Today, we wanted to congratulate Marcel Lafontaine who during Public Sector People’s recent End of Financial Year celebrations, walked away with two awards; the Top Biller Award and the Building Trust award. The Top Biller award is fairly self-explanatory; it’s the award given to the consultant who has made the most sales for the business (which in itself is an amazing achievement). However, the Building Trust award is decided on by the PSP leadership team and is awarded based on the recipient’s ability to live out Public Sector People’s overarching vision and values.
Since joining the business a little over a year ago, Marcel has been a force to be reckoned with. Not only has he helped PSP’s search & selection team grow from strength to strength and achieved repeat business from a number of established clients in that relatively short time, but in everything he does he demonstrates a level of care and focus – whether that be in helping a local council find the best fit for their team or helping a newer colleague learn the ropes at PSP. It’s this commitment to doing the right thing by others, that made him the perfect candidate for PSP’s Building Trust award for 2022.
We caught up with Marcel to learn what winning these awards mean to Marcel, and his goals at PSP moving forward. Read his answers below:
Congratulations on being the PSP Building Trust and Top Biller Award winner for 2022! What does winning these awards mean to you?
Winning this award really does mean a lot when I consider and reflect on the team that works across PSP. To be recognised in front of the broader business for more than the financial results at the end of the year, I really have to pinch myself. It’s right up there with one of my proudest professional achievements.
This last Financial Year (F2021 – 2022) posed some challenges – what were your goals coming into this financial year and how did you keep on track with these goals despite the challenges?
Coming into 2021/2022, I was a new face in the organisation, so I was really focused on doing the right things by my clients, candidates and colleagues on a consistent basis. My goals were to learn, connect and try and get the most out of every day. Recruitment moves quickly and the days can disappear, so keeping myself accountable for what I was looking to achieve on a daily basis was the key to staying on track.
The key mission for PSP is to ensure we’re doing the right thing by our clients, candidates and colleagues -it’s also a key criterion for the Building Trust award. What do you think is the most important thing you can do as a recruiter to live out this mission?
I think the most important thing you can do as a recruiter is identify where you can offer value for each of the 3 stakeholder groups (clients, candidates, and colleagues). For clients, think about what you are offering in terms of market information, advisory on recruitment process,feedback on organisation reputation etc. Candidates can get so much from a recruiter IF they are getting genuine value for the future of their career- understand the relationship from their perspective, give genuine advice, go and get them information and most importantly, connect and be a human being. Internally, we get so much more satisfaction on a daily basis by sharing knowledge, offering support and celebrating success.
What’s your favourite part about working within recruitment?
I’m an extrovert and a people pleaser (it’s just who I am!). Recruitment covers my natural traits and tendencies in spades. My favourite part is being able to assist clients in solving resourcing issues and hiring excellent people. On the flip side, I get genuine satisfaction from giving someone the good news that they’ve been successful in an opportunity they REALLY wanted or after they’ve been there for a year and thank me for the role I played in their career.
On the flipside, recruitment is a very changeable industry; while there are many highs there can be moments of frustration when variables change last minute. Do you have any coping mechanisms that help you when you feel discouraged?
The coping mechanism that 99% of successful recruiters have is resilience. It’s talked about a lot and ultimately takes time to learn. Looking back and reflecting on where something has gone wrong will only make you better and able to deal with it differently next time.
The Australian job market is busier than ever right now! What opportunities does this pose for recruiters and how do you aim to utilise these moving forward?
The job market is certainly buoyant at the moment, but we can’t expect it to be this way forever. Although it presents an immediate opportunity, I aim at providing a consistent level of value and service to clients and candidates which will result in a longer-term relationship when the unemployment figures shift.
What does career success look like to you?
Career success to me is simple. I love what I do- If I continue to love what I do, I`ll have success and ultimately be happier in my personal life.
Tom (PSP’s Managing Director) said something to me that resonated with me this year, and that was as soon as you REALLY treat recruitment as a career, it changes the way you look at success.
What motivates you to work hard – and what do you think helps to motivate your colleagues?
There are two parts to my own motivation for working hard. The first being the people I’m surrounded by daily within my own organisation. As a group, everyone brings a high level of drive to be successful which is contagious. If everyone shares that same level of motivation, it becomes extremely difficult to not show up with your best effort.
The second part is my family. I’ve just started to share that my wife and I are expecting our first child in December!
What do you like to do outside of work to switch off?
I have to put my hand up and say that this is something I’m working on. I’ve previously enjoyed playing ice hockey (competing is hard!) and doing crossfit (it’s a not cult!) but have put them both aside recently. Golf is something that I’ve always been interested in playing more- maybe that will be part of the solution.
Living so close to the beach, my wife and I spend most Saturday and Sunday mornings walking from Aspendale to Mordialloc and having breakfast at a local café. Being near the water instantly helps to switch off.
Looking forward, what are your goals heading into the new financial year?
My goals for the new financial year are to be better than the previous year. Not just from a financial perspective, but from a broader professional point of view. I`d like to refine my own process, assist others in their own career development, and become an advocate for Government talent attraction across Victoria.
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To find out more about the current opportunities Marcel is working on, particularly in relation to senior/management roles within the public sector, you can contact him at:
0423 668 753