As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to stop and reflect on the past 12 months. The pandemic created a rollercoaster of highs and lows for many. There were opportunities to slow down, pause and re-engage with loved ones, but there was also unparalleled uncertainty as we navigated unchartered waters.
At Evolve Talent, we’ve been fortunate to have experienced plenty of highs in 2021, but that doesn’t mean it’s come without its challenges. We invite you to go with us on a journey as we review the year that was and look forward to the year to come.
The Inception of Evolve Talent
In late 2020, Building Careers Australia (BCA) formally rebranded to Evolve Talent. Our CEO and COO, Chris McVean and Jamie Butterworth recognised that the existing BCA business had a solid infrastructure, strong financial backing and good people, but also like for many small business that were experiencing rapid growth, there was an opportunity for new procedures and structure to facilitate and accommodate the growth and scale.
Chris and Jamie’s injection into the business catalysed the rebrand to Evolve Talent. While the name Building Careers Australia spoke to certain elements of recruitment, it didn’t capture the entirety of the business we aspired to be – a business that recognised the rapidly evolving workplaces and understood what it meant to approach recruitment in a new and innovative way. The name Evolve Talent would represent more than just what we did; it would also represent where we were going.
Our business may have experienced rapid growth over the last 12 months, but this has not come without challenges.
Taking on an existing company tends to come with unique pain points. The legacy issues we faced can be summed up under the headings of “people”, “systems” and “processes”.
The first step was injecting the right people into the business – never easy in the recruitment industry, but particularly with the instability caused by COVID-19 making it even more difficult for a lot of businesses to attract great Consultants and Leaders. However, with a combined 35+ years in the Australian recruitment industry, we had a great network to draw from and were quickly able to form a focussed, unbelievably driven and resilient leadership team that could take the business in the right direction.
Next, we had to tackle the systems. At Evolve, we place emphasis on ensuring our systems are in alignment. To make this a reality, we had to conduct comprehensive reviews of the existing systems and overhaul anything that wasn’t working effectively. This review resulted in a completely new tech-stack with a heavy focus on automating the administrative components of Consultants tasks, and giving them powerful sales tools and insights to allow them to be more nimble and pro-active in their search for the best talent in the market.
And lastly, it was the processes. With COVID-19 lockdowns changing the way people worked, this opened the door to new ways of doing things. Where processes lacked, we invested time and effort to ensure sensible new practices were implemented so we could do things right the first time. Our people were forced to adapt too. Before, it was easy to shout a quick question across the office floor. With remote working, we implemented new systems that worked just as effectively – albeit from our own homes!
To this day, we still have a number of team members working remotely that have never had the chance to meet in person, although it has to be said most employees have opted back into the Evolve office culture, which is something that makes us particularly happy!
Despite the challenges that 2021 brought, it also brought about many positive new initiatives. Here are some of our favourite wins:
Our people are at the heart of everything we do. While dollars and the bottom line are a desirable outcome, they are secondary to what we do and the people we work with. Our efforts have been recognised, too, as we’ve recently been shortlisted for the Australian Financial Review Best Places to Work.
There are plenty of ways we like to invest in our people. Just a few examples include:
- Health & Wellness – We believe in focusing on the holistic health of our people, which is why we hold our “Wellness Wednesday” initiative once per month. Last month’s event involved offering free skin cancer checks to our team. Our Mental Health Day is another popular initiative that was born out of COVID-19.
- Lunch Club – If our people achieve a set milestone for each quarter, we make sure to take them out to lunch to a value of $250.
- Million Dollar Club – Similar to the Lunch Club but an initiative for the key accounts team in Perth. If you bill $1m for the quarter, you also get $250 pp towards a lunch or event.
- Teambuilding – From Painting & Picasso, monthly social drinks, internal competitions or pottery classes, we believe in connecting outside of the four walls of the workplace.
While many businesses struggled with the impact of COVID-19, we were very proud that Evolve grew approximately 60% quarter on quarter this past year. This has been recognised by the TIARA Awards, with the business recently being shortlisted for Best Mid-Size Company, Best Recruitment Brand and Best Growth Company.
- One of the key areas for growth was healthcare – an impressive accomplishment given the border closures, the shutdown of private hospitals and elective surgeries, and difficulties securing talent.
- We also established two new offices, Sydney and Perth. We’ve taken great pride in fitting out these new facilities for our people to enjoy – investing in graphics and branding that add to the workplace.
- We are committed to not just growth but deliberate growth. We make a point to ensure every area we branch into, such as our new Safety division, aligns with our wider strategy. If this means saying no to a successful business in a different sector, so be it.
Innovation and Doing Things Differently
Just like our name states, we understand how quickly the world around us has evolved and will continue to evolve. With this in mind, we strongly believe in supporting our clients and candidates by thinking outside of the box.
Here are just a couple of the ways we’ve embraced doing things differently in the rapidly changing world:
- We understand the importance of offering our clients personalised and accessible service. With this in mind, we made the move in 2021 to disestablish our 1300 number and instead assign each consultant an individual line. This provides our clients and candidates with a direct connection to their consultant, cutting out the usual agency system where they could end up speaking with someone new each time.
- Several of our key sectors experienced sustained growth throughout the COVID-19 period by supporting industries outside the status-quo. While inevitably some businesses (notably hospitality) were forced to let employees go due to the pandemic, there was a positive silver lining – particularly in WA. The essential mining industry was able to take on some of these candidates and continue to prop up the Australian economy. Some of these candidates might have sat at home for 12 months if we had not supported them in these new opportunities. As a business we experience great pride in taking difficult situations and offering people support by offering out-of-the-box solutions.
A Post-COVID-19 World
As we emerge from lockdown, we’ve been pleased to see a real staff-driven push to return to the office. We understand that each person’s situation is unique and we’re happy to offer flexibility. But despite making this clear, we’ve relished in seeing our people rushing back to enjoy each other’s company. This camaraderie speaks volumes about the culture we’re fostering here at Evolve Talent. In spite of being given a choice, nine times out of ten, our people choose to come in just to see their colleagues.
So, what’s next for us here at Evolve?
Over the next 12 months, we aspire to target continued growth. We know that we have momentum, so we want to continue building and doing what we do best: finding good people and using a range of recruitment methods to assist our clients.
We’re keen to explore solutions for our clients that might offer them a part of a service, so they can adapt our offering to make it work for them. This is just another way we’re committed to looking at recruitment slightly differently.
And we’re even open to conversations about acquiring whole tech teams and businesses. The world is our oyster.
Join in Our Success
We are always on the hunt for quality recruiters who want to join a dynamic and innovative team. We are a small business at heart, which has grown into a medium to large organisation without losing the boutique morals, values and practices that inspired our growth in the first place.
If you’re interested in breaking the mould and joining a world-class recruitment agency in Australia, contact the team here at Evolve Talent and ask about our recruiter jobs. No matter where you’re currently based, we’d love to have a chat.