A recruiter with 24 staff has successfully tapped the booming Queensland mining industry.
Skye Recruitment achieved 300 per cent growth during FY10/11 and there’s bigger prospects in the pipeline, says co-founder Kye Macdonald (pictured).
“We’re in white collar technical recruitment – engineers, management staff for engineering sectors, mining sectors and civil design. Two of our sectors are resources focused in the mining sector and the other sector is civil infrastructure,” he says.
“Our clients do a lot of road building and pipelines – the kind of work that comes from government or property developers.
“We’ve recently expanded our headcount by 35 per cent and operate nationally with 35 per cent of our revenue from Western Australia, 10 per cent in New South Wales and the balance from Queensland.
“We’ll be increasing our process across New South Wales in future.”
Alongside wife Sophie, the couple worked in the recruitment industry in the UK before starting their own agency in Australia from home.
“The recruitment market in the UK is much more mature than the Australian market, where we saw an opportunity to start our company, so we started working from home with a laptop and a phone before moving into an office 20 months later,” says Macdonald.
“We wanted to build a certain culture because sales environments can be nasty, particularly when commission is involved, so we wanted to create an environment that was competitive, but friendly at the same time.
“It’s an environment where people are professional, get their work done and where workers aren’t just individuals working for a company without any buy in.”
He describes setting up the business as ‘easy’ since there were few overheads. “Recruitment has limited overheads when you start up, so you can do it with a computer, a phone and the internet,” says Macdonald.
“Once it’s running though, costs increase dramatically when you start taking on staff and with the time it takes for clients to pay.
“We’ve had to be careful with the clients we take on because bad debts can really hurt us. Fortunately, we had about $70,000 in the bank that helped us get started and we were able to build on that investment.”
Macdonald concedes challenges lie ahead in the industry with likely impacts coming from the mining tax and the Gillard Government’s Clean Energy Bill.
“A challenge for us looking forward is the uncertainty and volatility in the market – some of our clients are hesitant about committing to jobs because of the uncertainty about the carbon tax and what’s going to happen at the next election,” he says.
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR FINALIST
Business Est: 2006
Growth: 300 per cent
Turnover: $4.2 million
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