The 15 biggest recruiting highlights of 2015

The 15 biggest recruiting highlights of 2015

In many ways 2015 was a good year for recruitment. The pendulum started to swing back the way of agency recruiters. Profits are largely up across the globe, and the howl of misguided fanatics promising to ‘destroy’ third party recruiters has dropped to a low rumbling, as it becomes clear that recruiters are not going to be uber-ised any time soon.

On a personal note, I had a fun, productive and interesting year, and I thought I would share some of the highlights with you, because they contain many lessons for all of us.

  • People2people turned 10 years old. The company I helped three of my ex-Recruitment Solutions staff launch in 2005, celebrated a massive decade of success. Now with over 50 staff, 5 offices and revenues in excess of 30 million, they have done a superb job, and I have enjoyed supporting them from the sidelines as a shareholder and non-executive Director. The 10-year celebration party was a banger too!

The founding shareholders of P2P celebrate 10 great years!

  • My Brisbane-based client WattsNext, an innovative HR outsourcing business, took the brave decision to close it’s recruitment division (which contributed 30% of revenue and was highly profitable), because it was not a core service, and was in fact a distraction from their primary goal. It was a tough call, which took lots of Board-Room debate, and required a firm grip on short term vs. long-term goals, but it’s paid off in spades already. The core HR. consulting business has grown exponentially, and the company vision is now so much easier to articulate to all stakeholders. Huge credit to Wattsnext, and a lesson for all of us.
Some of the 1,000 recruiters that came to the RCSA Greg Savage Masterclass 2015

Some of the 1,000 recruiters that came to the RCSA Greg Savage Masterclass 2015

  • Consult Recruitment, my client in Auckland, embarked on a planned growth strategy, set by the Board, and implemented to the letter by the management. The results are there for all to see. Staff numbers up from 5 to 15. Revenue increased 75% year-on-year, GP up 60 %, and Operating Profit before tax doubled. They also hit a range of other key metrics like temporary GP staying above 60% of total GP. An exceptional year, which sets them up for further growth, and cements their position as market leader in accounting recruitment in Auckland. Good people doing a great job, and reaping just rewards. Check out their new website BTW.
  • My Sydney client Precision Sourcing was growing revenue significantly year on year — but profit was dropping! There were several reasons for this, but front and centre was millions of dollars of government contracting work at margins between 5% and 8%. This was a classic case of chasing revenue over profit, and it was creating risk and losses. The hard message that emerged from our first Board meeting was, ‘fire these clients now unless they will increase pay rates‘. The decision was made. Current contracts would be honored, but no new assignments would be filled at these rates. This was a courageous move, as this government work comprised 52% of the total company revenue! However, since this initiative, profits have surged (on lower revenues) and in a gorgeous irony, many of those self-same ‘fired’ clients have come back to request contractors — at full margins! Respect to Precision for holding firm and doing the very, very hard yards.
  • I was the keynote speaker at the Evolve Summit in the Czech Republic, which was a blast involving beer, babes, bands and… dogs. On top of all this, the organisers had prepared for my arrival with large printed signs, which read ‘I Love Greg Savage‘, which were enthusiastically waved by attendees throughout the day. This does not happen to me very often (i.e.. never!). I sent a picture of this to my wife. Her response is not printable here.

Hmmm… not sure that sign is going to fly…

  • I volunteered to be a mentor in the RCSA PEARL Mentoring Program, and spent a couple of hours a month with my mentee, which was a rewarding experience for me, and I hope for her too. You should look into it. Either to grow as a mentee or contribute as a mentor.
  • I assisted in the acquisition of Devlin Alliance in Melbourne, took a significant shareholding in the business myself, help re-brand it to People2people (Victoria) Pty Limited, and have supported Erin Devlin as she grew the business from 2 to eight people, increased temp numbers from 10 to 75, and created a strong profitable operation, poised for big things in 2016. That has been fun.

Talking to the HR set for Oracle

  • I delivered social and digital marketing strategies to several clients and it’s been a huge buzz for me to see the online success of companies like Wattsnext, People2people, Consult Recruitment, and Triple0 Medical, all of whom can point to significant ROI in terms of clients won, candidates generated, advertising costs saved and brand built. Don’t take my word for it. Look at their online footprint, and ask them directly if you wish. All will agree the social strategy changed their business. In some cases it’s totally transformed their business. Beyond cool.
Speaking to the UK recruiters in October 2015

Speaking to the UK recruiters in October 2015

  • I have greatly enjoyed my role as an advisor to the HR Tech start-up Live Hire, and have been so impressed with the technology and business plan, that I’ve taken a small shareholding myself, and continue to assist, in a small way, as they grow rapidly.
  • Leaving the RCSA Ball, a highly inebriated recruiter, swaying in the lift, looked at my wife who had her arm in mine, and said ‘My GOD, you are beautiful‘. Then he looked at me, bemused, and said, ‘and who the hell are you’? I enjoyed the moment, but my wife loved it!
I can see why he was confused...

I can see why he was confused…

  • In 2015 my brother Chris joined me amongst the ranks of the unemployed, so I have asked him to tag along on my next speaking tour, although in truth he will do most of the work, carry the bags,  and pay for all the red wine on the way. Don’t tell him will you?

Wishing you all a fantastic 2016!


Owner Manager Masterclass. ‘Powering Profits in Disrupted times’. With Chris Savage. Six cities, Australia and New Zealand. Over 200 signed up already.  Early Bird Discounts available now but closing soon!



About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

Connect & Subscribe

Subscribe to this blog and join me on social media. I have a lot to say. Some of it even quite good.

Subscribe (Why wouldn't you?)
Facebook (A great recruiter hangout)
Twitter (50,000+ other people do)
LinkedIn (Find out who I actually am!)
YouTube (A great face for radio)
Instagram (Pics of my recruiting travels)
Pinterest (Pin me down)
Google+ (.. because.. it's... Google?)

, , ,

16 Responses to The 15 biggest recruiting highlights of 2015

  1. Harold Dawson January 19, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    I. I. I, me, me, me – wow what an ego.

    • Greg Savage January 19, 2016 at 10:40 am #

      Bit harsh Harold, dont you think? Its hard to write a blog about my personal highlights, without, it being, you know, about stuff that involved, me. I think too, that mostly my clients were highlighted in this blog. Having said that you are quite right.. I DO have a healthy ego.. but not one so big that I take pleasure in deriding others.

    • Ben Teh January 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

      I’ve known Greg for some years now. First as one of his many employees in one of the many companies he runs. While abit rough around the edges, (he wears only black), he’s one heck of a nice guy. He is more of a ‘you’ guy than an ‘I’ guy… He takes the time to listen… Which can be a bit disconcerting when he shifts his full 6 foot frame next to you to hear you better… So I can’t agree with you.. I suspect you’re the tipsy guy at from the RCSA ball… You still don’t know who the hell he is…

    • Scott January 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

      If you don’t like it then don’t read his blog, Harold. Pretty simple.

    • Claire January 21, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

      Greg has a great deal to be proud of and good reason to have an ego. There are thousands of us who rely on him for inspiration and guidance, so he deserves all his accolades.

  2. Mark Pearce January 19, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Congrats on a great 2015 and best of success for 2016.

    PS. If we make some I love Greg Savage placards, can you reciprocate a selfie when you come to Perth in March?

    • Greg Savage January 19, 2016 at 10:41 am #

      No need for the cards Mark.. selfie with pleasure!

  3. Tim McNamara January 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    A great year indeed, Greg. All the very best for 2016!

  4. Marisa Fong January 19, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    Great post Greg and well done. It must be so gratifying to help other businesses grow. Love it when “mature” and “experienced” recruiters/owners can demonstrate that they’re still relevant in the face of disruption and technology threats.

    Rock on into 2016!

  5. Barry Davies January 19, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    The Blog is called Greg Savage ‘The Savage Truth’, Harold – what exactly did you expect it to be about and why are you reading it and taking time to comment if of so little interest to you?

    Onwards and upwards Greg – Little does Harold know how lightly he got off after the last chap who attacked you without foundation … I forget his name, which says it all really.

    • Greg Savage January 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

      Thank you Barry, Scott, Ben.. for leaping to my defence! 🙂

  6. Carl January 19, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    Hi Greg,

    Absolutely love your post. Together with some gags, always makes for good reading. Looking forward to your SA talks with high anticipation, might have to print some cards for that leg of the tour. Following Consult closely as have a network connection that may potentially do some work with them. Have a fantastic 2016 🙂


  7. John Pollard January 19, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    2015 was certainly a good year and 2016 promises to be even better!
    Two of our consultants had the pleasure of attending one of your seminars in Manchester and they’ve not stopped talking about it. I’ve enjoyed your online training, through Recruitment Juice, and continue to appreciate your regular stream of advice on The Savage Truth.
    Keep up the good work, Greg.

  8. Alan Allebone January 21, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    You do not need anyone to come to your defence Greg!
    Just reflect back on what you have done and achieved.
    It would take some of these tossers twice as long cause they complain too much!

    Here’s to your next career!

  9. Margot January 22, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    I do not work in recruiting but I love your blog Greg. I especially loved your blog about the Czech Republic conference where the beer was served all day. We can all learn from people who are successful and help others achieve success. I’m currently between jobs and it would be easy to slink into a hole but I haven’t because I choose to be inspired by people such as you. I have great experience in my chosen field and have proved to be adaptable and resilient, so I know that will be of value. I cannot say I’ve had any great success with recruiters, but maybe they need to attend one of your masterclasses.

Leave a Reply