Talent releases DEI Hiring toolkit: Less talk, more action

Talent releases DEI Hiring toolkit: Less talk, more action

Posted September 5, 2022

Talent is pleased to release ‘DEI Hiring Toolkit: Less Talk, More Action’, a brand-new introductory guide aimed to help businesses create more inclusive recruitment experiences for candidates and contractors. You can access the toolkit HERE

Focusing on six core areas in the hiring process – the job description, sourcing, shortlisting, interviewing, offering and finally onboarding. The guide has insights, tips, personal stories, and key takeaways which businesses can put into practice now.

The guide features personal stories from leaders working in the DEI space discussing a range of topics including ageism, youth employment, working parents, disabilities and more.

Key takeaways include:

  • Diversifying the interview panel
  • Revaluating job descriptions and ads
  • Shortlisting with diversity front of mind
  • Thoroughly considering how you can offer tailored support

Mark Nielsen, Global CEO Talent, said focusing on DEI is a must for all leaders. “There is so much to unpack and continue to learn around DE&I in the workplace. Leaders must be aware of the ever-changing world of work and address that what might work for one person, might not for another. Authenticity and vulnerability allow for real conversations. There’s no denying that diversity in the workplace is extremely beneficial for building company culture, engagement, and performance. Not only that but it creates an environment where people love coming to work because they can be their most authentic self.”   

Kara Smith, Talent Auckland Managing Director, commented that there needs to be a bigger focus on inclusion throughout the hiring process. “We’re talking to many clients who acknowledge the importance of diversity and are actively driving this in their attraction strategies. But what about inclusion? What support will be there to help your more diverse talent be fulfilled and engaged? What data or stories are there within your environment to help you understand your starting position? We must be genuinely interested and curious about the experiences (both at work and outside of work) for more diverse talent to understand where you are starting from and what you need to tackle next. And it might not always be a comfortable conversation either.”

Talent’s vision is to build a better world of work for all.

DEI Round Table Discussion: A Report

DEI Round Table Discussion: A Report

Posted August 27, 2022

Here at Talent, we’re passionate about not only hiring more diversely and inclusively ourselves- but providing guidance to our clients in doing the same.

Our Berlin team recently hosted a DEI Round Table workshop event in collaboration with Digital Diversity Discussions, and it was a brilliant success! We invited DEI professionals from leading companies as our speakers, and came together to share stories and experiences.

We covered specific topics (including tokenism and intersectionality) and used our experiences to discuss and define best DEI practices. Click here to read the full report of the event, where you’ll gain insights into the specific discussions we had and the conclusions we came to – and use them to help improve your own DEI strategies.

We loved hosting this event and want to say a huge thank you to our guests and facilitators for sharing their insights. If you’d like to be notified about Talent’s future DEI events, please join our Slack community:


Want to attend our next DEI event? Register your interest here.

Top 5 Skills of Successful Recruitment Leaders

Top 5 Skills of Successful Recruitment Leaders

Posted August 20, 2022

From team management to networking to corporate strategy, there are a variety of duties a successful recruitment manager will have to take on. But, what makes someone a truly outstanding recruitment leader?

There are many key traits often shown by leaders in this industry – and results speak for themselves. Here are our top 5 successful recruitment leader skills, along with the benefits of implementing them into your own management strategy. How do you stack up?

1. Be data-driven

Without quality data to analyse, how will you identify the areas that need improvement? Or the areas that are growing most successfully?

Collecting and analysing data is crucial to keep track of your processes. You’ll be able to efficiently identify any roadblocks hindering progress – and can use this information to take action in making your entire operation more streamlined. You’ll deliver better, more targeted service to clients and candidates as a result (and, of course, achieve more sales!).

2. Take a step back from recruitment

If you’re spending too much time focusing on your own technical recruitment skills, how will you efficiently lead your function? There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

Being in a leadership position means accepting that your role is no longer laser-focused on technical recruitment. Instead, setting the vision for your team, hiring good people, and providing mentorship is where you should focus most of your time.

Effective recruitment leaders should be able to set an example – and deliver guidelines needed for their recruiters to do their job well.

3. Prioritise collaboration and teamwork

Collaboration and teamwork typically deliver better results than individual working. From improved problem solving to higher chance of innovation, encouraging your recruiters to work as a cross-functional team is likely to be far more successful. Knowledge and insight will be shared more effectively, creating broader scope for the team (rather than individuals) to achieve success together.

Many top recruitment leaders regularly encourage their people to share, learn, and help enhance each other’s skills. Basing most incentives on team performance (rather than individual achievements) will naturally encourage collaboration, too.

4. Focus on diversity within your strategy

Diversity, equity and inclusion is a prevalent topic right now – but DEI is far more than buzzwords on a page.

Focusing on DEI will not only keep your recruitment strategy updated, but will also help create a more inclusive culture within your organisation. There’s no denying how important a positive company culture is, especially in today’s candidate-driven market. If you aren’t showcasing your commitment to DEI (both internally and externally), you run the risk of losing your best talent.

5. Nurture other leaders

Your mentorship process shouldn’t just focus on helping your recruiters develop their technical recruitment skills. You should also work to nurture their leadership skills, helping them develop into future leaders of your function.

This will not only help more members of your team operate with better autonomy, ownership and responsibility, but will also help identify areas for improvement too. If others in the team are equipped with the experience to analyse your recruitment process, you’ll have more support in improving your overall long-term strategy.

Want to learn more?

While these 5 skills are undeniably important, being a successful leader certainly doesn’t stop here. There are an endless range of leadership qualities that will help boost business, improve your company culture, and build a better world of work.

To discover more leadership-focused insight across a variety of industries, take a look at our new Leaders Building a Better World of Work list. Featuring exclusive takeaways from some of today’s most inspirational leaders, you’ll discover a range of perspectives and knowledge on multiple facets of leadership. Click here to find out more.

Proud to be Neurodiverse

Proud to be Neurodiverse

Posted August 5, 2022

After being diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia from the age of nine (and ADHD later down the line), it’s safe to say I’ve experienced my fair share of obstacles. But I’m proud to be neurodiverse – and I want to showcase that despite what society might tell you, there are no limits to achieving success both in and out of the workplace.

I’m super passionate about eliminating the stigma and changing the landscape of how neurodiversity is perceived, empowering people like myself to stop viewing themselves as having disabilities – and see their differences as special powers instead. There are so many unique qualities that people like myself can bring to the table; and it’s a shame they’re still often overlooked in certain working environments.

So, I wanted to share a little bit about my own personal experiences from childhood and beyond, and share key insights on how managers can best support their employees . And yes, I did have some help writing this blog – and that’s totally ok. If there’s one piece of advice I’d start with, it’s NEVER be afraid to ask for help if you need it. (And if you’re in a workplace where you feel uncomfortable or simply unable to reach out, that’s a telltale sign you’re not working somewhere that’s right for you…)


Back to the beginning

I was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD at a young age. Back then, people were nowhere near as open about these things as we are now – so education on these matters wasn’t brilliant and the stigma was pretty huge.

These diagnoses were partly down to the fact I never learnt how to crawl as a young child. My coordination was pretty terrible and, by the age of 10, I still couldn’t catch a ball. I had to go to physio to learn how to crawl (at the time I felt embarrassed, but it was necessary to get my coordination up to where it needed to be). It all paid off and I became really good at squash, winning the county championships when I was 14! This was a big boost for me and really helped my coordination in the long run.

Back to age 10 again, I had to start using a laptop for everything at school as my writing skills were poor. This was WAY before the time laptops were seen as cool, and I was picked on – made to feel like I was different from the other kids. I also had to wear John Lennon-style red glasses to help with my reading, which just added to that feeling of ‘not being like everyone else’. It shouldn’t have mattered but, back then, it was seen as a big deal.

I was fortunate that my parents were very supportive and my mother was a headteacher. She was very in-the-know about all of these things. In fact, it was my mum who recognised I needed a certain colour to help me read better (hence the groovy red glasses!).


Turning obstacles into strengths

Aside from the other kids at school not being particularly friendly towards my laptop and groovy glasses, I unfortunately experienced obstacles from my teachers. I got told during parents’ evening around age 14 that I’d never get to university or any other form of higher education. This created a huge mental block for me and I wasn’t even an adult yet!

My writing skills were poor as a child and they still are to this day. Written communication has always been a big obstacle for me and many saw this as a weakness early on. But, I quickly found ways to turn this into a strength. Instead of spending hours struggling to write emails, I had no issue just picking up the phone instead – something a lot of people are often quite apprehensive of, hiding behind emails as a safety blanket.

This ability to happily pick up the phone and chat to anyone helped me build better and more genuine relationships with people. This is a huge plus when working in recruitment, and allowed me to progress pretty quickly.


Stop focusing on what people can’t do

Despite the obstacles I’ve faced, I’m definitely not embarrassed and I think neurodiversity positively defines me in a lot of ways. I’m proud of it! My two daughters are also similar to me, and my experiences allow me to support them and provide a greater degree of empathy.

Which leads me to say that instead of focusing on what people can’t do, look at what they can do instead. Stop seeing differences as weaknesses and look at how they can be viewed as strengths.

I was pretty lucky with most of my managers,  as they recognised that for every perceived ‘weakness’ I had, there were a bunch of other strengths I had to offer. Rather than focusing on my difficulties with writing, they focused on how great my verbal communication was. I had zero issues with picking up the phone and making call after call to whoever – whereas a lot of people didn’t have the confidence to do that. But I did.


Are you truly inclusive?

If you’re a hiring manager, I think it’s so important to evaluate your testing and interview processes. For example, when I first got into recruitment, I was lucky my boss at the time took a chance on me because there was no way I’d have got through the written assessments! It’s a shame I feel ‘lucky’ to have had a manager who understood and took my differences into account. Surely everyone should receive support like this?

We just need to be more aware and ask things like “is my current hiring process ruling people out?”, “Am I excluding people without even realising it?”. Later in my career when I was the one interviewing people, I’d often think ‘wow, I’m expected to put people through tests I would have never got through myself’. I soon realised that was something that really needed to change.

Putting barriers (i.e. tests that aren’t 100% necessary) in place for the sake of it is pointless. You may be excluding people who are brilliant in other ways but, because they’re not totally compatible with the current processes you’re using, you could be losing out on someone who’s great.


It’s not all bad!

Despite the changes that still need to be made, there are notable positive movements going on in the neurodiversity space. For example, LinkedIn recently added ‘dyslexic thinking’ as a profile skill which was amazing to see. The aim was to recognise the problem-solving and creative skills that people with dyslexia are able to bring to work.

But for real change to come about, we need to alter the language we’re using. Instead of thinking “I’ve got this, it’s a disability”, we should be seeing these diagnoses as powers that can help us in a bunch of different ways. I think if we approached neurodiversity with a more positive spin, it’d massively reduce the stigma and help people feel more at ease speaking up and asking for help.

If you want to get the best out of your staff and build a truly inclusive culture, you need to create an environment where people feel comfortable to say “I’m struggling, I can’t do this”. Your people will work a lot harder if they feel they can open up and ask for help if they need it.

I feel lucky to work for a company that supports me in any way I need – but not every company is like Talent (unfortunately!). There’s still a way to go in reducing the unfair stigma associated with neurodiversity, but I think there are some positive steps being taken.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to work here at Talent, click here to take a dive into our world – and view current open roles.

Talent in partnership with Yahoo! Finance release “Leaders building a Better World of Work” list!

Talent in partnership with Yahoo! Finance release “Leaders building a Better World of Work” list!

Posted July 28, 2022

Talent in partnership with Yahoo Finance Australia is pleased to release ‘Leaders Building a Better World of Work’, a brand-new list of leaders sharing their insights on what they are putting into action to make a better working world. You can view the list HERE

Featured in the list are Jennie Rogerson from Canva, Mary Haddock-Staniland from Timely, Vanessa Sorenson from Microsoft NZ, and Paul Sigaloff from Yahoo! among others.

The list highlights a thought-provoking side of leadership and provides a comprehensive overview of what all businesses are experiencing in this post-COVID working world from some of the globe’s top leaders. Their insights and the actions they are putting into place provide readers with strategies and knowledge that they can take into the new world of work.

Mark Nielsen, Global CEO, Talent, touched on the role leaders play in creating a brilliant culture. “True leadership is forged through times of crisis and if there is one thing we have all experienced in the past two years is that the way we thought we did business has been turned on its head. The responsibility and demands from leaders have also changed dramatically, and a one-size-fits-all approach to work just doesn’t cut it. Work-life balance, clarity of purpose, a supportive manager, and inclusion are core focuses to team members. To remain competitive, leaders and businesses need to adapt to this new norm.” 

The leaders touched on many different topics. Highlights included:

“People are looking for companies that will engage with them on a personal level, with greater flexibility and work-life balance. Some call this ‘hybrid working’, but I like to refer to it as a ‘borderless office’. If you have a framework that’s very rigid i.e., you have to be in the office two days a week, specifically Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you’re just restricting your teams’ behaviour. Is that really the best way?” Stuart Hughes, Chief Information & Digital Officer, Rolls-Royce

“With so many businesses offering competitive work packages, employees will continue to look to work in places where they truly feel valued and connected to the ethos of the organisation. For long standing companies, I think it’s important to strike the right balance with maintaining traditional ways of working and keeping up with increasing stakeholder demands around sustainability and technology. I think companies that can get that right will see employee satisfaction.” Louise ‘O Driscoll, Sustainability Communications Specialist, Canon EMEA

“For over two years, we’ve been dealing with the impact that living through a pandemic, social justice turning points and other factors have on how employees approach work each day. Companies that are proactive – inviting discussion, initiating events and programs, and providing other support – will enable their teams to not only feel safe to talk about things that in the past were not common practice in the workplace but to feel encouraged and welcomed to speak up.” Nicole Reid, People Experience, Xero

“A better world of work acknowledges that there is no ‘one size fits all’ that truly fits all. To be inclusive at work, is to be fundamentally flexible and dynamic, because that is also at the essence what we all are.” Deborah Choi, Managing Director, Founderland

Talent’s vision is empowering people to build a better world of work for all.

Pride Month: Leading the way with Adam Buxton

Pride Month: Leading the way with Adam Buxton

Posted July 15, 2022

Tell us a bit about how you started your career and the journey that led you to your current role?

My career really took off when I came to Australia back in 2000. Originally, I’d just come on a working holiday, but Australia just felt more embracing of diverse communities – especially the LGBTIQ+ communities – compared to Northern England. It still had a long way to go but I felt I could be more myself here and there were more opportunities.

So, when my working holiday visa had expired, I joined a recruitment company that was willing to sponsor me as a specialist tech recruiter. From there I moved to internal recruitment roles so that I could have more impact on the internal cultures of the companies I worked for. I have always chosen to work for companies that have a progressive culture and take diversity seriously – companies where I felt that I could be myself and grow as a person and a leader.


Pride month is celebrated to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York and although the world has come a long way since then what do you feel still needs to be done to create a more inclusive and equitable world/or working world?

Early in my career I was looking at jobs overseas but, unless I hid my true self, my choices of where I could work were extremely limited. In 2022 with everything we’ve achieved there are still countries, important global hubs of finance and technology, where I cannot openly work as a gay man. As a global community, we need to create a world where everyone is accepted, a world where there is a level field, where everyone can grow and thrive. Until there are global opportunities for everyone, we still have a long way to go.


Have you ever experienced or feared discrimination because of your sexual orientation or gender identity in your career?

At the start of my career, I was definitely an easy target for jokes and constant innuendos. In that working environment if you didn’t go with it, things just got worse. Deep down I knew it wasn’t acceptable, but I went along with it to fit in. The problem was that not only did I start to lose respect for myself, in my desire to be accepted I was reinforcing discriminatory behaviours. Since working in progressive companies my confidence has grown enormously – I’m proud of who I am. But for a long time, there was still a hangover from those days. When I’d already been in financial services for some time, I interviewed for a job and the recruiter (an older male) said “You’re a bit diverse for financial services, perhaps you’d be better off in start-ups or fun environments.” I have always been openly gay on social media and instead of questioning his behaviour I began questioning my own. Am I limiting my career by revealing my true self? Of course, he was wrong, and my career has gone from strength to strength in the financial services industry and I am more loud and proud on social media than ever.


What advice would you want to share with someone struggling to express their true self in the workplace?

I made a very active choice when I came to Australia, that I was going to be very open, so I never had to wait for that moment. If it’s there from day one and you’re open and transparent about who you are from the moment you interview, you never have to worry about when you’re going to reveal yourself – that’s completely off the table.

I think that if you’re having trouble bringing your true self to work then it might be time to consider where you’re working. Do you have the right leader, is it the right culture, is it the right company?

These days there are so many companies that encourage people to be themselves. Look up the Pride in Diversity website. They work with over 150 companies that celebrate diversity in the workplace – with a strong emphasis on LGBTIQ+.

Also remember that although this is a journey that is going to be different for everyone, it’s something we’ve all been through. Talk to your friends and hear how they navigated it. The more stories you hear, the more confidence you’ll have.

Having said all that, it’s also fine not to come out if you’re not ready. There are many people who just don’t want to bring their private life to work and that’s okay too. But when you’re ready you’ll be surprised to discover just how many allies you’ll have in the corporate world.


What does inclusivity in the workplace mean to you and what negative effects can a non-inclusive workplace have on someone from the LGBTIQ+ community? 

Inclusivity is incredibly important to how well I can perform my role. If I can bring my whole self to work, then I can focus on doing the job at hand without wasting time being worried or distracted by how my colleagues perceive me. Being able to talk about my life and my partner helps make meaningful connections with my colleagues and helps build a better culture within my company.

Non-inclusive workplaces have a huge impact on mental health for the LGBTIQ+ community. People are naturally suspicious of people who are hiding themselves, so it can lead to isolation. Being excluded and isolated – especially early in a person’s career, can result in long-term damage to their confidence.


Statistics show that diverse teams are more successful. In your opinion, what are some of the approaches businesses should be taking to build a better workforce for the future? 

Encouraging diversity of hiring is the single most important thing a company can do. A diverse workforce that represents a diverse customer base will always lead to greater success. Then introduce ongoing education programs. Make sure that you have leaders who are speaking up about behaviours and provide obvious outward support for their LGBTIQ+ community. Educating, not tolerating, and above all celebrating, is the key. Then you’ll create a true culture of belonging.

Why is company culture so important?

Why is company culture so important?


In today’s candidate-driven market, standing out and showcasing a positive company culture has never been more crucial. 88% of job seekers say a healthy culture at work is vital for success – while over 60% of millennials report caring more about company culture than a higher salary.

It’s clear to see how valued workplace culture is; and it’s here to stay, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Whether a permanent employee or contractor, people want more from their organisations than Friday drinks and pool tables. The feel of a company counts now more than ever, and it’s not something that can be transformed overnight.

So, what benefits can you expect when your company culture truly stands out from the rest?

Better retention

A strong and inclusive company culture doesn’t just attract top candidates – it’ll help you retain talent, too. If people feel like they truly belong within your company, they’ll be much more likely to stay. And the benefits? Less time spent hiring new people, lower turnover, and better long-term chemistry within your teams.

Improved reputation & brand

Workplace culture strongly contributes to your company identity and, in turn, your reputation. If you successfully create a culture that’s worth shouting about, word will spread and you’ll become a place people truly want to work for.

Your culture should be embedded within your organisation anyway, but making it even more visible via social media platforms definitely can’t hurt.

Higher productivity

The more comfortable your people feel at work, the more likely they are to work harder. If you’re working in an environment where you feel truly supported and valued, you’re a lot more likely to feel motivated, engaged, and productive – as opposed to feeling despondent in a place you don’t feel cared about.

Healthier employee wellbeing

Work-life balance has become a huge factor when job seekers are searching for roles. This has been especially spurred on by the effects of the pandemic, with many preferring hybrid working as opposed to being in the office every day. People simply don’t want to spend hours commuting each week, preferring to work from home (if possible); and today’s candidate-drive market allows for job seekers to be even more choosy with the roles they accept.

As a result, demonstrating a company culture that values and prioritises work-life balance is sure to boost both retention and talent attraction. If you’re not able to show genuine care and consideration for staff wellbeing, candidates will simply look elsewhere.

More successful onboarding

If your company values and culture are crystal clear from the outset, this makes for a stronger onboarding experience for new starters. Newcomers will feel embedded within your organisation quicker, and shouldn’t feel confused about what your company stands for.

Are we walking the talk?

It’s all good for us to list the key benefits associated with a good company culture. But are we truly walking the talk ourselves here at Talent?

Well, we’d certainly like to think so. Earlier this year, we were a recipient of Gallup’s Top 40 Exceptional Workplace Award for the 4th consecutive year. We greatly value company culture, and are consistently working hard to ensure we’re really living our values and delivering an inclusive environment. Based on survey results, our percentage of fully engaged employees currently sits at 80%. Statistically, average global employee engagement is only 20%.

Our people are at the core of everything we do and we’re proud of the culture we’ve built so far. Interested in joining us? Take a look at our open roles here and discover more about what it’s like to work at Talent.

Pride Month: Leading the way with Mark Nielsen

Pride Month: Leading the way with Mark Nielsen

Posted June 28, 2022

Tell us a bit about how you started your career and the journey that led you to your current role.

I’m originally from South Africa and have been in Australia for about 20 years now. I commenced my career working with EY as a chartered accountant and then moved into investment banking, followed by private equity.

In 2013 I had the fortunate opportunity of meeting Richard Earl, the founder of Talent. I joined Talent initially as a Non-Executive Director and after a few months of that I thought, wow this is an amazing business. Richard wanted to scale the business into new areas, and he asked me if I would join him in doing this. I then came on as CFO for about three years, then moved into the role of APAC CEO for another four years before eventually becoming the Global CEO.

My very first job though was at a garden and landscaping centre though when I was about 16 so I do know quite a bit about gardening!

For me, what I really love about Talent is we challenge the norm, take on the multinationals, are highly entrepreneurial, and it’s really a fantastic experience to work with like-minded, driven, and caring people.


Pride month is celebrated to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York and although the world has come a long way since then what do you feel still needs to be done to create a more inclusive and equitable world or working world?

Education and understanding one’s social privilege are extremely important as the more people are aware of some of the hurdles people in the LGBTIQ+ community face, the better we will all be at consciously ensuring a safe, happy and authentic workplace. Empathetic leaders are important as they can be the ones to create the change. Creating strong DE&I strategies within, values that aren’t just words on a poster, and providing strong support systems can go a long way. Infrastructure to give the LGBTIQ+ community access to opportunities is something to keep in mind. If you can have those core pillars in place, effectively people can break boundaries and create a better world of work. Finally, holding people accountable for their actions needs to happen for an equal world – for everything!


Have you ever experienced or feared discrimination because of your sexual orientation or gender identity in your career?

I was really grappling to come out both at work and to my friends. I was working in investment banking at the time. My biggest concern was always in the back of my mind, this fear of what happens if I am out, I am gay, what will happen to my career, my parents finding out, the snowball effect?

What I did was I pretended I was straight and overcompensated. The biggest thing about that was when they would make derogatory terms about gay people, I would play along. I was anxious that people would find out and someone would say, “This one is gay,” so when that conversation came out, I was anxious. It took a lot of energy to try to live that life. I could not be open. I was not 100% focused on my career and I always had this thing in the back of my mind, and I worried.

As in life, ultimately, everything sorts itself out. I was sitting at my desk one day and I had a call from one of my customers and he said to me, “Mark, do you want to have a chat?” It was Monday morning, and I was living in London at the time and all of the other people that I worked with came in and said they had gone hunting, fishing, been hanging out with girlfriends. It was Pride Week that weekend and I imagined they had seen me there and I hoped they would not say anything. I thought that was what he wanted to chat about.

He said he was looking to set up a private equity venture capital fund and was looking for a CFO and needed someone to do the deals and asked me to be involved. I said yes and we had a few interviews. I thought to myself that before signing it and moving on from investment banking, I had to make sure I could be myself at work. The fourth interview came along, and I said to the CEO at the time, “I have something I would like to disclose.” He asked me if I had been to jail or if I took drugs and I said no but told him I was gay. He looked at me and laughed and said, “I am Jewish, and I am married.” Straightaway the weight came off. That was the first role where I could be myself and from there my career really took off. I did not have to utilise the energy in order to have this double life and I could just be who I was. I could really focus and give that business my all.

Obviously, that resulted in a lot of loyalty and better engagement. Learning from that is that is the way to set the tone upfront as a leader. Take away the fear and allow people to bring their whole selves to work


What advice would want to share with someone struggling to express their true self in the workplace?

Everybody is different and that is what makes up a diverse and inspiring workplace. Identify organisations that are known to be progressive and have evidence of leadership, including your direct manager, that don’t just tolerate but embrace diversity. I also was encouraged to make a point somewhere in the interview process of mentioning my husband in conversation. This shows authenticity and tackles any unwarranted concerns one may have.


What does inclusivity in the workplace mean to you and what negative effects can a non-inclusive workplace have on someone from the LGBTQ+ community? 

Being inclusive is about having the same access to opportunities as other people. Creating a non-inclusive workplace will not only affect the LGBTQ+ community but many other communities. They may go back into their shell, not perform as well, and above all be an unhappy team member. Owning, accepting, and sharing these imperfections allows for connection, and without that, businesses will struggle to retain their top talent.


Statistics show that diverse teams are more successful. In your opinion, what are some of the approaches businesses should be taking to build a better workforce for the future? 

Vulnerability and authenticity are incredibly important leadership traits. People need to be able to interact with you as a real person not a veneer. In doing so this builds trust on both sides. I am inspired by leaders who have empathy and courage to stand up for what they believe is right even if it negatively impacts their popularity and creates hardship for themselves but at the same time ultimately delivers results.

Purpose above all: what contractors really want

Purpose above all: what contractors really want

Posted June 15, 2022

The contractor workforce is growing as workers are increasingly driven by the appeal of greater flexibility and enhanced work-life balance, however, while these contractors offer immense value to the companies they work for, they are also at the greatest risk of feeling disconnected – more so than their permanent counterparts. So, how can you bridge this gap and ensure everyone feels supported and connected? And going beyond this, what are the benefits of doing so? We break it down.

Your people matter

Whether they’re with you for 6 years or 6 months, your people are integral to your success. So, why treat the contractor relationship as transactional? The stats don’t lie. Studies reveal again and again that team members who are supported and have their wellbeing looked after are more satisfied, engaged, and productive than those who aren’t offered this support. The benefits are clear, yet the conversation seems to stop at the perm employees on our payroll. It’s time to bring contractors into the wellbeing conversation.

So, where to start?

Connection is key

Connection is a natural human need, however, contractors, by the nature of their working arrangement, often miss out on the fun and exciting social aspects of a company’s culture and the benefits typically afforded to perm employees.

Although contract workers may not expect to receive these same perks, according to our survey of over 1,700 global tech contractors in our Contractor Wellbeing Report 21/22, feeling a sense of belonging is important to the majority. Perks and benefits aside, it’s clear that these workers want to feel part of the companies and teams they work for, with 88% citing it as important to feel a connection with permanent employees.

Creating a sense of connection between your team members isn’t simply a nice thing to do – it can also have a positive impact on the quality of the outcomes you’ll receive. According to global analytics and advice firm, Gallup, close friendships at work boost team member satisfaction by 50%, which leads to greater engagement and productivity. There are wins all around.

Interested in how you can best foster this sense of belonging? Check out our Contractor Wellbeing Report for our top tips here.

Flexibility over Friday drinks

Supporting your contractors’ wellbeing goes beyond simply running a wellbeing webinar or providing free office snacks. It’s about listening to your people and delivering what they are actually asking for.

According to our research, over 50% of contractors cited benefits/perks as important to them, which is surprising for workers who typically miss out on these benefits while on contract. It wasn’t, however, free fitness classes or healthcare benefits which took the lion’s share of votes, but flexibility, which was the clear winner with a 75% share.

It’s time to ditch the ping pong tables and prioritise flexible working arrangements for your people, regardless of whether they’re perm or contract.

Going beyond perks though, contractors are in search of one thing in particular…

Purpose above all

In the current candidate-short market, those companies who are getting ahead are the ones offering more than a pay cheque – be it a clear EVP, strong company culture, or a unified purpose – and research backs this up.

According to our Contractor Wellbeing Report, the majority of surveyed contractors cited that the main thing they need to feel fulfilled at work is a clear purpose/mission. Our research also highlights that 87% of contractors feel it’s important to be connected to a client’s purpose or mission, highlighting that your contract workforce wants to be taken along on the journey and know that their work is contributing to a bigger picture. Communicate and bring them in to your vision and mission and you will reap the rewards of a workforce that feels valued.

Interested in what else candidates are in search of from employers in the current market? Check out our More Than Money Salary Guide here for our exclusive insights.

Support to succeed

Great contractors aren’t always easy to find, especially in this candidate-short market, so once you’ve secured them, offering wellbeing support is a surefire way to retain them. According to a study by insurance company, Aflac, 70% of team members enrolled in their companies’ wellness programs reported higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled.

Unsure of the next steps? In our survey of contractors, 45% said professional support was the support that mattered most to them, followed by mental health & wellbeing support. Making these a priority and delivering initiatives, such as implementing a mentorship program and wellbeing days, will promote increased job satisfaction, which in turn will lead to a happier, more engaged workforce. According to Gallup, engaged teams also generate 21% more profit for their companies than disengaged ones. Winning!

Enhanced productivity, boosted engagement, and a happier workforce overall, are a small taste of what to expect when you prioritise your team members’ wellbeing. So, it’s time to start extending the wellbeing conversation to all your team members – contractors included.

If you’re looking for top contract talent to join your team, get in touch with us today.

How do your tech skills stack up in 2022?

How do your tech skills stack up in 2022?

Posted May 27, 2022

Where is the tech industry heading, and what does it mean for you?

The tech world is constantly evolving, and as emerging technologies continue to enter and disrupt the market, we’re seeing demand for skilled technologists soar as businesses harness the power of Big Data, automation, and AI. Couple this demand with border closures due to the pandemic, and we’ve found ourselves with a skills shortage never seen before. So, how can you harness your skills to get ahead in this candidate-short market? Here’s what you need to know.

Program your path

How important are your skills for the current market and the future? It’s time to look at the data.

According to LinkedIn, between 2015 and 2021, the top 10 skills for Software & IT Service roles globally, changed 27.5% on average. Interestingly, taking out the first place for top skills across both years was the programming language SQL.

While SQL has retained its first-place title, most skills have shuffled around a little in the past 5 years. Where Requirements Analysis and Agile Methodologies took out spots two and three, Java and JavaScript are now in these coveted positions. What’s more? They’re on an upwards trajectory, jumping six and two places on the list respectively.

Looking to the future, it’s clear that programming is the skill to have. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, there is significant hiring demand for SQL developers and Java-related roles globally – and it looks like this is only set to increase. According to our More Than Money Salary Guide 2022, software developer salaries are seeing year-on-year growth due to immense hiring demand. So, if you know your SQL from your HTML, you’re in a good position.

Out with the old, in with the new

It’s no surprise that in the rapidly changing tech sphere, skills in demand have evolved during the past five years. If you are looking to break into the industry or take that next step in 2022, this is where you should be focusing your efforts…

Amazon Web Services, Git, Python, and React.js are just a few to make LinkedIn’s Software & IT Service top 10 skills list in 2021 and are great areas to set your sights. If you already possess these skills, the tech world is your oyster, and if you’re a novice, that’s no issue. There are plenty of courses online which can boost your expertise to give you that leg up in the market.

Being skilled in these areas also gives you pretty good bargaining power. Our More Than Money Salary Guide 2022 reveals that tech salaries are increasing 15-30% on average globally and most candidates have 2-3 opportunities on the go at any given time. Now is the time to be maximising your value in the market to make the most of the ball being in your court.

Looking forward

So, what’s in store for the next 5 years?

Talent Melbourne Managing Director, Simon Yeung, weighs in about 2022 and beyond, “Driven by the need for growth I believe we are going to see the continued application of data-driven decision-making and Hyper Automation which will require technologies skills including RPA, low-code platform knowledge and process mining tools.”

In addition to this, LinkedIn data reveals that change is on the horizon. Candidates have been adapting their skills to keep up with the market, and the stats reflect this, with the rate of change increasing during the pandemic. If skill changes continue at the current pace, there could be a shift of between 39% to 44%, as well as three brand new skills in LinkedIn’s top 10 Software & IT Service Role skills by 2025.

How to get ahead

Although we are currently in a candidate-short market and the balance is tipped in favour of jobseekers, it’s a good idea to stay up to date with the latest skills trends in your field. The market could shift again as international borders start to reopen, so brushing up on your skills and staying in tune with market changes are key to maintaining your value with employers.

Looking for more tips on how to make the most of this market and build your dream tech career? Check out our More Than Money Salary Guide 2022 for insights from our global recruitment experts, as well as market trends and average salaries for tech roles in your city. Check it out here.