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Acworth Recruitment

Finding the ‘Perfect’ Match – Do you really NEED the Unicorn?

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Finding the “right” mix between what you “need” someone to have…and what you “want” someone to have in order to employ someone to be “successful” in a role….is not always clear cut. Emotions and idealisation get in the road more times than not…..


When recruiting for a role, I spend time with my client discussing their business, their existing staff, the work culture and importantly….what someone will be actually doing in this position that they need to fill.


I work closely with my clients so that both of us can be on the same page….and to try to ensure the role is “fillable” – I give them my understanding of the market, my expectations around the types of people who will apply, and the salary range needed to attract quality candidates. In return, they give me their ‘Needs’ and ‘Desires’ about their future employee.


As I screen, I keep those ‘Needs’ and ‘Desires’ in mind, but largely focus on the ‘Needs’ while long-listing applicants:

  • Does the candidate have the core skillset?
  • Do they have the right level of experience?
  • Have they worked in industries relevant to the company?
  • Do they have the ability to adapt quickly and learn the new products & skills required?
  • Will they be motivated to do this role?


When I have my long list of candidates, I am able to screen-in and develop a shortlist – which focuses more closely on the ‘Desires’ of my clients:

  • Has the candidate worked for Company X, Y or Z?
  • Has the candidate worked in Industry X?
  • Does the candidate have experience using Program X?
  • Does the candidate have a commute under 30 minutes?


In many cases, candidates will fulfil my clients’ ‘Needs’ but not all of their ‘Desires’. For most employers this is not an issue, and they will interview applicants to find the best fit – knowing that someone with the core skills and motivation can be taught. However, there are some clients who will pass on potentially long term suitable candidates as they want to hold out for an “exact match”.


The biggest difficulty with trying to attract and employ a Unicorn, is that you need that Unicorn to be looking for a new role….at the same time you’re advertising… within reasonable commuting distance…..and seeking a similar salary to that on offer….and then still be the right fit for your business and work culture. (Stay tuned next week for a refresh on one of my previous blogs on this Attracting Candidates: Will I be “Happier” working for You??)


You may end up wasting a great deal of time AND money on searching for the ‘Perfect Candidate’…..and STILL be unable to find the elusive Unicorn.


I encourage prospective employers to be mindful of balancing their ‘Needs’ and ‘Desires’, and deciding which aspects are most important for an employee to be successful in the role Long Term:

  • Could you train them to use industry specific programs or not?
  • Is relevant industry experience acceptable even if it isn’t exactly Industry X?
  • Are you willing to pay a higher salary to get your Unicorn?


While finding a Unicorn would be great, it is important to consider the reality of the market and to ensure that if you do find one….that it is not a donkey…..with something stuck on its head.


Make sure you’re following on Facebook ( as I’ll share some other great tips and information.


Advertising – Attracting the “Right” Candidates for your Job

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Business is busy and as a Manager or Owner you’re in a constant state of juggling while wearing the many hats of responsibility.

Then you have one of your key staff resign.

Your immediate thoughts go to “I don’t have time for this”!!

So you go to your files – grab a copy of the last advertisement – make 1 or 2 quick changes – then wack it up on SEEK and watch your inbox fill up with applications.

STOP !!! Rewind and let’s go back and ask a couple of simple and important questions. After all, you’re running a business and staff cost you money.

  1. Once that particular staff member has gone, what REALLY needs to be done to support the business functions?
  2. What background experience, knowledge and qualifications will this person need to have?
  3. What do I need to pay to get the right person?

Chances are that over the past couple of years, things have changed in your business and the market. This is an “Opportunity” for you take the next step in moving forward.

Now advertising a vacancy is no different in principle to a marketing advertisement – it is a form of communication used to encourage or persuade an audience to take some action.

Your advertisement needs to grab the ATTENTION of quality candidates then raise their INTEREST in the role – they need to be able to see themselves in the role and the benefits to them in working for YOUR business – and finally lead them to ACTION – you want them to apply.

Quality candidates rather than quantity is the response you need from your advertisement – after all there is only one position to fill and you have better things to do with your time than screen 100 resumes.

To do this effectively, YOU need to be CLEAR as to what the role really is, what type of person you are looking for and what stands out about your business – then reflect this in the advertisement.

Perceived “benefits” obviously vary for each individual and it is not always the salary that is the deciding factor. Your role may offer part-time hours or flexible working arrangements. The location could be close to home for someone and save commuting and parking costs. The size of your business and strong team culture may be attractive. This could be a step up for someone who feels that there is no room for growth in their current position.

So put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and don’t be afraid to SELL the role and your business. The perfect candidate may be working with one of your competitors and ready to make the move!!

Now that you have identified what you actually need someone to do as well as the skills, experience and qualifications they need and you have an advertisement that is attracting a quality pool of applications – you will be able to recognize awesome candidates with confidence.

Taking the time to review your business needs and the role as well as writing a quality advertisement will save you time during the screening process – and we know time is money – as well as ensure that you employ someone who is the right fit for your business.

For assistance to source great staff without outrageous fees, please contact me to see how Acworth Recruitment’s “Finder’s Model” can be tailored to your individual needs. We provide a genuine professional outsource option – outsource any part of the process and only pay for the support you need – no job is too small.


Get the Real Rally Experience !!!

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Keen for a Rally Experience without having to spend the big $’s……

2 People will have the opportunity to jump in the left hand seat and get the REAL Rally Experience (without all those nasty trees).


All you need to do to go into the draw is ANY of the following between now and Friday 5th October Friday 23rd November:

– Place a job vacancy with Acworth Recruitment

– Refer Acworth Recruitment to someone needing help with their recruitment

– Place a positive Google Review about Acworth Recruitment or Bruce the Acworth Recruitment Rally Car on Google Profile for Acworth Recruitment or Google Profile for Manufacturing Recruitment

You will have 1 entry go into the draw for EACH activity !!!!


The 2 winners will be drawn on Friday 5th October Friday 23rd November.

Your Rally Experience Ride will be  Saturday 13th October on Sunday 2nd December at Queensland Raceway – Willowbank.

You can take the ride yourself – OR pass it onto a Customer, Colleague, Friend or Family Member of your choice. 

0411 278 281


Acworth Recruitment Rally Car Official Launch

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Most people know that I’m NOT your Typical Recruiter……

Here is some pretty cool footage (well I think so anyhow) from the official LAUNCH of the Acworth Recruitment Rally Car.

Last weekend was the VERY first event for the Acworth Recruitment Rally Car (AKA “Bruce”….after the shark from Finding Nemo… know….”Friends not Food”….).

This event was a short Rally Sprint based in Urbenville approx 1 hour south of Beaudesert.

We used it as a shoot out and learning exercise for the Driver (yes Kim Acworth) and Co-Driver (Ian Swinbourne, who’s been with the team since 2014) to get used to the MAJOR differences compared to the beloved Libby that had been raced since 2012 (1991 Subaru Liberty).

For the car enthusiasts – Bruce is a 2004 Subaru STI Spec C and was originally built for and raced by Toshi Arai in the Asia Pacific series……and he’s a whole lot of car !!!

We now feel ready for the first major event next weekend (ie Saturday 2nd June) at Imbil on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland – the Inspirations Paint Capalaba Hinterland Rally – which is the first round of the Queensland Rally Championship.

I’ll be posting regular updates and footage to my Facebook page ( – so please follow if you’re interested.

For assistance to source “Keepers” without outrageous fees, please contact me. I provide a genuine professional DIY alternative that won’t break the bank (average cost for my placements in 2017 was $1,500 – $2,000)!!! 


Lock Your New Employee in for the New Year NOW!!!

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Are you planning on putting on a new employee to start within your business by the end of January???

Well DON’T WAIT until after Xmas and New Year to advertise the role. The wait might result in you not having anyone available to start till late February or March!!!

FACTS to Consider:

  • Employees that are planning on changing jobs for a Fresh Start in 2018, have already made that decision now….!!! They’re just holding off so that they can take their annual leave over Xmas/ New Year.
  • The number of Roles being advertised in Mid-January demonstrates a peak in the market…. You’ll be competing against a high volume of similar vacancies.
  • Many candidates with jobs need to provide at least 2-4 weeks’ notice once they resign.
  • There is a significant increase in professionals relocating over the Xmas/New Year period, especially since it’s holiday season at Schools and Universities. Again, they have already made that decision now!!!


With a well-structured recruitment campaign and advertisement targeting job seekers wanting a fresh start in 2018 – you will be able to appoint that perfect employee before Xmas and have them locked in to start by the end of January…. You and your new employee will then be able to enjoy the holidays and festive season knowing that you have the Fresh Start for 2018 locked in and ready to go!!!




For assistance to source “Keepers” without outrageous fees, please contact me to see how Acworth Recruitment’s outsource model can be tailored to your individual needs. I provide a genuine professional DIY alternative that won’t break the bank (average cost for my placements in 2017 has been $1,500 – $2,000)!!!

The Resourcing option SMEs are Afraid of – But really shouldn’t be!!

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Acworth Recruitment supports businesses to find in-house employees without the pain of DIY……but the best resourcing solution is not always an “employee”.  Outsourcing work…..especially to “offshore” set-ups can be risky….and hence, many SME’s aren’t swayed by the cost savings……but I found an option with Simple Support with great foundations…..and WELL WORTH considering……

Ben Casado is the General Manager & Co-Founder of Simple Support – an Australian owned & managed outsourcing company specialising in virtual assistance, transcription, lead generation and engineering back-office support.

The heavy competition in business has always had SMEs scrambling for ways to grow and keep delivering more for their consumers. While the playing field has levelled to an extent between SMEs and bigger corporations (thanks to online marketing), scaling and expansion for the former still comes as a challenge.

Meeting increased consumer demands can be somewhat of a growing pain for many a SME. Generally, one out of three things happen:

  1. Business owners hire more staff (casuals or otherwise)
  2. Business owners request their existing team to work overtime
  3. The business owner him/herself works more than the usual hours

While options #2 and #3 can be implemented immediately, it must be said that these are not always ideal solutions (from a quality perspective, financial and work/life balance) whilst option #1 always appears to be the path of least resistance.

However, in amongst training and retaining casual staff that attract hefty hourly rates……there is a lesser known fourth option SME owners and managers could always “employ.”

These days, marketing isn’t the only thing you can do online. With instant messaging; cloud-based systems; and voice and video calls, working with a virtual or outsourced team is not at all a far-fetched concept. Allow me to enlighten you with a few important points:

  • Out-sourced teams are scalable, as required by your business.
  • You can find virtual staff equipped with skillsets and expertise you may not yet have.
  • You can find virtual staff with a variety of focus or specialisation areas.
  • The average hourly rate for even a basic level casual is around $18.29 (plus loading, plus super)[1]. Hourly rates paid for a virtual staffer is considerably more affordable (50% more in many instances) and often there is no need to invest in further plant and equipment.
  • Launching is quick, sometimes even immediate. After talking about requirements and standards with your virtual staff, you can start working with them as soon as the next day.
  • You can hire project-based virtual staff for either short-term or long-term, depending on your unique requirements.

Many fear quality (or a lack thereof) and yes a virtual assistant should be vetted and scrutinised, as is the case with any team member.

This is where Simple Support steps in and really adds value. Unlike most other VA or offshore service providers, we provide locally based support to project manage your requirements (no matter how big or small). We’ll work closely with you to confirm exactly what work you need done and the skills to carry it out….. we’ll then come back to you with a detailed service blueprint, enabling us to hire, train and quality control the project.

If your business has a back end administrative or repetitive task that you would love to hand over, than feel free to give me a call for an obligation free discussion……..we can even help with drafting, estimating and other technical areas.

[1] Fair Work Ombudsman (Australian Government), “Minimum Wages”, retrieved online 1st August 2017,

Why Your Resume Won’t Cut it on LinkedIn

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As a Professional Finder, I utilise LinkedIn EVERY DAY to research candidates that apply for roles with my clients……and to “Hunt” for people that may not be actively searching for a new role….but open to that great opportunity falling in their lap.

So I’ve asked Kylie Chown to pass on some of her insights and wisdom around LinkedIn Profiles……

I recently worked with a client who was a manager in a professional services business and, although she didn’t have a particular role in mind, her plan was to move to a new role within the next 12 months.

We had talked about her resume and the importance of making it outcomes focused. We were moving on to her LinkedIn profile when she asked:

“But don’t I just upload my resume to my LinkedIn profile?”

I explained that her resume could include more comprehensive details on her past, while her LinkedIn profile was about her future. I explained that if she was to just upload her resume to her profile, she would not be maximising LinkedIn’s capabilities. Her LinkedIn profile was in the public domain, and her resume contained confidential information we couldn’t put on her profile.

Furthermore, Business Insider Australia recently reported:

“Users who simply post a static resume (on LinkedIn) and don’t make an effort to interact with others in their network will not receive as many opportunities.”

When used effectively, LinkedIn can help job seekers to:

  • Be found by recruiters for their target role.
  • Position themselves as a recruiter’s ideal candidate.
  • Support their job applications as a validation tool.
  • Nurture and strengthen relationships with recruiters and decision makers.
  • Search and identify key contacts within their ideal employer.
  • Leverage the job search capabilities of LinkedIn.
  • Support face-to-face activities.

 Here are my top tips to ensure that job seekers leverage LinkedIn to its full capabilities:

  1. Make sure you are found for your ideal role. Develop your profile around the keywords, skills and abilities for your ideal job moving forward.
  2. Ensure that when you are found, you are positioned as the ideal person for the opportunity. This includes have a strong “click through” headline and content that is mapped to your future in the summary and in each of the employment sections.
  3. Validate the findings with evidence. Include evidence of statements and skills. You can do this by adding websites and plugins to showcase your work, and fostering trust through targeted recommendations on your profile and reflective skills endorsements.
  4. Share content. According to a LinkedIn blog post, users who share content on the professional social network at least once a week are nearly 10 times more likely to be contacted for new opportunities than people who don’t share.

By developing a strategy for her LinkedIn profile, my client was strongly positioned for her next ideal opportunity, without jeopardising her current role.

Written by Kylie Chown, Kylie Chown Consulting


Attracting Candidates: Will I be “Happier” working for You??

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If someone is looking at your Job Advertisement – there is ALWAYS a reason!!! That reason generally lies in one or more of their “needs” not being met at their current place of employment.

An employee spends more time at work that with their near and dear ones. Therefore, the ‘working relationship’ needs to be FULFILLING. If “something’s missing” – then they will treat it similar to a personal relationship and try to FIX IT! However, if their needs still aren’t being met, then they will eventually start looking elsewhere.

So what are people generally looking for within their employment to be HAPPY?

  • FAIR PAY OF COURSE!!! No one expects otherwise.
  • A sense of SAFETY!!! Everyone expects to be able to go home after work.
  • To feel VALUED!!! No one wants to be just ‘another number’ or constantly ‘criticised’.
  • OPPORTUNITIES to learn new skills, scope for career advancement and future rise in pay.
  • A sense of FIT in their personal values and ethos to that of the CULTURE of the firm.
  • To actually LIKE WHAT THEY DO!!!

To attract the right candidates and have them apply for your job vacancy, your Job Advertisement needs to paint a clear picture of the job, and must addresses all of the points mentioned above. When I ask my top candidates,why did you apply for this position? The answer always refers to one or more elements from the job advertisement that resonated positively with them.

In a nutshell, a Job advertisement is an ADVERTISEMENT!!!

Advertising is a form of marketing communication used to promote or sell something, usually a business’s product or service. (source: Wikipedia)

Your ‘Job Advertisement’ is an opportunity for you to paint a POSITIVE and ACCURATE picture of your business, the workplace and the role itself. The importance of being accurate and realistic when outlining details cannot be UNDERESTIMATED!!! You will not only cost yourself TIME & MONEY, but also lose potential CLIENTS by appointing someone under false pretences!!! By writing a Job Advertisement that is more or less a shortened (cut and paste) version of the Job Description, you’re not taking advantage of the opportunity to SELL the role. REMEMBER, a job advertisement is a tool to attract potential candidates, by communicating the function of the role, the business and essentially promote the business as an ideal workplace.

Here are some Headings you can use within your Job Advertisement:

  • About the Business
  • About the Role
  • Your Skills and Experience or What skills and Qualities are we looking for?
  • What we Provide or What’s on Offer

Don’t be afraid to put the business out there!!! If you’re a ground level IT business dealing with everyday business and people – then don’t be afraid to say we offer “IT help for HUMANS!!!”. If the role requires the candidate to be detail oriented and possess a high degree of analytical ability to the extent that they are ALMOST ANAL, then state it OUTRIGHT!!! People who refer to themselves in this way are the people you want to apply. When I work with my clients, I take the time to really listen to what they are describing about their business, the type of people within their business, what works well for them and of course what the role will actually entail!!! Only then will I work on designing a Job Advertisement that accurately reflects the role, the Brand and the people they are looking for. Thus, providing the best marketing opportunity to attract quality candidates.

Make sure you’re following on Facebook ( as I’ll share some other great tips and information.


Why did you apply for this Job???…Another Time Waster!!!

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Anyone who has placed a Job Vacancy on SEEK and is screening the applications has said this…..and usually repeatedly…….dealing with the VOLUME of “Time Waster Candidates” is the most frustrating part of any recruitment process.

As the Principal Finder at Acworth Recruitment, this is the one BIG constant in my daily job……and the MAIN REASON my clients choose to have me to deal with the recruitment process.

More than half of all applications I screen are quickly discarded because the candidate is not even remotely aligned with the requirements of the role:

  • Level 2 IT Help Desk..… no IT experience what so ever
  • Reception/ Administration asking for a minimum of 2-3 years administration experience..… Hairdresser
  • Architectural Drafter..… Mechanical Drafter

I think the pinnacle of my frustration comes when a position is advertised with the salary range on offer clearly stated..… I take a candidate through the screening and shortlisting stages..… only to have them say that they EXPECT to be paid AT LEAST $10K-$15K more than is being offered!!!

It is clear that many job seekers either don’t bother to read the advertisement and consider the position details before they apply..… or believe in miracles, fairies and unicorns.

Taking a “scatter gun” approach by applying to as many jobs as you can is simply a waste of your time as an applicant..… and of the potential employer’s time!!!

Take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of the business owner or hiring manager..… they are looking for someone who most closely meets the requirements of the job..… has similar experience..… will fit in with their work culture..… and is within the salary range that they have budgeted for..… i.e. they’re going to take the person who is most likely to hit the ground running and stick around.

So here’s my tips on how to identifying the jobs you should be applying for:

  1. Be realistic about your expertise and what you bring to a role.
  2. Read the advertisement properly.
  3. Consider whether your expertise matches closely with what is described in the advertisement.
  4. Consider the salary against your expectations.
  5. Consider the location of the job against your commute to get there.

Major don’ts..… DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME:

  1. If you don’t have the experience and/or qualifications asked for in the advertisement..… then don’t apply. The requirements of the position are based on the operational needs of the business..… they’re not going to change just for you.
  2. I like to put the salary range being offered in my advertisement wherever possible – this is so job seekers can consider it against their expectations before they decide to apply. If it isn’t in the advertisement (as I know many employers don’t include it), then it is included in the back end of SEEK – so use your preferred salary range as a “search criteria” so that you only view jobs that match your salary expectations….. an employer isn’t going to offer you an additional $10K because you’re wonderful – they have budgets and have already done their research etc.
  3. If your commute to work is going to take an hour or longer..… you need to question if the job is for you. People tell me ALL the time, that they don’t mind a long commute and sitting in peak hour traffic..… but the fact is that after approximately 9 months of commuting for an hour or more, people get tired of it..… they sit back and consider how much of their day is being lost – as well as the cost of fuel etc..… and then start to keep an eye out for a job closer to home. Employers know this and have been “burnt” by it before..… it actually costs a significant amount of money to train someone up..… they don’t want to be back to square one in only 12 months..… so it is likely that they won’t even read your application.
  4. SEEK and other job boards make it sooooooo easy to just click on “Apply” and off goes your application..… Don’t fall into that trap..… focus on Quality rather than Quantity.

For Employers who are sick and tired of screening volumes of “Time Waster” applications at the end of a 12 hour working day..… then give me a call..… I help to take the pain out of the recruitment process allowing you to concentrate on your business. We charge on an hourly basis so you only pay for the support you need.

Too many Graduates, Not enough Tradies

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In my most recent blog, ‘Too many graduates, Not enough jobs’, I wrote about the ever-growing pool of graduates who are unable to find full-time roles as they are considered both overqualified AND under-qualified. With a high level of technical skill but little practical application, graduates are unable to find jobs which match with their area of study. These ‘overqualified’ candidates are intelligent and motivated and if employers provide them with a meaningful starting point, they may be surprised with the results.

I also touched on the view of many that trade qualifications are inferior to university qualifications, even though both can lead to full time careers. Some parents neither want nor allow their children to complete apprenticeships, with the only goal being university. For these parents, their focus is on the idea that a “professional” role will provide better opportunities to their children. However, there are plenty of potentially well-paid trade-based roles out there. Parents need to realise that university is not the “be all, end all” for their children to have rewarding careers.

The Facts

Australia is heading towards a skills crisis as the number of apprentices and trainees decline due to people aiming for university. The number of non-trades traineeships almost halved from 490,000 in Jun 2012 to 291,000 in December 2015. Trades apprenticeships have been slightly less affected with a drop from 215,000 to 175,000 in that same period. While some of this decline can be linked to the fall of certain Australian industries, such as mining, it should be noted that other industries are growing and the demand for skilled workers is becoming more apparent.

Even with increasing numbers of small businesses owned and operated by qualified tradespeople, the number of apprentices remains low.  In some cases, fully qualified employees are hired in place of apprentices as they require less supervision. There is also the belief that the required work ethic is absent in Gen Y apprentices i.e. most employers believe that Gen-Y will not apply themselves to the job.

In some cases, even ‘qualified’ tradespeople have limited knowledge and expertise in certain areas as their training company was limited in scope or simply didn’t bother to train them properly.

These issues have led to a decline of competent and qualified tradies available to meet the needs of the market.

What this means for employers

Apprenticeships provide a chance for business owners to impart their knowledge and develop the skillset of someone who is looking to build a career in their industry. They develop business relationships which can last for many years as apprentices who feel valued by their employer will remain in place to develop their skills and match (or even outdo) their mentors.

While there is the Y-Generation stigma, employers should look at an individual’s potential and how they would fit it in, instead of characterising them on the bases of the masses (Gen Y).

Also, as businesses grow, and need arises, a fresh pool of talent needs to be tapped into, to prevent overpaying and bottle-necking growth.

What this means for the next generation

As the tide changes, today’s generation needs to prepare to set sail and fill in those gaps. There are opportunities out there that don’t need an academic qualification. Adapt and equip yourself with the right set of skills to surf the new waves!!!