SARA profile: How this small agency evolved through big changes

Recruitment agency Latitude IT has grown over the past 12 months despite the challenges of COVID-19 – and now has a team of 14 across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

At the 2021 SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs), Latitude IT was awarded Small Recruitment Agency of the Year.

Here Latitude IT’s co-founders and directors, James Gildon and Alison Evans, talk about their team’s strengths and some of the challenges they’ve faced.

What does it mean for Latitude IT to win this award?

James: I've been in recruitment for 11 years and this is the biggest achievement of my career. The last two years haven’t been easy for a young business. For us, this award validates that we’re heading in the right direction.

Alison: We've been really driven to change the face of recruitment and the way we interact with our customers. Winning this award is a big achievement for us and for our team, who have really embraced doing things differently and consistently strive to improve the recruitment experience for our candidates and clients.

What do you see as the strengths of Latitude IT, or what makes you unique?

James: We envision running Latitude IT with data-driven technology at the forefront, to become trailblazers with in-house recruitment process automation and reshape the future of hiring in the tech industry. Our strength is our team. Our team are people who think outside the box by continually producing great ideas, which are encouraged, shared, analysed and implemented.

Alison: Our aim is to stay on the cutting edge of innovation. One way we do this is by automating a lot of our internal processes. With automation, we have removed the tasks that take up precious time, eliminating work we'd otherwise have to do manually. Automation gives our team more time to focus on what matters most, our clients and candidates.

What are the initiatives that Latitude IT has delivered in workplace culture, innovation, candidate engagement or commercial growth and achievement that help support the success of the recruitment industry?

James: We have recently expanded our national presence with the opening of an office in Melbourne and Adelaide. We have been able to deepen our network and understanding of the market due to our physical presence and it has given us the ability to nurture our candidates better.

One of the ways we do this is by hosting meetups in Melbourne. Our ELX event is an open forum for tech managers and above, where they can discuss matters such as the current shortage of talent and share insights to help other leaders in the industry to grow commercially.

Alison: We know the importance of improving levels of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. As a recruitment company, we believe that we play an important role in attracting and hiring women in tech as well as educating, influencing and driving change in this area. So, we built a platform called Tech Salaries is a free tool that focuses on closing the gender pay gap.

What challenges did Latitude IT face in the last year, and how did you overcome them?

James: There have certainly been challenging moments with the lockdowns, restrictions, and market confidence. Due to COVID-19, we have re-imagined how we take candidates on a journey remotely, without candidates necessarily stepping foot in an office. Doing everything remotely meant we had to completely rethink our approach. Therefore, we created an online candidate resource hub to support candidates before and during the recruitment journey.

Alison: We had such a great start as a start-up agency in 2017 and then felt the challenges that many small businesses did during the last few years. Our industry and sector experienced a massive boom with the advent of extensive business digitisation, remote working, product build, cyber security, and data requirements; all the areas our business is well versed in from a recruitment perspective. We worked on many value-adds for our clients, candidates and team, keeping them focused on the upside where possible. To win the SEEK SARA award is just an absolute delight for our team, especially after such a challenging year.

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