In October last year, I made the move from London to Sydney for a change in lifestyle and a new adventure. Fast forward 7 months and I’ve learnt a hell of a lot…
I’ve learnt that Aussies love a drink, Aussies love a Barbie, and Aussies think it’s cold when it’s below 25 degrees. But perhaps my most surprising realisation is that there is such a thing as a good work-life balance for a recruiter (no… really, there is!).
London is famous for its notorious ‘do or die’ mentality… Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but who really wants to be made to stay in the office until they’ve done over 3 hours on the phone? Surely it would be more beneficial for your consultants to be having fewer, more meaningful conversations, rather than pounding the phones trying to call everyone on a shortlist of 1,528 hiring managers… Besides, recruitment is all about building relationships, right…?
I must admit, I was slightly baffled when the office was empty at 5.35pm on my first day at my new company in Sydney (nVision Talent, check ‘em out). I was sat there after a day of getting to grips with a new Database, getting to know my colleagues, changing my LinkedIn profile… All the fun stuff that comes with a new job… And then I realised, I might actually be able to catch the end of ‘The Chase’ for the first time in 4 years. After a brisk 6 minute walk home I managed to catch the last 10 minutes, and the Chaser won with about 45 seconds left on the clock. I checked the time - 6pm - enough time to FaceTime my family back home and even have a beer or two on the balcony. Result.
My point is, I actually had time to enjoy my evening rather than spending 1.5 hours commuting home through London rush hour, eating dinner and hitting the sack… Only to have to wake up at 6am and start the long commute back into the city (with a 60% chance of delays). As time went by and I started settling into my new company, I realised it wasn’t just a one off and people generally work ‘normal’ hours in Australia. This, along with the fact that we’re completely cloud based which means we can work from anywhere with internet, started to give me the work-life balance that I thought was some kind of made-up fairytale a few months ago.
So, why does it matter? The only benefit I’ve mentioned so far is that it allows me to watch more people lose on TV Quiz Shows. But here’s a few more advantages I’ve experienced from a non KPI focused, relaxed recruitment agency:
You learn to work smarter rather than harder – Spend your time wisely building genuine relationships with clients & candidates, rather than bashing your head against the table trying to call every person on a 25-year-old database. Know your target clients, then get to know them.
You respect an employer who has trust in you – When an employer gives you flexibility and doesn’t micro-manage you, you feel happier to return the favour and make them (and yourself) some serious money.
You can enjoy your social life more – You won’t be drained by working 12 hour days and you’ll be more engaged when you are in the office.
You generally enjoy your job more – Everyone knows recruitment is a dark place when you’re not billing... Those little perks like being able to work from home (or on a beach…) make things not so bad!
There will always be old-school minded recruitment agencies out there, and no doubt they will continue to be successful… But soon enough recruiters will start to realise that there are agencies out there where you can be successful without having to work past the time when you need to leave the office through the back entrance, as even the concierge has called it a night.