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Ford Peterson Blog

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Decisions are simpler when you are dealing with people you know.

February 22, 2019

We get asked a lot about the history of Ford Peterson, so with our 5 year anniversary coming up, thought it would be a good opportunity to share the abridged version of it.

 

Scot and I started Ford Peterson in May 2014, however in truth the ground work began around the time I moved onto campus at ANU and into the room next to Scot in June 2002.

 

When we started the business Scot had no recruitment experience, I had been working in recruitment for about 3.5 years and we had never recruited into professional services.

 

Armed with sufficient self belief to convince ourselves we would be successful, the arrogance to blind us from our own ignorance and enough money to live for 3 months it was resolved at Randwick Race Course that we would start a professional services recruitment business.

 

5 years in and it feels like the opportunity and the appetite for change within the recruitment industry is growing and it stretches far beyond “filling jobs“.

 

Yes we have “AI” candidate sourcing programs that make finding people easier than ever but the role of a recruitment agency is to engage with people over time, build trust and assist them in building strong professional networks that will help them advance their career, not to type job titles into a search engine.

 

Access to strong professional support networks give people regular feedback on their current career situation, increases the probability that when they move they will be doing so for the right reasons, reducing staff turnover and increasing employee engagement.

 

This is central to what we are building at Ford Peterson, which is a professional community in which people can exchange ideas that help them make better career choices.

 

Headcount, revenue and the skill of consultants has the greatest impact on a business’s ability to deliver the above. So the real challenge is finding the balance between training and developing people, not sacrificing quality and driving revenue growth.

 

To ensure we have the most skilled consultants in the industry we invest upwards of 2 hours a week in training for everyone and give consultants access to extensive reading material on all subjects related to recruitment and the industries they are working in.

 

This is something we have been working on since day one. We will continue to refine our training program to help meet the individual needs of people in the business and can say that, with respect to recruitment, we have improved everyone who has worked at Ford Peterson.

 

Until recently, increasing headcount beyond a professional services team had been a real challenge because of the investment it takes to get a new business unit going.

 

Nick Cowdrey, who joined as Managing Director, has had a huge influence on this front.

 

Nick has been able to help us attract the right senior people who can get things going quickly while growing out his own team in Financial Services.

 

Five years in and Ford Peterson is now has teams recruiting:

 

  • Accounting, Professional Services;

  • Accounting, Commerce and Financial Services;

  • Wealth & Financial Planning;

  • Transactional Finance;

  • Insurance;

  • Risk;

  • Actuarial;

 

Which is exciting because it means that we have the platform to grow organically from 15 to 50 people over the next 18-24 months.

 

Recruitment is our core business however we have had a lot of help from a lot of different people so being part of the broader community is important to us and we are active in several ways.

 

As well as supporting a number of local charities, Ford Peterson sponsors several sporting teams including the Dunbar Rovers FC who, through the help of us and others, give hundreds of young men and women access to fee free representative football.

 

The next step for Ford Peterson is to attract people who share our vision for the future of recruitment, who are willing to put in the work necessary to make little improvements everyday and ultimately take ownership over making it a reality.

 

So, that is what we have been up to over last 5 years. If you want to be part of what we do next, either as an ambassador in the industries we recruit or joining the dream full time, please get in contact peterkibble@fordpeterson.com.

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