The Recruiter's Soapbox

Getting To Know Clare


Can you give us an overview of your experience and who you are?

I am the founder of Barton Mills Recruitment, which has been operating in Australia for 16 years.  My career started in Sydney in 2000 in IT recruitment, before starting BMR in 2004.  As a rec2rec I tended to specialise in IT and Digital markets and later in my career at the senior end of the market.


What have you seen change in the industry over the past 20 years?

I love this topic – see my recent blog ……


What is your role in the business today?

Having been hands-on running a desk for 14 years, I made the decision in 2018 to make some changes in my life.  Selling our house on the Northern Beaches and moving to the South Coast. Today my role in the business is much more behind the scenes!


What are you most proud of?

My team.  Without including my own experience, they have 20 years working at BMR between them.  They are truly a fantastic, fun, tight-knit group of people with strong values, a great work ethic, detailed knowledge of our industry and exceptional networks.  They gave me their blessing to experience this life change.  In their words – “if mum is always here to fix things, we will never step up.  You should go, focus on your kids and let us manage things here.” All round a pretty impressive bunch of people.


What are your passions in life?

My family, achieving outcomes (type A personality), overseas trips and exercise.


What advice would you give to someone early on in their career? 

Recruitment is not for the faint-hearted but can be so rewarding and so much fun.  Its hard work, it’s not a 9-5 job and you won’t be a success overnight (I know this is not what you want to hear).  It takes time to build your skills and networks. Be open to feedback.  I see so many “twenty-somethings” with huge egos who think they know it all.  Believe me, I’m 45 and I’m still learning every day.  I hate hearing people say recruitment is easy “it’s not rocket science”.  I disagree.  The skills required to be a top recruiter are soft skills and not easily taught.  You need strong influencing skills, resilience, high EQ.  You must be able to adapt your approach have top-notch communication skills both written and verbal.  You need to understand the way corporates operate, you need business acumen, sales drive and you need to be able to think on your feet and you need to continuously be updating your knowledge and skills


If you could go back in time, would you change anything?

I don’t believe in regretting mistakes made. I believe things happen for a reason.  I believe that making mistakes is essential as we grow and learn from them.   I am much more scared about regretting missed opportunities ie, not having the courage to try something new.  But if you are asking me, have I made mistakes, yes I’m human.  Have I tried to learn from them?  Yes.  What comes to mind…. There are the basic mistakes when I’ve emailed the wrong person with very sensitive information (still makes me cringe to think about it).  Despite being extremely confident in my skills for identifying talent for other people, I’ve made plenty of mistakes when hiring for myself.  I’ve hired people into my business and been blinded by their billing capacity when I knew deep down that culturally and value-wise they were not a match for BMR (let me tell you, it never works out well).  I have at times become so wrapped up in the “advisory and consulting” part of my role, that at times I have forgotten to cover the basics of recruitment (speed, covering candidates) and missed out on key placements.