23 September 2015

The 15 most influential people in the recruitment industry in past 60 years

In last week's article, I listed the top five nominations in the peer vote of those in the Australian recruitment industry that have been the most influential people over the past sixty years. Those nominations were: John Plummer (Senior), Greg Savage, Geoff Morgan and Andrew Banks, Geoff Slade and Julia Ross.

These five nominations (6 individuals) were easily the most popular five. The following nine people were in the next bracket of total votes, all separated by no more than two votes.

I asked each voter to consider the following criteria when nominating:
The person has:

1. Built business(es): Either as an owner or as an employee (or both), has built one (or more) successful recruitment businesses.
2. Built people: Significantly contributed to the development of other leaders within the recruitment industry.
3. Built the industry: Significantly contributed to the development of the Australian recruitment industry as a substantial and credible sector in its own right.
4. Built the future: Been responsible for innovation within the Australian recruitment industry.

Here are the nine individuals that round out the top 15 (in alphabetical order):

Andrew and Paul Bassat 
Co-founders and former Joint Managing Directors of Seek Ltd.

The Bassats were the leaders in the development of on line recruitment in Australia. Whilst they have profited greatly from this I think their vision back in the late 90s cannot be underestimated and had it not been for their entrepreneurial spirit we would probably still be dominated by the larger media players. They also build a great team which has been recognised by Hewitt/Aon. - Bob Olivier

Robert Blanche, FRCSA (Life)
Co-founder and former Managing Director of Bayside Group Pty Ltd. Awarded Life membership of the RCSA for his services to the recruitment industry.

Robert has made a huge contribution to the recruitment and employment services profession generally and to the  RCSA in  particular. Robert was instrumental in “ rallying the troops” from the technical on-hired sector, unifying them, and introducing them to the wider profession. He stands as an example of vision, long term commitment and hard work.

Apart from building a highly respected , multi brand national business group, Robert has been a tireless contributor to the RCSA where he has made significant gains on behalf of the Industry  in areas such as  workers compensation, occupational health and safety, payroll tax and government relations. A quiet achiever, Robert is worthy of grateful acknowledgement by his peers. - Ross Fisher

Ross Fisher, FRCSA (Life)
Co-founder and former Managing Director of Fisher Recruitment Group Pty Ltd. Founder and Chairman of the Board, Recruitment Super. Awarded Life membership of the RCSA for his services to the recruitment industry.

Ross developed consultants via IPC, was Board member of the IPC and Victorian president as well as President of the NAPC on two occasions. He was a driving force behind the amalgamation of the IPC and the NAPC into the RCSA as well as one of the founders of Recruitment Super (and Chairman for 20 years). Ross negotiated a temporary clause in the award for Victoria which was emulated in other states. Participant in the Industries association for the whole of his working life within the recruitment industry. - Robert Blanche

Frank Hargrave AO
Co-founder and former Managing Director of Skilled Group Limited.

Skilled (which he founded in 1964 as Hargrave and DeMartini) is a massive influence on the industry, not just our biggest. - Rod Hore

Nigel Heap
Managing Director (now Chairman) of Hays (Asia Pacific).

Was able to take a mid-tier recruitment business which hardly advertised within the executive space, establish himself as a leader, introduce real process and drive performance to make it (Hays) the number one white/pink collar business in Australia. Hays Aus/NZ was the top performing Hays business globally for a sustained period. Many people had significant careers whilst Nigel was MD. - Peter Gleeson

Julie Mills, Hon. FRCSA (Life) 
Foundation CEO of the RCSA (Aus & NZ), currently CEO of ITCRA. Awarded    Honorary Life membership of the RCSA for her services to the recruitment industry.

CEO of the RCSA for ten years; created something from nothing. - Geoff Slade

Geoff Moles
Founder and former Managing Director of Clarius Limited (formerly known as Candle).

For building Candle/Clarius, for his total honesty and generosity at all times, and for generally being the nicest, most trustworthy bloke in the industry. - Neil Bolton

Rosemary Scott, FRCSA (Life)
Founder and Managing Director of Scott Recruitment Services Pty Ltd. Awarded Life membership of the RCSA for her services to the recruitment industry.

Rosemary successfully built her own agency (Scotstaff) over a 13 year period before she sold it to a UK listed company in 1988. After retiring from Scotstaff, Rosemary was then the first person to offer both industry-specific training and specialist rec-to-rec services in Australia. Rosemary has also been a passionate driver of industry standards via her active involvement in the RCSA, and its predecessors. And how many people in the industry are universally referred to, and known by, only their first name! - Ross Clennett

Steve Shepherd, FRCSA (Life)
Director of Social & Public Affairs, Randstad, Asia Pacific. Former President RCSA (Aus & NZ) between 2005 and 2010. Awarded Life membership of the RCSA for his services to the recruitment industry. 

A less prominent but effective leader in major companies and RCSA roles (National President for 5 years). - Stephen Porter




Thank you to Andrew and Paul, Robert, Ross, Frank, Nigel, Julie, Geoff, Rosemary and Steve; you have all been recognised by your peers as individuals that have significantly shaped our industry for the better. I hope that this industry has given each of you as much as you have contributed to it.

Thank you also to the people who responded to my request for nominations; it would be hard to argue against the merit of any of the fifteen people I have profiled in the past two weeks.


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