Organisational Insights

How you recruit does affect your brand – for richer or for poorer!

Some recruitment industry commentators say that recruitment is an ‘art’, others refer to the process as a ‘science’.

At the other end of the continuum, there are those who consider the whole business just a necessary evil, something that must be done and often under sufferance. After all, it does take one away from one’s normal duties and responsibilities and its difficult enough getting everything done in the course of a normal working week as it is without that interference!

These people tend to view the recruitment process as something that anyone can do – easy as!

It’s not rocket science, I agree!

But it is powerful, perhaps more powerful in relation to how it is run than many realise.

I for one, would not refer to it as an ‘art form’ nor do the machinations reflect anything like that of the academic rigour involved in the world of science.

But there is a ‘craft’ to it.

Just as a winemaker uses tools, techniques and intuition based on knowhow to craft a release of wine, a skilled recruiter uses tools, techniques including clever advert writing and intuitive candidate probing to craft a shortlist of top-quality candidates.

The skill in timely, accurate and effective recruitment sourcing the right person at the right time with them contributing to the bottom line, culture and social fibre of your organisation for at least two to three years, is definitely not ‘easy as’!

I suspect that all too often, with the mindset of ‘saving money’ many well-intended middle managers and senior executives launch into a recruitment process that is fraught with danger in relation to the reputation of their organisation and brand.

The mistakes and pitfalls can take many shapes but here are just a few;

  • Deciding not to include an indicative salary range in the advertising because then we can negotiate with the best candidate – mistake!
  • Not including a contact name and phone/email in the advertising because we don’t have time to be interrupted by enquiries – another mistake!
  • Only responding to candidates you decide to shortlist – and even worse, adding a statement at the bottom of the job advertisement along the lines that ‘only shortlisted candidates will be contacted’ – bad, worse, and worserer if there were such a word!! If this doesn’t announce that your organisation does not value their employees, then nothing does!
  • Not providing all advert ‘viewers’ with a properly formatted and clearly written Position Description that accurately outlines not only the duties but the selection criteria – bad form!

The above is only scratching the surface of what can go wrong, I see it regularly.

And I hear even more regularly the contempt that candidates have for organisations that treat them this way. And make no mistake, they don’t forget quickly, and they articulate their disgust with great gusto – not unlike ‘Sheldon’ and his incessant ‘door-knocking’ habit!

So, is it such good economic strategy to undertake your own recruitment if you don’t have expert internal recruiters?

I challenge you to think about it, and please, do think carefully!

Cheryl McCormack is the Founding Director of McCormack Employment Services, a Sydney based agency with a 21-year record of success. Now trading as Cheryl McCormack Consulting still offering recruitment, Cheryl is also available to be engaged across other business solutions services including recruitment best practice processes, team building and leadership development, brand building outplacement services and career guidance for students in schools and universities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Cheryl can be contacted on 0417899756 or via email –


What others are saying

I have great respect for McCormack Employment Services,  your down to earth & genuine interest in your applicants and that you have always treated me with dignity & respect for which I am also most grateful.
Anita S. - Executive Assistant

I always found your recruits a higher standard and your screening better.

Peter Ireland - (former Head - Governance, Policy & Risk, Sydney Catholic Schools)

Hey Cheryl,

Loved your insight into motivation, brought back memories. I’ve now been appointed as HSE Advisor for SA in a shared national role. I subscribed to your Leadership Insights Series to start the old grey matter up again.

Steve Francis - (former Retail Management Team, SA)

Cheryl, I just love how professional you are, every step of the way you ace it! A big thank you for your help and guidance.

Nicky Pellegriti - TAS Assistant, MSBC

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the valuable assistance you’ve given me during my job search, you have generously shared your expertise.

Zoe, P - EA, CAS

I can’t thank you enough for your support in helping me secure the SJOG role, working with you is always such a positive experience!

Lynn Devitt - Casa Venegas, St John of God

I would just like to extend my gratitude for walking alongside me on this journey, thank you a hundred fold.

Abbel Gaspi - Project Officer, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

We really enjoyed your time with our team, there was much learned about ourselves and each other, thanks again for your wise guidance.

Megan, S - MBTI Workshop

You have been the best recruiter I have met, committed, caring and with a strong work ethic.

Natalie Centoira - Placed candidate

Thanks for your professionalism, support and assistance.

Sonia Perez - Human Resources Manager, Oakhill College

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win the role with Envy Jewellery, I am enjoying it so much that I hope to be here for years to come!

Raewyn Wilson - Customer Service Coordinator, Envy Jewellery

Thanks to Cheryl and the team at McCormack’s for yet again sourcing an appropriate applicant and successfully filling an unusual vacancy at our College.  I would not hesitate to recommend their services.

Joanne Kessey - Secretary to Mr Michael Blake, College Principal, Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood

I want to take a moment to thank you for all the support you’ve shown me throughout my job search process. I am so appreciative of not only the way you made me feel at our first meeting but your generosity with your time and resources.

Donna Laney - Senior Administration Officer – Student Services, Mt St Benedict College

Once again Cheryl, you have found a great position that suits my needs and skills. I will be forever grateful to you.

Kerrie Scarpellino - Placed Candidate

I am absolutely thrilled to be offered permanency. I wish to greatly thank you for all the effort in securing this position and for believing in me and encouraging me to move forward.

Nancy M - Placed Candidate, Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria