Two years in business & why I started Inspire HQ

Ange Connor

Today, October 1st marks Inspire HQ’s second birthday! Celebrating two years in business and reflecting on the journey over the last couple of years, to say I’m proud of what we have created is an under-statement. It’ been one hell of a rollercoaster ride with plenty of ups and downs, curve balls, bumps in the roads and many mistakes that I’ve learnt from along the way. However, I have loved every minute of it and wouldn’t change a thing.

I can clearly remember the early days of business as word spread that another recruitment and HR agency was opening in Ballarat. Many thought I was crazy, there was plenty of competitors, some long established with their niche in the market and of course there was the opinion that recruitment agencies were dying and no longer needed as everyone could recruit their own employees from Linked In. But I had a why and for me it was a powerful why. It was powerful enough for me to take the plunge and turn my back on the security of a regular pay check. Quitting a job and becoming a business owner is the most challenging and scariest thing I have ever done in my life. It has also been the most exhilarating, rewarding and satisfying experience of my life.

Many people often ask me, was starting your own business what you expected? That’s a hard question to answer. In many ways it has been everything I expected and more and in other ways it is nothing like what I expected! The challenges and hurdles I thought I’d have haven’t cropped up but there have been many other hurdles and challenges that hadn’t even crossed my mind that presented headaches and challenges, sleepless nights and consumed my thoughts. I actually think my second year in business has been harder than the first. The first year was an unknown, it was about testing the market, tweaking and adjusting to get the service offering just right, creating everything from scratch and flying by the seat of my pants. The second year has seen incredible growth; the launch of new services, employing our own team of people, moving to our own office and creating our own culture and what we stand for. And with growth comes new and different challenges and headaches – great challenges and headaches to have!

My business was born from a vision to disrupt the traditional recruitment and HR space. Throughout my career in the industry it has been rare to receive a call from a business who is excited or positive or happy to be needing recruitment and HR services. The need to recruit or for assistance with HR issues is often one associated with negativity. The perception is its expensive, time consuming, stressful, inconvenient to the company, distracting and the list goes on. The same goes for people looking for work. Their experiences of trying to navigate their way through career change, applying for jobs, acing interviews, and starting new careers is often a negative experience. They experience frustration, stress, anxiety, pressure, no feedback or communication and again the list goes on. I experienced first-hand many years ago as a manager the challenges and headaches associated with recruitment and HR issues and I’ve been a job seeker; looking for a career change who has had negative experiences. In starting Inspire HQ my vision was to change that perception, to show people it didn’t have to hard or difficult, to provide a positive and personalised experience for business and individuals.

Inspire HQ is the headquarters for Recruitment, HR and Career inspiration. The inspiration to see the possibilities, to think differently and to show you that Recruitment, HR and Careers don’t have to be a negative experience. Having had those negative experiences first hand many years ago and now being in a position where I love what I do, where every day I am outside my comfort zone, where I am surrounded by a team of awesome people who share my vision, where I am proud of the culture we have created; I understand and appreciate the impact those feelings and experiences can have on our lives. We spend too much of our time in the workplace to be unhappy in what we do, to be stressed about people problems or in careers that don’t ignite the fire in our bellies. For me, there is no greater satisfaction in partnering with a business to create success and growth through their people and by having the right team around them. And there is no greater satisfaction in coaching an individual to successfully navigate their way through career change, to see their passion ignited and to watch them shine in a new career. It’s why I do what I do. Inspire HQ exists because we believe the Recruitment, HR and Career journey can be positive, rewarding, fun, innovative and it can drive both professional and personal success and satisfaction. I am a true believer of the Steve Jobs quote “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I’ve been lucky enough in life to find what it is I love to do and my goal for Inspire HQ is for us to help others do great work by helping them find what it is they love to do.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up and get busy in day to day life. I remember a mentor telling me early on to make sure I left time to stop and celebrate the achievements – even the small wins – to stop and smell the roses, to remember why I created Inspire HQ and why we do what we do. Today as we celebrate two years in business, we’ll be stopping to smell the roses.

My question for you is have you found what it is you love to do and do you take enough time to stop and smell the roses?

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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  • Congratulations what a great idea. Contact me for a coffee and chat. CHEERS


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