I returned to work this week, a happily married man. As is often the case with watershed moments in one’s life, I took the opportunity to reflect on my journey so far and looked forward to what I hoped the future would hold for my new wife and I. I realised that several of the key turning points in my life were directly related to changes in my professional career or in that of my father when I was still a young lad.

Working in recruitment, we are given the responsibility of managing critical watershed moments in the lives of all our candidates on a daily basis. While there are some who are able to change jobs as seamlessly as changing a tyre, for many this represents a major and often unnerving step into the unknown. It is our responsibility as recruitment consultants to help make this transition as smooth as possible. This involves ensuring that we have a good understanding of the candidates requirements and priorities, being able to communicate all the available information about a considered opportunity to a candidate and then representing the candidate in an accurate light to our Client. We are also responsible for advising candidates of market conditions and making recommendations on career options that they would otherwise not have considered.

I recruit Engineering and related Project Management / Project Controls roles – primarily for the Mining & Resources and related EPCM sectors. A characteristic of these industries is that they often involve remote locations and this in turn can have a significant impact on the one’s family. The decision to take on a role with a 4 weeks on / 1 week off fly-in/fly out (FIFO) roster when you are used to being home with your family every evening is not an easy one. As the Resources sectors looks further afield for suitable candidates in order to support the boom in the industry, more families will need to consider the sacrifices that go with the attractive remuneration packages that are on offer. Part of my responsibility as a consultant is to discuss all the available options with the candidates so that they can make the decision that best reflects their priorities.

Employers are also being faced with the question of how to ensure that they attract the best people in a highly competitive and candidate-short market. Attractive packages are the most obvious option but the industry has already witnessed significant wage inflation and this would not be sustainable in the longer term. Another option is to negotiate on the terms of relocation or FIFO roster. In this situation it is not always clear what the candidate’s preference would be (everyone prefers more salary but what one would forsake in terms of family time would depend on the individual). It is part of my responsibility as a consultant to explore the flexibility on these conditions as they may enable an employer to attract a candidate who would otherwise have turned down an opportunity.
The ability to understand the needs of our Clients and Candidates and then being able to offer professional, expert advice is the benchmark by which we are judged at Optimum Recruitment. Knowing the difficulties that the Mining & Resources sector currently faces in order to attract the necessary talent makes my work more challenging. Appreciating the significance of the decisions that we guide our Candidates through makes our work all the more satisfying.

Cristo Mastoroudes – Senior Consultant

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