Brisbane Business News Entrepreneur Awards Trail Blazer 2012

Record results in recruitment
Blue-collar recruitment has proven to be a lucrative sector for this years Trailblazer Award winner.

Andrew Northcott handles so much blue-collar recruitment that he could easily make the Jimmy Barnes song Working Class Man his new corporate anthem. The managing director of Labour Solutions Australia says around 90 per cent of his revenue growth in the 2012 financial year was due to manual labour placements.

“We have had average growth of 173 per cent over the last three years. Labour Solutions Australia has performed quite well and the majority of our growth comes from the supply of workforces in the blue-collar sector,” says Northcott.

“We recently opened an office in Perth and are now looking to expand our white-collar presence in the Sydney market by opening an office during early 2013. We are looking to grow both Labour Solutions Australia and the LSA Recruitment brands.”

The 28-year-old has “aggressive plans” for his white-collar service expansion to other states where there is already a blue-collar presence.

“Our brand has been established for eight years and has greater market presence. We now want to build our presence in metropolitan areas and have great people, technology and systems in the business to maintain this growth.”

Northcott is bullish about the Western Australian market despite fears of a China slowdown putting pressure on iron ore prices.

“I spent quite a lot of time there over the last 12 months. It is difficult to get it right, but, once you do and have local talent on board, there is great opportunity there,” he says.

Labour Solutions Australia was founded in 2004 with $800 in cash and a laptop computer, turning over $52,550 in its first year. In fiscal 2012, it employed 55 staff and increased turnover by 60 per cent to $34.5 million. “I saw an opportunity to enter a market, which is very transactional and sales-focused and about providing a customer and service orientated delivery that is supported by industry leading technologies,” says Northcott.

His secret to success was a healthy mix of hard work and technology investment to service more clients, and expand to regional areas during challenging times.

“We have utilised a number of technologies to develop efficiencies in the volume of candidates we manage and the management of a client’s workforce. We have created online tools that integrate with our client relationship management system to help search for candidates and build an active pool of suitable labour.”

Northcott estimates he spent $300,000 on technology upgrades throughout the past year and claims financial return was not his only motivation.

“We have made a significant investment in technology with a long term view of return on investment, which enables us to provide cutting-edge services for our clients and employees,” he says