Spotlight on Staff – Gabriel Garcia, Strategy Director
- You’ve recently moved into a new role at CareerOne. Tell us more about that?
Dawn Tingwell, our beloved National Sales Director is back from maternity leave and I transitioned to a new role as Strategy Director. I will be focusing on Corporate Strategy and looking at ways of leveraging Monster’s technology and its incredibly rich product suite. We recognise an ongoing need for innovation and enhanced sourcing tools in the industry, so having the opportunity to tap into the most advanced technology in the global job board landscape is incredibly exciting.
- After the economic downturn of 2009, what do you expect for the economy in 2010?
No doubt that we were all hit very hard, however we not only avoided a “technical” recession but each one of the economic indicators is signalling an imminent recovery, perhaps faster than we expected. Consumer sentiment is increasingly boosting consumer-centric industries like customer service, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. China’s GDP growth of 10% last quarter reflects an improvement on the resources industries and should help to the overall recovery as Australia’s main trading partner. Economic forecasts a few months ago were talking about unemployment peaking around 7%, while indicators are now suggesting it has already peaked.
- What was the impact of the economic downturn on CareerOne?
For us here at CareerOne, 2009 was an incredibly interesting year. On one hand driving a business that relies on the recruitment and advertising industries, two of the most affected sectors during this period, was challenging as you all know. But on the other hand our Joint Venture with Monster Worldwide allowed us to focus on growth, innovation and enabled us to continue to make inroads on our journey as the #2 online job board in Australia. We feel incredibly fortunate to have shareholders like News Ltd and Monster who are committed to deliver to the most important part of our business, our customers.
- Looking back at 2009, what were your highlights & lowlights?
2009 was certainly challenging for all businesses. There is no doubt that maintaining a positive attitude when the economy is collapsing can become haunting within a sales environment. However, our biggest internal asset has always been our people. Every one of our business development managers, account managers and customer service representatives performed above and beyond, to ensure that 2009 was about supporting our customers and making sure that by working with them and being flexible we made a positive impact to their bottom line.
On a personal level 2009 was absolutely brilliant. Leading our Sales team through the downturn and Monster transition as National Sales Director was a thrilling ride. But being in a delivery suite at the Mater Hospital for 18 hours, let me tell you, that was THE ride for me this year! I became a Dad in October and that really puts things in perspective.
- What innovative technologies can our customers expect CareerOne to deliver to the Australian market this year?
We are currently looking into each one of the products that Monster has recently developed and making sure we fully understand each one of them. This will allow us to properly assess which ones are more suited to the Australian market and will provide efficiencies to our customers.
The reality is the product suite is vast and covers every aspect that a recruitment agency or department could be interested in. From intelligent search technology to employer branding solutions and behavioural targeted products, the common denominator is higher application rates and cost efficiencies in the recruitment process.
At this stage I wouldn’t commit to a particular product and rather keep the door open while details are finalised. But our advertisers can rest assured they will be hearing a lot from CareerOne very soon.