd, but I remember working for large companies with a commission model that began focusing on fast placements with high dollar values and key performance indicators. I believe it led to a gap in the market. People still want to see people, so I quit and branched out on my own.”

So far, face2face has placed more than 6,000 jobseekers in both the public and private sectors. The team’s service is free for jobseekers across Australia and face2face handles permanent, non-ongoing and contract positions in information and communications technology, and business support.

Kate Prior

At the 2019 Telstra Business Awards. Managing Director of face2face, Kate Prior (centre) with ICT Manager Alister Pardew and Senior Account Manager, Business Support, Loretta Pabian. Photo: face2face.

face2face’s success allows the company to practise what it preaches, which is to pay it forward to the community with pride.

“We developed our values together as a team and are committed to never letting our desire to help others fade, even when the going is rough,” says Kate.

Giving back includes donating 3,000 copies of Resume Success Secrets, which Kate published as a tool for jobseekers, to 60 public libraries, Communities at Work and Carers ACT.

face2face has supported many other organisations by donating services and supplies, expertise and holding fundraisers.

“We support a long list of organisations, including the Red Cross for 15 years, the Salvation Army Canberra for 15 years and RSPCA Canberra for 10 years,” says Kate.

Kate Prior wrote Resume Success Secrets

Kate Prior wrote Resume Success Secrets to help jobseekers find their dream position. It quickly rose to #1 on Amazon in its category. Photo: face2face.

Since inception, face2face has faced its share of challenges, as all businesses operating for a long time do. But the eternally optimistic Kate focuses on the wins more than the losses.

Last year was certainly big, with face2face picking up the national award for recruitment services at the Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2019, the only ACT company to win in any category. The company was also a finalist in the 2019 Telstra Business Awards, Medium and Making Waves category (ACT).

A point of pride for Kate is the team’s willingness to help jobseekers of all ages and in all sectors.

“Discrimination against mature-age workers has been in the news recently, and we know from our direct experience with recruitment that other demographics, like return-to-work parents and graduates just launching into the market can struggle,” says Kate. “We’ve run free workshops for these groups inspiring them to remember that there is a job out there; we just have to find it.”

Visit face2face for tips and resources on finding your ideal job, jobs listed through face2face or how their expert consultants can help you find your ideal candidate.

Original Article published by Wendy Johnson on The RiotACT.

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