Photo: Julie Kiriacoudis
The RCSA’s Rising Star Award acknowledges an individual recruiter whose actions, approach and attitude are noted as a leader whose star is rising within the industry.
We caught up with the 2018 award winner Kate Taylor of TaylorCare to uncover what the award means to her, what it means to be a thought leader, and how she balances work and other aspects of life.
To Kate, being a Rising Star is significant, because it’s “honouring where she’s come from.” She’s started TaylorCare just over 5 years ago and sees this award as a nod to “being a leader of the sector, someone who’s doing something a bit different with their approach to business – how they’re running their business, and how they’re motivating people around them, and being an influencer.”
Kate was also a finalist in 2015, and says the time was right for her to win. “Since 2015, I’ve become more involved. I’ve invested a lot more into my personal development. I’ve done a lot of Professional Development days. I’ve also got a business coach.”
Kate’s had a mentor through the RCSA, which has helped her a lot along the journey, as well as becoming a mentor herself this year, a result of winning the award. “I thought as the winner, I should give back, as people have invested in me for four years.”
Being recognised as a thought leader confirms that her approach is different to many agencies in her sector. “My goal is to earn an income so that I can make an impact in the world around me. Ultimately, I want to showcase that no matter how successfully you run your business, we can all give back through the work we’re doing. There are times where money is a bit tighter, and I’ll give my time through volunteering, and then when I have the funds, I’ll donate money, so I’ll do both. That’s really worked for us.”
Having been involved in the industry for 11 years, it’s a journey that has seen her traverse continents, which has toughened her. Beginning in the middle of a recession in the UK made her who she’s become today. Kate says “I started my career in the UK in 2007. I worked through the 2008 recession and was made redundant 3 times in 18 months. The market was cut throat, and even if you were good at your job, if you didn’t make money quick enough companies let you go. You had to be tough. It was heartbreaking at the time, but it’s made me a more resilient recruiter and business person now.”
“I feel like it’s different in Australia. We give people time to learn, and time to succeed. I feel like I was really able to establish myself in Australia. The industry here is a lot less competitive. However, I believe the training I had in London prepared me. I’m always looking for ways to attract new business, or promote what I’m doing. I’m always thinking what’s next, not just what’s the here and now.”
TaylorCare recruits in both metropolitan and regional/remote areas, and she discussed with us the differences and challenges in recruiting in both areas. “Metro areas is more about volume, so having as many candidates as possible put forward for the one role, because usually they’ll choose about 10 people for a position. In regional areas, you might put one or two forward, and one will be successful. There’s just not that choice that you’d get in metro areas.”
However, Kate reminds me that it isn’t all about work. She spends any time she has away from work with her 3-year-old, “creating memories with her, going to the beach, going to the park.” It’s important for Kate to be there for her daughter as much as possible. She also takes one night a month for herself to have a “girl’s night out”, which is something that allows her to decompress.
She’s also a big proponent of taking care of one’s mental health, going as far as to join RUOK? as an ambassador. She believes that taking time for herself is crucial. “I’m big on self-care and well-being is big for me. I listen to my body, and if I need to finish early I go for a massage or have a catch up with a friend. “ She makes sure that she doesn’t get overwhelmed by work, as having a healthy relationship with work is important to her. “You don’t switch off when it’s your own business.”
In her submission for the award, Kate outlined what set her apart from other applicants. “My aim in the workplace and for my clients is marked by compassion, initiative and open, collaborative thinking.” Her journey along the way hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but she says this has helped her in the long run when it comes to her business approach. “I have adjusted my approach with my team, to work smarter not harder in all that we do, and I have now created a lifestyle business I’m proud of.”
As for what the future holds, Kate says she’s determined to become an influencer. “I don’t want to be someone that wins the award and says, ‘great, that’s all I have to do’. I want to give back through business, through charities. I want to inspire people to have a look at the mental health and wellbeing in their business.”
For RCSA’s CEO Charles Cameron, choosing Kate from the pool of worthy applicants was a challenge, but one he fully welcomed. “It is a happy challenge each year for our judges to select the RCSA Rising Star from a very competitive field. It is an incredibly important award for us as it represents the future of our industry and the direction it is headed.” He explained that what helped Kate to stand out amongst the competition was “Kate’s high level of participation within the sector, working to advocate for her peers and her strong corporate social responsibility focus at a company and community level.”
“I am so thrilled to have awarded Kate the Rising Star award this year as her generous, community-based spirit reminded me of the importance of ‘paying it forward’ and keeping everything in perspective. As the Founder of WorkPro, I have spent 12 years working in partnership with the recruitment industry, and I believe that Kate’s outlook will lead the new breed of talent procurement in the future.” – Tania Evans, WorkPro founder.
Congratulations on the award, Kate, and we wish you all the best for the future.