Findex CPO talks recruitment strategy as NSW/VIC border reopens

HRD speaks to Findex CPO Jane Betts about recruiting beyond borders

Findex CPO talks recruitment strategy as NSW/VIC border reopens

The closure of Australia’s most critical border between Victoria and NSW was a blow for both economies.

A measure not taken lightly by the NSW Premier, the need to stop Melbourne’s spiralling COVID-19 outbreak from sparking a second wave across the border took priority.

As travel resumes between both states, HRD spoke to Findex CPO Jane Betts about how the border closure affected the firm’s recruitment strategy.

With employees at 110 locations across Australia and New Zealand, the finance and accounting giant has a vast spread of staff in both regional and metropolitan areas.

‘We’ve always been really flexible in our recruitment but the game changer has been seeing the ability to move work to different offices and different regions,” she told HRD.

“Our strategy is about taking work to talent, not making talent come to work.”

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By removing the location from certain job postings, Findex has been able to open remote roles up to new talent who may otherwise have been restricted by their geography.

It’s allowed new employees to have the best of both worlds – the role they’re after and the flexibility to choose where they live.

Betts said one recent hire in her own team harboured a dream of relocating to a rural part of New Zealand and now, she could.

From tree changes to new career paths, we’ve seen a significant trend during the last nine months as the pandemic encouraged people to question what they really wanted from their work and home life.

Having employed a flexible approach to recruitment before the pandemic, it’s a strategy that paid off for Findex during Australia’s interstate lockdown.

As they continue to focus on talent over location, Betts said creating leaders who can lead a dynamic workforce is the next challenge.

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Shifting the mindset from the traditional set up of a physical office to a remote one has been a big part of her HR role.

“I had to have some good conversations with people and say we employ adults who are very focused on their customers. I believe they will go home and do what’s needed to keep their customers’ business alive,” she said.

Findex employees were encouraged to work from home before the official government advice after an outbreak at one of the offices.

Betts said it acted as a wake-up call as to how unnerving and disruptive it could be for employees who may have become infected.

It prompted the company to take decisive action nationwide.

“We realised that the safest and kindest thing we could do for our employees was to get them home,” she said.

While recruitment strategy on the whole will be unaffected by Monday’s border reopening, Betts said employees in border towns will welcome the news.

“There is still that need to get out there and connect with clients,” she said.

“In the Albury-Wodonga area we’ve got some employees who are extraordinarily relieved that they no longer have to carry permits to cross the border.”

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