14 June 2011

One year on: Interview with RCSA CEO, Steve Granland

Welcome back to InSight Steve and congratulations on your one year anniversary with the RCSA. How different, or similar, has your experience of the role been compared to your expectations of the role when you started on 7 June last year?

Hi Ross and thanks very much. It is amazing how quickly the last 12 months has flown by. On joining the RCSA, I expected that the role would be extremely challenging and professionally rewarding and so far it has absolutely delivered on these expectations.

The RCSA is a very broad church, so this might be a tough question to answer but what have you found to be the two or three major expectations of an RCSA member?

Correct. RCSA members are an extremely diverse group from all perspectives (size, lines of business, complexity of operations etc). It would be just about impossible to develop a single value proposition which would be attractive to every RCSA member. The RCSA value proposition therefore must be broad and flexible to ensure it does meet all member expectations.

Generally though, I think it is fair to say from my daily dealings and communications with both corporate and individual members that they want to see the RCSA continually adapt and change, to be flexible and quick to respond to member needs. Members have the right to expect quality products and services and communications.

Once you had a chance to take stock, in what areas were the RCSA well progressed in, in comparison to other associations you have worked in?

The RCSA has a broad range of practical member products and services, a great range of education products, an excellent code and ethics management system and a fantastic group of dedicated industry volunteers.

What is the most important political or legislative issue that the RCSA is tackling at the moment and what progress is being made?

The RCSA and ITCRA have recently formed a joint Independent Contracting Working Group, we are reforming the RCSA Immigration Working Group and the Safety and Risk and Workplace Relations groups continue to raise and address key industry concerns. Major areas of focus include union campaigns around "precarious workers", 457 Visas and labour agreements and the operations of illegal labour suppliers.

RCSA specialist Group AANRA and AMRANZ are active in the area of lobbying on issues important to the medical and nursing recruitment sectors particularly around ongoing issues around registration of migrating professionals.

A high level of focus has been and will continue to be given to educating political, regulatory and other stakeholders on the value and importance of our industry. We have completed a significant stakeholder gap analysis and will be undertaking the education program in the second half of 2011 which will be supported by an increasing focus on industry research.

How can recruiters have a more productive relationship with HR professionals?

I believe education is key from a number of perspectives. Firstly it is important to educate HR professionals that the RCSA exists and its members are bound to abide by a Code for Professional Conduct. Secondly we need to educate HR professionals that the Code exists for a reason and, if breached by an RCSA member, we expect that they should progress any complaint. HR needs to know that the recruitment profession is a profession.

Lastly, HR Managers need to know that there is more to the value proposition than placing a permanent or temporary staff member. HR is increasingly being asked to add to the bottom line and they will look for tools and resources which assist them with this.

What role can, or should, the RCSA and AHRI play in achieving this?

We have started this journey. I have, for example, just returned from the AHRI National Convention where the RCSA had an exhibition stand. Our presence was about education, taking the opportunity to meet with and talk to HR professionals. Not surprisingly few were familiar with the RCSA or understood the differences between a member and a non-member. The good news is that those we spoke to received this message very positively and we are expecting more traffic on the RCSA Member online directory.

We now also have a commitment from AHRI to continue the dialogue around improved communications and education. They acknowledge and understand it is an important message for their members and we will look for avenues to improve this communication perhaps via articles in respective publications, shared research and more. Stay tuned.

Where has the RCSA, as an organisation, made the most progress in the past 12 months?

My focus in the first 12 months has been on a number of internal operational matters, member communications and member engagement. I believe we have made some great progress with respect to member communications with a return to a hard copy RCSA Journal (next issue out in a couple of weeks), the launch of a new member focused website and a revised RCSA Newshub.

Communication with our members is the fundamental key element of just about every other facet of the RCSA - unless we have solid and professional two-way communication, our ability to move forward and continue to change will suffer.


What has been the highlight for you of your first 12 months in the job?

There have been many highlights. The opportunity to meet so many members has been a great highlight. First hand interaction with members is important and a key to ensuring we understand member needs.

Attending the Conference in Hobart last year was fantastic - I was so impressed with all elements and I had only been in the role 3 months. Having the opportunity to work with 2 great Presidents (Steve Shepherd and Lincoln Crawley) in the first 12 months has also been, professionally, very rewarding.

Launching the new hard copy RCSA Journal and the new website, the launch of the PEARL Program and the RCSA Awards and Gala Ball have all been fantastic highlights and all are the result of great work from both RCSA staff and volunteers.


The recent RCSA Gala Ball, including three Awards of Workplace Safety, Young Recruitment Professional and Outstanding Contribution was a big success. What are the plans for this event going forward?

What a great night the Gala Ball was. We have had so much positive feedback. I felt sorry for those many people whom we had on the waiting list. Next year will be bigger and better - project 500 attendees! It's definitely an ambitious target but we are determined to grow this event and cement its place as the recruitment industry gala event of the year.
The Awards will have a dedicated website and its own branding. The Gala Ball will be held in Melbourne next year and the search has begun for a venue.

The RCSA Annual Conference is being held in just over two months. What can attendees expect to gain from the conference?

The RCSA Conference offers a unique opportunity for delegates to access fantastic professional development from a great range of international and national speakers and networking opportunities to die for - all from the beautiful Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas.
I would strongly recommend anyone interested in attending this event to get in early - registrations are tracking well ahead of last year and there is a chance this event may also sell out early.

What can we expect from the RCSA in the next 12 months?

We will be focusing on building professionalism through new education and events programs, improving our ability to influence by undertaking both global and national research and we will continue to provide more effective member communications with new website functionality and revised Newshub.

Importantly, we will be launching a new individual membership model on 1 July. To be known as the RCSA Professional Accreditation Framework (PAF), the new model will allow for public recognition of an individual's knowledge, skills, experience and commitment to professionalism.

Raising the bar needs to start with the individual and be supported by the corporate. I would like to see our individual membership numbers triple in 2 years. To encourage our corporate members to support the PAF they will shortly receive an information pack about the PAF and a unique member offer.


We will also continue to improve how we engage and recognise RCSA volunteers. Without the assistance of volunteers we would not be able to undertake much of the important education development and lobbying and advocacy work which the RCSA does.

Much to my disappointment, Steve, you're not on Twitter yet. Can we expect any tweeting action from @RCSA_CEO anytime soon?

Yes Ross, that is a fair comment. Before I left AHRI, a few Gen Y, Twitter savvy staff did actually set up a RCSA related Twitter account for me and to anyone who is following this account, I do apologise for the complete lack of input over the last 12 months.

The good news is that the RCSA has launched into Twitter @RCSAevents and this is very well looked after by Christina in our events team.
I am conscious of the need to embrace social media, particularly given my focus on communicating with members and perhaps will add becoming Twitter savvy to my list of personal goals for the next 12 months.

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my questions, Steve.

My pleasure Ross.

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2 comments:

  1. The RCSA website is worse than the last one!!!!

    Dosnt work in chrome or firefox

    How about merge AHRI RCSA and ITCRA all into one org

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the interview part. It is good, and inspirational as well.

    ReplyDelete