Whitefox Recruitment founder Luke Hemmings making strides as a careers leader

Whitefox Recruitment founder Luke Hemmings making strides as a careers leader

By Nick Nichols
27 March 2024
Partner Content

After relocating his Canberra-founded company Whitefox Recruitment to the Gold Coast last year, CEO Luke Hemmings has made impressive strides in capitalising on the growth opportunities that Southeast Queensland has to offer.

In less than a year, the recruitment agency that he established in 2019 has more than doubled the number of candidates on its books from 8,000 to almost 15,000 seeking jobs in varied fields ranging from law, accounting, IT, tourism and hospitality to construction, agriculture and mining.

And while Hemmings is competing against major industry players, both he and his company have proven themselves to be punching above their weight after securing a string of industry awards that have elevated Whitefox Recruitment's profile in the sector.

Whitefox Recruitment was named APAC Recruitment Brand of the Year for 2024 at the Australia Enterprise Awards, while Hemmings has personally secured Australian Legal Recruiter of the Year for 2024 at the APAC Insiders Awards, adding to his APAC HR CEO of the Year accolade bestowed on him last year.

“The accolades achieved on a global stage do speak volumes, but in terms of the growth we have achieved since relocating to the Gold Coast it shows that we have been able to adapt to a brand-new market and that is huge for us,” Hemmings tells Business News Australia.

“In terms of inquiries, we have seen 7,000 candidates come through our doors since we relocated to the Gold Coast in July last year.

“We were able to hit the ground running through a lot of forward planning before we moved, and the marketplace has subsequently responded well to the brand.”

Hemmings has been eying opportunities in Southeast Queensland since he established Whitefox Recruitment in 2019 at a challenging time for his home turf of Canberra.

But despite the disruptions from that year’s deadly bushfire season and the fallout from the pandemic that followed, Whitefox Recruitment has built an enviable reputation in the industry for offering an elevated service offering to clients from across the country.

“We have been watching the Southeast Queensland market since we first established in Canberra,” says Hemmings.

“It was always on our radar to expand here as we saw enormous growth opportunity in one of the fastest growing regional markets in the country.”

Specialising in delivering employment solutions for small to medium enterprises, Whitefox Recruitment has found its niche on the Gold Coast, a hotbed of business growth that has been fuelled by an elevated pace of interstate migration in the post-pandemic era.  

“Our biggest advantage here has been our speed to market, and by being authentic and doing what we say we’re going to do,” says Hemmings.

“That’s probably the biggest complement our team can ever receive. We’re not a franchise, so we don’t take a cookie-cutter approach; this is a communications business and if you are not at the forefront of that you will be left behind.”

Among the innovations Hemmings has introduced to Whitefox Recruitment is the latest in AI-driven technology created by Sydney startup Profitate, which operates platform delivering an automated sales pipeline service.

The technology has been driving improved efficiencies for the Whitefox team by taking on a lot of the legwork involved in scouring the internet, jobs boards and LinkedIn posts from organisations across Queensland. The technology not only seeks out relevant jobs but initiates the cold outreach on behalf of the recruiter.

“It is a gamechanger and a first for the Australian recruitment market,” say Hemmings.

“For our team, it alleviates a lot of wasted time at the back end of the business, allowing us to focus more on the needs of our candidates. And as one of the first recruitment agencies to jump on board with this technology, we are getting a very good response.”

Hemmings notes that Whitefox Recruitment’s successful service model is built on the respect he equally affords the clients looking for staff and the candidates searching for new careers.

“Recruitment is never about the shortfall on either side of the fence,” says Hemmings.

“When we take on a client it’s usually a long-term relationship. They may need someone now and then again in six or 12 months down the track, so it’s a long-term investment for them and for us.

“At the moment, it’s as strong a market for candidates as it is for businesses hiring. Across the board, the Gold Coast has been fortunate that conditions have remained steady across industry sectors.

“It’s definitely a push pull market at the moment. There are a lot of candidates coming through from overseas following the recent government visa changes, but clients are also being selective with these candidates as they are trying to limit issues with visa conditions.”

While Whitefox Recruitment is currently servicing a core demographic of young professionals looking for new career opportunities, it is also receiving solid inquiries from mature-aged candidates who are at crossroad and looking for a new challenge.

“We see a vast range of candidates come through on a daily basis,” says Hemmings. “About a fortnight ago, we had the most roles in the Gold Coast market of any recruitment firm with close to 45 roles on our job board.”

Hemmings, who mapped his own diverse career path in property and media prior to establishing Whitefox Recruitment, sees a key to his success resting with his ability to connect with people.

“When you look at my career path it is very much people focused and that really is at the heart of recruitment,” he says.

“I’m also fortunate to have strong industry connections, here and overseas, where I have seen first-hand the benefits that technology can bring to our business.”

Coupled with a hands-on leadership style, Hemmings pans to make further inroads into the Southeast Queensland market with a view to establishing Whitefox Recruitment as the preferred choice in the recruitment industry.     

“We strive to be proudly local with a personable approach to our clients,” he says.

“We haven’t gone too big too quick, but that’s exactly where we want to be at the moment as we build on the success we have already achieved.”

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