Welcome to my monthly update, focusing on issues that I’m seeing in my business, which may be of relevance to you and yours.

My insights are gained by virtue of:

  • fielding any number of calls per day from people considering career changes;
  • meeting most days with sales leaders within both corporates and SMEs, to talk about issues facing their businesses;
  • conducting up to a dozen in-depth, face-to-face interviews with salespeople each week; and
  • attending industry-specific events such as MESCA Briefings, Bowen Basin Mining Club and Brisbane Mining Club functions every month.

By way of background, I’ve been recruiting since September 2003, with a specific focus on sales, sales leadership and business development roles across the resources, construction and engineering sectors for the vast majority of that time.

Please feel welcome to give me your feedback – I can take you being direct!

  • It’s tough, but get used to it. It’s hard to speak with anyone at present without them talking about how “quiet” and “tough” it is out there. The people I’m seeing who are generating results, despite the climate, are those who have accepted the environment for what it is, concentrate on “controlling the controllables”, and aren’t concerned with when things will improve. Basically, they’re facing up to what is being termed “the new normal” and are just getting on with it.
  • Prospecting is getting more sophisticated. It’s happening relatively slowly, but salespeople are getting savvier around using social media, particularly LinkedIn, to identify, approach and engage with prospects. In a climate where your typical sales call is often treated as an unwelcome interruption, building a bridge online is often an effective way to open the door and I’ve had a number of candidates able to detail specific successes they’ve had with relationships that started behind a keyboard.
  • Face-to-face is still where it happens. The good news is that people still want to deal with people. Clients are saying that, more than ever, they want to work with suppliers who take the time to understand their businesses, and the challenges those businesses face, and who bring ideas, rather than products, to the table.

It’s not all doom and gloom:

Mining production on the rise? While new project development remains largely on the backburner, we’re seeing an increase in mine owners/operators recruiting management roles in Planning, Production and Maintenance, and anecdotal feedback suggesting that mine production levels are increasing.

Is there hope for the property market? Response from our clients in property development and construction, to recent changes in legislation surrounding planning, has been extremely positive. Early days yet, but there are definite sentiments of hope emerging around commercial and residential construction.

As always, please feel welcome to call anytime, should you be looking to source high-quality sales talent or wanting to discuss where your career is heading.