Where can a career with WorkPac take you? James reflects on his 10 year career journey
From Recruitment Coordinator to Business Centre Manager
James’ journey with WorkPac over the last 10 years has not only led him to several job roles, but to locations across the country. He first started with the business in 2009 as a recruitment coordinator at our Adelaide Business Centre, before quickly moving on to a recruiter role in Roxby Downs. He excelled in the role and was promoted to Roxby Downs recruitment coordinator team leader in 2011. During this time James was able to really see the value he could offer to the community through his work.
“One of the times I felt like we were able to make a real difference in some of our employee’s lives was being involved in the prisoner release program in Roxby Downs. To see the gratitude of the participants who were able to reintegrate back into society with a consistent work roster, routine as well as social life and get a chance for a new start after some of their mistakes from the past was really rewarding. Without this opportunity the reintegration into society would have been far more difficult.”
In 2012 James was offered a role as Business Centre Manager of our Tom Price Business Centre, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. He took a leap of faith and made the move from South Australia to Western Australia, where he stayed for three years and drove the Business Centre to new levels of success, something he accredits to a consistent approach.
“I think the biggest contributor to the success of the business centre was consistency. This was not only about consistency in our delivery and accessibility to clients and staff, but most importantly consistency of our team. We built a fantastic team in Tom Price with a culture of hard work, fun and recognition. I remember there was even one year when every person in the business centre got nominated for a Dudley award (WorkPac’s annual internal awards). That same team and culture also saw the business double in revenue two years in a row”.
From Business Centre Manager to Operations Manager
Despite his success in the Business Centre Manager role, a chance encounter with his future wife while visiting his home state led James back to Adelaide in 2015, where he took a role as Business Development Manager
“I moved to Tom Price as a young single guy but 18 months in that role while I was back home in South Australia, I met my beautiful future wife Gabrielle. We did the long-distance thing for 18 months before that began to wear thin, prompting my working journey to go full circle and land me back in Adelaide. We have now been married for 3 years and have recently welcomed a baby boy Alby Thomas! One of the great things about the WorkPac business is that there are often opportunities available across the country, providing work options as things change in our personal lives”.
The business recognised James’ strong leadership abilities, and in 2015 he was promoted to operations manager, where he has helped lead our Business Development Managers to success.
“Since moving into the Operations Manager role I have had the most satisfaction from the feedback across our team on the establishment of the peer support community for our BDM’s. Any role within sales is always going to be tough and often quite a lonely role. Since forming this community group and creating a forum for connecting our people, who were previously quite siloed, our team now share more experiences, challenges, and learnings with each other and most importantly support each other in their roles and share laughs and banter”.
On top of his day to day work, James has also led the charge on several initiatives that have changed the way we do business over the last 10 years.
Change through Technology
After a need arose from the business for better tools for our Business Development Managers to work while travelling, James worked with our head of ICT to come up with the idea of ChilliMate.
“Mark and I (Head of ICT) had been spending time together working on a number of things in the ICT space, when he pointed out we had been investing a lot of tech into the recruitment side of the business, but not the sales side. After spending time in the field with our sales team, we decided to create a tool that would allow our sales people to have better mobile access to client data and visibility of all client prospects while out on the road. From that idea, Chillimate was born”
Working as a map of WorkPac’s clients across Australia, the tool allows our Business Development Managers to see all current and prospective clients in the region so they can use their spare time wisely by getting in touch to build those relationships. ChilliMate has been well received across the organisation, winning the award for innovation at our annual internal awards night, the Dudleys.
Change of our CSR
As a large organisation that primarily operates in regional and rural Australia, one of the core values of our business is to give back to the communities in which we operate. But with 40+ business centres across Australia, it was difficult to track what everyone was doing. As an answer to this, James came up with the idea of GiveBack.
“The idea for GiveBack came about almost 2 years ago and was in response to two challenges that we were facing at the time. Firstly, we were seeing an increased expectation that we were able to clearly articulate what we were doing from a community engagement perspective with our major clients. Secondly, we had a CSR program in place and our teams were often getting involved with great grass roots initiatives, but we were not good at capturing, sharing and recognising those teams for the great work that they were doing. We wanted to be able to share these activities across the wider business so that we could promote more of our teams to get involved in giving back”.
Integrated with the Facebook for Business platform Workplace, Giveback allows everyone from the business to coordinate, submit and share their CSR activities, which are then shared to Workplace for everyone to see.
Not only does GiveBack provide a way to track how we’re contributing to our communities, it is also a fun and social way for those within our business to be recognised for supporting local causes. This recognition included a new award category at our annual ‘Dudley Awards’
“It is so great to see the WorkPac business pushing towards being an industry leader in the space of community engagement and CSR. The fact that we now recognise our individuals and teams who are champions of giving back, along side the more traditional recognitions such as financial and business performance, is very cool and shows the importance that we place on social responsibility”.
Onto the next ten!
We’re proud to have been a key part of James’ professional and personal journey over the past 10 years, and we can’t wait to not only see where he goes next, but to see what new ideas he brings to the business in the future.
“When I sit down and think back over the journey and to the young (and very green) 21-year-old lad that joined the business those many moons ago, it certainly does put the past 10 years into perspective. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities WorkPac has given me and I am proud of what I have been able to contribute in return. At the risk of being ‘that guy’ – here is to the next 10!”