Article by Dynamic Business
This week we are sharing a great article written by Dynamic Business on one of our most valued clients, MadeComfy.
MadeComfy is the most trusted short term rental management company in Australia, founded in 2015 with the dream to start a customer service focused solution where hosts and guests were at the heart. Providing hosts with peace of mind while away, and opening the door of beautiful homes to travellers to enjoy an hotel experience in a home environment.
This is what they have to say about their Recruitment & Growth…
“We’re Operating in a Hot Market” Madecomfy COO on the shareconomy startup’s new hires
MadeComfy’s new hires: Nina Jung (CMO), Tom Jowitt (CTO) & Mike Johnson (CSO)
In the wake of their $1.1 million capital raise, property management startup MadeComfy has built out its senior team with three high-profile recruits to help sustain its growth rate in the short-term rentals market.
MadeComfy currently manages over 300 properties across Sydney and has seen its revenue increase by more than 500% over the last 12 months. According to Quirin Schwaighofer (COO), who co-founded MadeComfy with Sabrina Bethunin (CEO) in 2015, three positions – Chief Sales Officer (CSO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – were created and filled to enable the startup to meet its objective of managing 1000 properties across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by the end of 2017.
Schwaighofer spoke to Dynamic Business about onboarding Tom Jowitt, former Head of Engineering at Expert360 as CTO; Nina Jung, ex-Delivery Hero International Marketing Director as CMO; and Mike Johnson, who served as Rackspace Sales and Marketing Director (APAC) as CSO.
DB: Can you give a sense of the recruitment process and criteria?
Schwaighofer: We wanted to find passionate and experienced leaders who are experts in their field, who are capable of building new company infrastructure and who strongly believe in MadeComfy’s values – Agility, Empowerment, Trust and Wow. Nina, Tom and Mike are all well regarded in their respective industries and have built and led successful and high performing teams in their past roles.
We screened a lot of candidates and were happy to have had incredible talent applying for the advertised roles. We also had great support from our recruitment partner TalentPool which has previously supported fast-growing startups like ZipMoney with headhunting talent. We were especially looking for people with experience working in startups as operating in a startup is a completely different situation to running an established department in a large company. We also looked for a track record of building teams, overcoming a range of challenges, and for professionals with strong passion, empathy and who would fit naturally with our values. And, of course, being fun to work with is key for the MadeComfy team.
DB: What growth will your CTO, CMO and CSO help you unlock?
Schwaighofer: Tom started at MadeComfy earlier this year and has already had his first major success with our new Home Owner platform, where our customers have full access to the past, current and future performance of their properties. This is important as financial data and transparency are so important to property investors. Tom and his team are now working on further advancing our business intelligence platform which enables us to continuously generate the highest net returns and occupancy rates. They team is also working on upgrading our operations platform to continuously increase our operational efficiency.
Nina is focusing on tailored marketing campaigns to ensure our brand and value-adding services are recognised by property investors as well as the easy-to-use MadeComfy Short Term Rental Management solution.
Mike is building our Sales and Host Experience team here in Sydney and Melbourne to ensure we are always accessible our current and future MadeComfy property owners.
DB: Did the $1.1m raise fund the hires or were they already locked in?
Schwaighofer: It is a combination. We are already operating well in terms of revenue side which helps us to grow the business organically. Our other intention from the capital raise was to get highly successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to join and support MadeComfy in our growth. It has enabled us to welcome to MadeComfy’s advisory board Cliff Rosenberg (former Managing Director of LinkedIn), Rolf Hansen (cofounder and former CEO of Amaysim) Peter O’Connell (cofounder and former Chairman of Amaysim), Hein Vogel (Managing Director of Investec Australia) and Manfred Hasseler (early investor and advisor at Airtasker).
DB: How are you approaching competitors in the short-term rental space?
Schwaighofer: We think it’s great to have competition as it proves we’re operating in a hot market and it’s also a sign that more and more property owners are considering buying an investment property or sharing their home. We consider our main competitors to be the traditional real estate agents for property rentals and hotels for guests, as both are currently servicing the established markets we are disrupting. Looking at the other Airbnb management businesses, the essential difference is that MadeComfy offers a performance-based, end-to-end management service with the aim to maximise net returns for property owners and to provide a quality guest experience at the same time. It’s really a winning solution for both property investors and guests. We’re confident that MadeComfy’s culture and diverse, highly experienced team will continue to innovate and ultimately drive the professional short-term rental market in Australia.
Thanks for the mention guys, we have loved every minute of working with your innovative brand and vision. We are so excited about what’s next for MadeComfy!
Thanks to James Harkness at Dynamic Business for featuring this piece, what a great write up!
Organisational Culture by Conscious Design
Our Project’s and Change Management consultant, Ben Thompson recently followed a great blogger on LinkedIn – Stephanie Owen. Most definitely worth a follow, this is some of her recent work around one of the most popular words thrown around the workplace today…CULTURE
‘Culture’ has become the catch-all term that is the encapsulation of everything that’s right about an organisation. Or if something goes wrong, something must also be wrong about the culture. If change is too difficult to bring in, or if there is wrongdoing in an organisation, culture must be the culprit. A friend recently joined an award-winning niche professional services firm, from one of its bigger and better known competitors. The reason for his switch? Culture.
An enormous amount has been written about the importance of culture, lots about changing it, some about measuring it, but little about how you might go about defining or designing an organisation’s culture. So when a colleague recently asked for advice on how a fast-growing startup might go about shaping its culture, it prompted me to reflect, share, and invite discussion.
The starting point for designing or defining culture is to remember that culture has been with us for as long as humans have lived in groups. It is the sum total of the behaviours that the leaders (and members) of the organisation find acceptable and unacceptable, in the context of the identity, values, and aspirations of the organisation.
‘Culture has been with us for as long as humans have lived in groups.’
Organisational cultures often develop initially based on the values and aspirations of their founders or perhaps one of the leaders. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad’s legendary frugality, Steve Job’s obsession with design and user experience, Richard Branson’s fun and risk-embracing personality – these founders’ personality traits and values form the basis of their organisations’ core values. Over time, these values and behaviours are rewarded (or condoned) by leaders, and become ‘culture’. In this light, it is not surprising that Uber’s board and investors recently decided that co-founder CEO Travis Kalanick and a core group of executives needed to be removed in order to change the culture, amid allegations of sexual harassment, bullying, theft of trade secrets and misleading government regulators.
So, the questions to ask if you were to consciously try to design an organisational culture, would include these:
- Who are we – what is our DNA/essence
- What is our place in the world, what do we believe about ourselves?
- What values do we collectively hold?
- What behaviours do we find acceptable or not – with each other? with people outside our organisation?
- How do we express our culture – through our office, dress code?
- What is our brand – in other words: what is our promise to our customers and staff, and other community stakeholders?
These are, of course, deep and searching questions. Answering them will take time and focused reflection that is difficult to accomplish in today’s fast-paced distraction-ridden world.
How would you arrive at answers to these deep and searching questions, especially if you, as founder or leader, would like to involve others in the journey so as to create buy-in and alignment?
Depending on your starting point, I believe there are three main ways to get answers to the searching questions required to define your desired culture.
- Informal chats – if you have an enquiring mindset, and are good at asking questions, you might be able to arrive at a collective view of culture through a series of informal chats with key people about the questions above. This method would be successful if you have already built trust in your organisation and have a culture of genuine two-way dialogue. Of course, this might also take time, depending on the size of the organisation.
- Facilitated conversations – a good coach (for small groups up to 4-5) or a facilitator (for larger groups of maybe up to 20, depending on the facilitator) can draw out perspectives and act as a sounding board. The main advantage is that it is easier to think aloud with an impartial listener, and a skilled facilitator can also integrate different viewpoints into coherent statements.
- Experiential, co-design workshops – this approach is ideal to get moderately sized groups (eg 20-150) involved concurrently in an immersive, experiential environment that collaboratively design the desired culture. Many people would consider it difficult to impossible to get larger groups (say, around 150) in an interactive workshop. However, there are specialised methodologies available that can achieve this. The advantage of getting large groups like this involved is that diverse perspectives and roles can be represented, and you save a tremendous amount of time in ‘implementation’ because you have already involved large numbers of people. Depending on the size of your organisation, the 150+ people may be your entire organisation, or you end up with some 150 change agents at the end of the exercise.
No matter what the chosen approach is, the important thing to remember is that the design must also specify how the desired culture will be brought to life: do our performance management systems and processes reinforce that culture? are there monetary and non-monetary rewards for living the desired culture? how might we celebrate those who are aligned? how might we censure (or remove) those who are not? how might we express our culture through our internal and external communications? how might we make it easy (preferably automatic) for people to act in accordance with our desired culture?
‘Culture is like raising a plant: if you give it the right conditions, fertilise, water and weed, the plant will thrive.’
You can’t make culture ‘happen’ directly, the way you might create an app or build a house. It is more like raising a plant: if you give it the right conditions, fertilise, water and weed, the plant will thrive. But there is a world of difference between a patch of soil overrun by weeds and a cultivated garden. The latter can only emerge when there has been conscious design and hard work. In a similar way, conscious design and focus on creating the right incentives, structures and processes that support and reinforce the right behaviours (while discouraging undesirable behaviours), will help the desired culture emerge. Combine this with daily reinforcement of acceptable versus unacceptable behaviours, an organisation can build a winning culture, one that can inspire staff and attract customers when internal and external brands align.
Read more from Stephanie here
A few wise words from Sir Richard Branson….
“Put every setback in perspective. Think long-term. In five years, will this matter?” This question, posed by Regina Brett in her 45 Lessons Life Taught Me list, is something we should all consider.
Far too many people spend too much time looking in the rear-view mirror, worrying about where they went wrong, and get distracted from the road ahead. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if you spend too much time wallowing on what’s behind you, you’ll never end up where you want to be.
I’ve always preferred to keep my eyes on the road ahead. I don’t write off the past; instead I draw lessons from it to help me on my course. After all, life’s greatest teacher is failure, and those that don’t learn from it are doomed to repeat their mistakes. But don’t study them – learn and move on.
As Regina writes: “However good or bad a situation is, it will change.” If you spend too much time in the past, you’ll never move forward. Instead of constantly obsessing about the bumps in the road, or the bend coming up, look to the horizon – that way you’ll see the bigger picture.
While short-term goals are important, we should all be thinking with long-term vision in order secure the best future possible.
This is particularly true in business. Gone are the days of quick wins. All businesses and business leaders should operate with an end goal in mind that can be continuously improved on. Long-term thinking is the key to a thriving planet, and happy and healthy people.
Read more from Richard Branson’s blog page here
Our VIC Regional Manager, Trent Turvey told us of this excellent blog written by his former boss, Juliet Turpin. Juliet is the Regional Vice President at Randstad Canada and is most definitely worth a follow! Here’s a share from her blog back in January:
For employers who plan for growth, perfecting the candidate experience is key.
The right employee for our clients can BE the essential difference between making or breaking a deadline; or the difference between innovating a magnificent new way of doing things versus struggling to make budget. The right job for a candidate can make the difference between living a purpose driven life and simply earning a pay cheque.
Our candidates’ primary concern these days is obsolescence and for our clients’ it’s turnover. With technology and business churning so quickly, our task is to help candidates and clients stay on top of market trends by providing salient and timely market information and great career opportunities. It’s more important than ever for our recruiters and employers to build deep, intuitive and symbiotic relationships with their candidates and clients. This is to say, that we must be true career counselors and trusted advisers for our customers; independent of which side of the desk they sit on!
One of the most unique things about working in this industry is the fact that we get to change lives by making great sales! The connections that are developed move beyond the typical recruiter/candidate relationship. Each role we fill means a true life change for the recruiter as well as each of the candidates we work with and the clients who employ them.
By offering an informed, enjoyable and valuable experience where candidates and clients feel informed and helped every step of the way; we directly impact the Bottom Line every day.
Hear hear Juliet!
Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder – Sheryl Sandberg
Article from SEEK:
Sometimes we can get stuck thinking about career growth in terms of only moving up the ranks. But have you ever considered moving sideways?
Horizontal career moves can be just as beneficial to your career as vertical ones, and they’re also becoming more common. This means that more people are moving into roles that are adjacent to theirs (for example, from Account Executive to Producer), instead of making traditional vertical moves (which, for an Account Executive, would be Account Manager).
To explain why a horizontal career move can be good for you, we asked Sian Havard, Founder of Milkshake Group, a Brisbane-based consultancy; and Sam Chisholm, Career Business Partner at Cotton On Group, to shed light on some of the benefits.
- Develop your breadth and depth of skills. A horizontal career move allows you to keep building on your skills, instead of staying in the same role and waiting for a ‘big break’. “Making a move internally into an area you’re interested in is a great opportunity to ignite your passion and learn new things,” Havard says.It’s also a way to make a positive impression your boss. “Employers value someone who has enthusiasm for what they’re doing and pushes themselves to grow.”Chisholm adds, “One specialist skill set will seldom be enough to get a corner office today. Our leaders need a breadth – as well as depth – of skills.”
- Become more resilient to change. “By working across different areas in an organisation, or moving to a different type of organisation to do the same role (for instance from a multinational to a start-up, or from a pharmaceutical company to a technology company), you’ll challenge yourself and learn what you’re capable of,” says Havard.In doing so, you can also try out new ways of thinking and working, and trial new approaches to problem-solving. This will help you become more resilient to workplace changes and confident in your abilities to manage change in future.
- Gain fulfilment and networks. Having different experiences and meeting new people as a result of a horizontal career move can also make work more enjoyable. Havard says, “You may find more meaning in your work, whether this is due to the type of work you’re doing, the type of people you’re working with, or the fact you’re learning something new each day.”Working with a range of people is beneficial for you and the business.“Success in a modern organisation is achieved through people who are connected and know who to go to in order to get things done,” Chisholm explains. That’s why making a sideways career move and extending your network increases your chances of success. “When the time comes for a promotion, you’ll have more than one group championing your cause.”
- Open the door for more opportunities. “A horizontal move can be a valuable decision when it comes to your future,” says Havard. “You may not have the skills right now to be able to successfully apply for a different role externally, but once you make an internal move and develop your skills you may find yourself fielding approaches from companies about opportunities, and will be able to confidently apply for external opportunities.”You may also find that, as a result of your move, you progress into a higher salary bracket, as your increased skills and experience means you can offer more value to an employer.
Chisholm has seen many people make positive moves within the Cotton On Group. “With seven brands under our roof, we have the ability to move team members from brand to brand as well as across our five global hubs. We often move people from smaller jobs in bigger markets to bigger jobs in smaller markets, which really helps round out their experience.”
Havard too has seen many people make successful horizontal career moves during her time working in HR. “This includes someone who moved from a tech support role to being a software developer, someone who transitioned from a blogger outreach position to a sales role, and someone who moved from a sales management role to a B2B marketing position,” she says.
If you’re considering making a horizontal career move, speak to your manager or HR representative to identify how you could bridge any gaps in your skills while pursuing your passion.
– See more from SEEK here
A few words from Marcella..
As a Design Recruiter at Talentpool Recruitment I like to keep active within the design community. One way of doing this is by attending local meetups and events. One meetup I will not miss is the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), Sydney. These are hosted at CBA every second month. This community has over 1700 members with Katja Forbes & Joe Ortenzi as Co- Local Leaders, supported by many more volunteer organisers. They also organise events over the calendar year, supporting Interaction Design through mentoring, presentations, workshops, discussions and other knowledge sharing opportunities.
Each IxDA meetup has 2 quality speakers that focus on a similar theme. The night also includes networking opportunities, pizzas, beer, wine, other drinks, comfy chairs and a great atmosphere. What more could you ask for? On the night, they also provide the opportunity for companies and recruiters to speak about their open roles. This last week I talked about our UX, Product, Visual & UI and Service Design roles all in under a minute flat! There were 150 people at this last event so it is an excellent way to get our Talentpool brand out there and network amongst some of Sydney’s great design talent.
If you are looking for a role or wanting to join this huge design community then please come along for a mingle. Follow their events via their website here and in the meantime if you want to talk to me about any opportunities or gaps you may have within your design team then please get in touch…
Over and out… Marcella Bowden
7 Things That Make Great Bosses Unforgettable
Six times Google has topped Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Most people assume that Google tops the list because of their great benefits and all of the fun and perks that they pack into the Googleplex. But that’s just part of the equation.
Google knows that people don’t leave companies; they leave bosses. But unlike most companies, who wait around hoping for the right bosses to come along, Google builds each Googler the boss of their dreams.
Their people analytics team starts by researching the qualities that make managers great at Google. These managers aren’t just high performers, they receive high marks for their leadership from the people that report to them. They’re the managers everyone wants to work for.
Next Google built a training program that teaches every manager how to embrace these qualities. Once managers complete the program, Google measures their behavior to ensure that they’re making improvements and morphing into managers that Googlers want to work for.
Google is building bosses that are so good, they’re unforgettable. And why do they do it? In the words of Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations, “Our best managers have teams that perform better, are retained better, are happier — they do everything better.”
Indeed they do. Unforgettable bosses change us for the better. They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish.
When I ask audiences to describe the best and worst boss they have ever worked for, people inevitably ignore innate characteristics (intelligence, extraversion, attractiveness, and so on) and instead focus on qualities that are completely under the boss’s control, such as passion, insight, and honesty.
Google’s program isn’t the only way to become a boss people want to work for. Any of us can study the unique qualities of unforgettable bosses to learn valuable skills and inspire people.
Great bosses are passionate, first and foremost. Few things are more demotivating than a boss who is bored with his or her life and job. If the boss doesn’t care, why should anybody else? Unforgettable bosses are passionate about what they do. They believe in what they’re trying to accomplish, and they have fun doing it. This makes everyone else want to join the ride.
They sacrifice themselves for their people. Some bosses will throw their people under the bus without a second thought; great bosses pull their people from the bus’s path before they’re in danger. They coach, and they move obstacles out of the way, even if their people put those obstacles there in the first place. Sometimes, they clean up messes their people never even knew they made. And, if they can’t stop the bus, they’ll jump out in front of it and take the hit themselves.
Great bosses play chess not checkers. Think about the difference. In checkers, all the pieces are basically the same. That’s a poor model for leadership because nobody wants to feel like a faceless cog in the proverbial wheel. In chess, on the other hand, each piece has a unique role, unique abilities, and unique limitations. Unforgettable bosses are like great chess masters. They recognize what’s unique about each member of their team. They know their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, and they use these insights to draw the very best from each individual.
They are who they are, all the time. They don’t lie to cover up their mistakes, and they don’t make false promises. Their people don’t have to exert energy trying to figure out their motives or predicting what they’re going to do next. Equally as important, they don’t hide things they have the freedom to disclose. Instead of hoarding information and being secretive to boost their own power, they share information and knowledge generously.
A great boss is a port in a storm. They don’t get rattled, even when everything is going haywire. Under immense pressure, they act like Eugene Kranz, flight director for the Apollo 13 mission. In the moments after the explosion, when death looked certain and panic seemed like the only option, Kranz kept his cool, saying, “Okay, now, let’s everybody keep cool. Let’s solve the problem, but let’s not make it any worse by guessing.” In those initial moments, he had no idea how they were going to get the astronauts home, but, as he later explained, “you do not pass uncertainty down to your team members.” People who’ve worked for an unforgettable boss often look back later and marvel at their coolness under pressure. That’s why, 45 years after Apollo 13, people are still talking about Eugene Kranz and his leadership during that crisis.
Unforgettable bosses are human, and they aren’t afraid to show it. They’re personable and easy to relate to. They’re warm. They realize that people have emotions, and they aren’t afraid to express their own. They relate to their people as a person first and a boss second. On the other hand, they know how to keep their emotions in check when the situation calls for it.
Their work is truly a team effort, and their people feel accomplished when group goals are met. Since these bosses don’t believe they are above anyone or anything, they openly address their mistakes so that everyone can learn from them. Their modesty sets a tone of humility and strength that everyone else follows.
Bringing It All Together
For many unforgettable bosses at Google and elsewhere, things clicked once they stopped thinking about what their people could do for them and started thinking about what they could do to help their people succeed.
Inspire. Teach. Protect. Remove obstacles. Be human. If you cultivate these characteristics, you’ll become the unforgettable boss that your people will remember for the rest of their careers.
Read more from Dr Travis Bradberry here
Talentpool are now the proud sponsors of the current ICFA League Champions – Waterloo FC!
Our Infrastructure and Projects Consultant Dan Eeles has been playing for Waterloo FC for over 2 years. In those years, Waterloo FC have won the league and cup double as well as retaining the league title last year. Waterloo FC are a part of an amateur football competition based in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Talentpool have decided to support and sponsor the “Boys in Blue” this season in hope that they will retain their title for a 3rd year running.
Matches are played on Sunday’s in Centennial Park. Please feel free to join us or you can follow their team results here!
Good luck for the season Waterloo FC!
Our Work Space..
Hub William Street’s coworking space is as diverse as its members. The office is an oasis of productivity above the bustling heart of William Street in Darlinghurst.
This Space offers bike racks, shower facilities, relaxation room and a fully-equipped kitchen. There’s even a ping pong table for blowing off steam or settling those all important strategic disputes – all just a 5 minute walk from Hyde Park.
Hub Southern Cross offers the largest coworking space in Victoria. Just a stones throw from Southern Cross train station and walking distance from Flinders Street, you’ll find everything you need here. This space offers bike racks, shower facilities, relaxation room, on site cafe and a fully-equipped kitchen. Hub Southern Cross also features an event space that caters for up to 100 people and an on site gym.
The Hub Australia
The Hub has bookable meeting rooms, high speed fibre internet, printing facilities, learning & wellness events, access to our ever growing network and much more – meaning you can focus on doing what you love.
We work and play hard. The Hub Australia run’s a series of professional & social events every week. From weekly lunch & learns and champagne tasting sessions to speed networking, creating that perfect work/ life balance.
Every night across Australia, 105,237 people are experiencing homelessness. 60% are under the age of 35, these are people in the prime of their life.
On Thursday 22nd June 2017, our Talentpool Directors have chosen to make a difference and will be taking part in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
We are asking you to support us in this challenge by giving generously and help us reach our fundraising goal.
There are over 1,300 homeless assistance services across Australia and each year, the homeless service system provides almost 3 million nights of accommodation.
We would like to help fund some of that accommodation and in turn, help get those less fortunate off the streets and rehabilitated into a better way of life.
We will be making a personal contribution and we ask you kindly to do the same. Visit here for our Talentpool donation page
Together we can make a difference.