Bringing security and profitability, eastcoast’s end-to-end recruitment and consultancy services are solving one of the biggest challenges that small business owners face today.

Michalle Faulkner, Managing Director of EastCoast HR Group has helped countless Sunshine Coast businesses through many ups and downs. Providing small businesses with an invaluable full-spectrum service, her 23 years in the industry has led to her building and co-owning one of the Coast’s most respected human resource consulting and recruitment agencies. Today, with an absolute commitment to professionalism and integrity, East Coast HR Group is raising the bar on end-to- end recruitment support. So what are Michalle’s secrets to a profitable and successful business?

Know and believe in your product

Having lived and worked on the Sunshine Coast her whole life, Michalle knows the many challenges of employment and staffing here.
“In 2005 I stopped to reflect on what I was passionate about,” explains Michalle.
“I noticed there was a fundamental disconnect in many businesses between getting the HR platform right and bringing the team in. I realised I could add value to those businesses by providing hands-on expertise to develop platforms and to make sure that they made sustainable hiring choices.”

Having the confidence to set up her own consultancy firm, she found the service was in high demand.
“Small business owners were crying out for HR support. The Coast is the home of small business. We have some fantastic technicians who are really good at what they do. But suddenly they had to hire people, manage internal aff airs … something they know nothing about. Outsourcing to experts in that area was the perfect solution for them.”
Her belief in the product was the cornerstone to facing many challenges, such as surviving the GFC.
“We couldn’t apply old practices to new economic conditions so we had to reinvent ourselves to have a good balance of business propositions. We fully believed in what we were doing, so had to make sure we continued to be innovative. Every day we ask ourselves, ‘How can we do things better?’. We always focus on being proactive and strategies of prevention.”

Do it for the right reasons

Working ethically is a fundamental part of EastCoast’s philosophy, and Michalle believes this is what truly sets them apart from other agencies.
“A wrong hire is incredibly costly for any business. By using the right agent to find the perfect fit, the employer gets that stellar employee who will add value to the business and the employee really gets to enjoy their role as they are in the right place. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
With an exceptional care program for both clients and candidates, EastCoast always ensures both clients and candidates are completely satisfi ed. “We always put people in place for the right reasons – because they are the right fit. We measure ourselves on our retention, not just fi ll rate, and have both the candidate’s and the client’s best interests at heart.”
Now an approved employer for the Seasonal Worker Program, EastCoast has extended their ethical recruitment services to a sector in high demand. “We saw a genuine issue for those industries. There are lots of unethical labour hire providers so we saw a gap where we could provide an eff ective, validated labour source for them, and also ensure the workers themselves were protected.”
Being fully invested in ensuring clients’ businesses are set up properly, Michalle knows that when she gets the foundations right for a small business, they have the key elements in place to have successful employment relationships, and subsequently a more profitable business.
“I give my heart and soul to my work and I love it when I ease a burden for a client. Supporting business owners makes me feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose in life.”

People are important

One of the fundamentals of a thriving workplace and something that employers often get wrong is reward and recognition and Michalle believes it should be a key part of any business’s HR strategy. In her book The People Investment, Michalle dedicates a whole chapter to those invaluable two little words, ‘Thank you’, explaining how business owners and supervisors can implement a diverse range of reward and recognition strategies that will retain high performing teams for businesses.
“Those two little words are often forgotten. If nobody is complaining, then everything must be ticking along okay. But personally saying thank you is incredibly important.”

I give my heart and soul to my work and I love it when I ease a burden for a client.

As her book describes, rewards don’t have to be expensive. The key is taking the time to discover what motivates your team. If an employee is performing well, but struggles for family time, off er flexible hours. If another loves to exercise, off er a gym membership in their package. “If you empower people within your business and you treat people how
you would like to be treated, it can only result in profitability and connectivity to your brand.”

HR tips for business owners

  1. Get your systems in place. Ensure you are protected and set up for any eventuality and staffing challenges. Issues such as mediation, workplace injury and disputes all happen and you need processes in place for when they do.
  2. Outsource. Your time is precious. Rather than spending time looking for the right person or trying to install complex HR processes, let an expert do it. We know the processes inside out.
  3. Be objective in recruitment. Many people tend to gravitate towards people they think they can get along with day-to-day. But the right hire is so much more than that. We skill test and validate all candidates to find the right person for the right role at the right time. We have relationships with candidates who are passively looking, so we might already know someone perfect for your role. Seek ads might get 300 to 400 responses, but many of the ideal candidates might not respond, preferring to go through an agency if they are currently employed.
  4. Use your networks. Seek ads don’t cut it on their own anymore. When placing a candidate, we use all of our networks, including our extensive LinkedIn connections and other social media platforms.

Watch the cover story!