Think HBR

Hunter recruiter helps out as it receives 300% more resumes

Forsythes Recruitment HR Managing Director Geoff Crews
Geoff Crews

Forsythes Recruitment & HR has received triple the number of resumes in the past few weeks as the impact of COVID-19 hits the region.

To help people who are looking for work, the firm is making its 49 page Career Transition Workbook free to anyone. To get a copy people should email To help employers, the firm is offering free HR advice and consulting for the remainder of this financial year, as well as delayed payment on temporary employees to assist cashflow.

Managing director Geoff Crews said these initiatives were his team’s pay-it-forward response to the tremendous support of clients and service-providers, which is how the community and economy will survive this pandemic.

Mr Crews said it is heart-breaking to see so many talented people, across all sectors and experience levels, out of work. Many people have not updated their resume in years.

He is asked daily for advice by people who’ve found themselves unexpectedly needing to find a new job. His best advice is to treat job search like the mentally-toughest and longest-hours job you’ve ever had.

“Job search is 8am to 6pm daily,” Mr Crews said.

“Familiarise yourself with the boom industries right now – FMCG, warehousing/distribution, logistics, health, insurance, mining, telecommunications, online business and services such as cleaning. Then find the local companies and relevant contacts within those industries. Research and engage with those people – do they have a history of employing people with your skill set? Social media platforms like LinkedIn are extremely useful,” he said.

He said whilst it can be difficult, perseverance and a growth mindset play a big part in securing a new job.

“Try not to worry about what you can’t control and don’t take rejection personally.”

Mr Crews’ other top tip is to enlist others to help.

“Recruitment agencies often get told about jobs first which they share with their databases. Choose agencies who focus on the jobs and sectors that suit your skills and experience.”

“Use your current networks (professional, friends, family) to find a way to get introductions or recommendations to the companies you have researched. Did your friend Brian have a girlfriend who knew someone at that company?”

He said tailored resumes and cover letters are important ways to stand out from the crowd in crowded job markets. They should focus on the outcomes of work achievements not just skills and tasks completed.

“Written words only do so much of the heavy lifting. A rehearsed, concise and professional phone call prior to and after applying should show your enthusiasm and initiative, not be annoying.”

“Prepare and practice for interviews. First impressions count and you have six seconds to impress. Demonstrate how you will go 1% more than other people being interviewed.”

Mr Crews said his firm responded to the pandemic by putting its own oxygen mask on first to be able to help others.

“We immediately spoke to our staff, our clients and the 1000 plus temporary people we have working for us to see how we could help them through this.”

It established an internal, online, COVID-19 related space – called the War Room - which has weekly videos from Geoff and gives easy access to evolving documents, news and procedures. It has redeployed its talent management and recruitment specialists from quiet areas to busy ones and proposed temporary wage reductions to save jobs.

“I am communicating with all employees very transparently which enables them to feel some sense of control.”

“It is important for businesses to share how they are handling this situation so that together we can get through this.”

Forsythes Recruitment & HR is a Hunter based and locally owned talent management agency with offices in the Hunter, Central Coast and in Sydney.