Today in our Meet people2people series, we sit down with Lisa Johnson, people2people's Shared Services Manager and a prolific contributor to the p2p blog. Lisa has been working in the recruitment industry since 1996, working in administration and payroll processing, temporary and permanent recruitment for accounting and finance professionals. In February 2007, Lisa joined onsiite, the RPO subsidiary of people2people, having worked with and known the directors since 2000. Lisa now manages the shared services and administration division for people2people and onsiite.
How did you start working in recruitment?
It was the dark ages, the days when to apply for a job you had to find an ad in the paper and send in your resume by post. Sometimes we would get the resumes by fax, but that was a bit posh, and it didn't happen too often. My first job in recruitment was to literally retype the hard copy resumes that came in the mail so we could send them to clients without the candidates' contact details on them. It was the wild days of recruitment – it was pre Y2K, and companies were investing serious money in upgrading systems so that the world didn't end on New Year's Eve 1999. As a result, these companies needed a lot of staff, and as I was working for a very successful boutique consultancy in Wellington (NZ), sometimes it felt like job vacancies were growing on trees. By the time 2000 rolled around (without the world crashing down around us), I was a temp consultant recruiting accounting staff and enjoying it immensely. I moved to Sydney in late 2000 and have worked with at least one of the directors of people2people pretty much since then. They are probably in therapy as a result, now that I think of it. After having two children, I decided to move away from front line recruitment – it's a much harder job than many realise, and with two small children, I knew I couldn't commit the time to the job. So now I do whatever I can to support the consultants who do the work – ensuring their systems and processes are running smoothly. Let's just say I don't let very many of them use the 'system let me down' excuse for not doing their job!
What's one piece of advice you would give employers looking for staff?
Having done internal recruitment as well as agency recruitment, I have seen both sides to the 'story', so to speak. I think the key for a hiring manager/company looking for staff is to find a recruiter they trust and then to listen to them. Recruiters talk day in and day out to key business decision makers in some of the largest companies in the market. They also talk day in and day out with the top candidates and understand what motivates them. Recruiters are a font of knowledge if you stop to listen to them. If someone tells you that you need to be more flexible with your job spec, it's not because they are too lazy to work hard and find what you actually want; it's because you either cannot afford what you want, or it just does't exist. Please don't assume that a recruiter who is telling you that it is nigh on impossible to meet your wish list demands is just whinging because they are too lazy to work hard. If you can possibly do it, be flexible.
What are the main qualities you look for in a resume?
Clarity. I like a resume that is well set out and clearly defines what you have been doing. I like to see systems, achievements and lots of bullet points. Avoid paragraphs if you can; they take a long time to read, and if there are a lot of applicants for a job, I will probably give up reading yours if it is reading like War and Peace.
Rugby league or rugby union?
I'm a Kiwi. 'Nuff said. Mind you, I only watch either code if I am watching it with someone else. I always feel a bit creepy, as a woman of a certain age, sitting down on my own in the evening with a glass of wine and a bowl of chips to watch big, strong, young men run around in short shorts.
Tell us something about yourself most people wouldn’t know.
My mind is boggling at this one. Imagine the things I could say! Well, don't imagine too hard. I would probably have to Google whatever you're imagining and then would be shocked to discover that I had no idea that people did that sort of thing. And that it was on Wikipedia. Hmm let me think of something. Oh, I know. I didn't get my drivers licence until I was 34 and very pregnant with my second child. I had tried to learn earlier but made the mistake of trying my first hill start on a typical Wellington (NZ) street. This led to a massive tantrum in the middle of the road and me slamming the door of the stalled car and telling the whole world they could take their drivers licence and stuff it where the sun doesn't shine. And a steadfast refusal to try again for over ten years.