Recruiting Leaders

Ange Connor

Earlier this week I presented at the annual Australian Industry Group Human Resources Conference in Ballarat, held as part of B31. I’ve always enjoyed attending the conference as it’s a great opportunity for HR Managers and general management to come together for professional development, networking and to hear about trends, initiatives and changes in the human resource space. Congratulations to Jim Dannock from AIG for organising the event this year and for bringing together managers from across the region, not just Ballarat. There was plenty of conversation happening in the room and it was exciting to see people sharing knowledge and information with their peers.

This year’s topic centred around Leadership and my presentation focussed on Recruiting Leaders; attracting them and engaging leaders through the recruitment process and how leaders perceive businesses based on how they present themselves during the recruitment process. Here are some key points from my presentation and feedback from participants.

  • Leaders don’t need manager titles: When recruiting for leaders for our business, leaders aren’t just management positions and senior staff members. We can recruit for leaders who hold the position of receptionist, machine operator, office assistant, labourer etc. We need leaders at all levels of our businesses in all types of positions.
  • Success in business comes from having the right leaders in the right positions. They give us the competitive edge and are what really differentiates us from our competitors.
  • There has been an increase in the focus and importance of leadership skills during the recruitment process and how those skills can be more important than qualifications and number of years of experience (depending on the specific position). Examples were shared by the attendees on where they had recruited staff based on their ability to demonstrate the leadership skills and attributes valued by the business.
  • Leadership skills and abilities are a challenge to assess during the recruitment process and attendees shared how they are struggling to tailor their recruitment process to best assess these skills and abilities. Experiences shared by the group included; behavioural based interview questions are not as effective as leaders know how to answer those style of questions, behavioural profiling and assessment has its place but is not a tool to be used in isolation, gut feel still plays a part in the decision, non-verbal communication and personal brand plays a big part in the assessment of candidates.
  • When recruiting leaders the interview process needs to be a two way-street, the interviewee wants to interview the business equally as much to ensure it is the right fit for them.
  • Leaders are looking for new career opportunities with businesses that have a strong employer brand, are innovative and demonstrate this through a rigorous recruitment process.
  • Leaders have choice in this talent short – skills short market. Leaders are hard to find and businesses need to be innovative in the way they market their brand and their vacancies. The challenges of sourcing, recruiting and retaining leaders to niche and specialist roles in a regional area is being felt by businesses.

The feedback received from attendees I spoke with was exceptionally positive. Many felt the day had been an excellent investment of their time and they were able to take away ideas and tools from each of the presenters to implement in their businesses to drive a leadership culture and improve their employer brand to attract leaders.

If you’d like a copy of my presentation and further information on Recruiting Leaders, email me at for your copy.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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