ALRA – 4 years & 2 Kids. Reflecting on Starting a Business.
It’s ALRA’s 4th Birthday. 4 years. I can’t tell you how often I sit in our office and don’t quite believe what ALRA has grown to become – especially when I look back to where I was this time 4 years ago…
4 years ago, I felt backed into a corner. I quit my job, was staring down the barrel of unemployment and had a wife that was imminently due to give birth to our first child.
It was easily the scariest and most uncertain time of my life. Just to add to that uncertainty, I decided to start my own recruitment agency. I had no idea if it would work, all I had was a shed / office in the backyard and the knowledge that within the next few weeks, I wouldn’t just have a wife to support, but a child as well.
A Lot can Happen in 4 Years…
This probably all sounds like lunacy and in some ways, I think it was, but sometimes when you have no choice but to make something work you make it happen. Failure isn’t a possibility.
And so ALRA was born. Since then? I’ve had 2 kids, bought a place to house them and built ALRA from just myself, to a multi-office team that so far, covers four major sectors of recruitment.
Aside from being a little bit cheeky for a guy working from a cabin style office in the backyard, the name Australia’s Leading Recruitment Agency is a direct reflection of what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to create Australia’s Leading Recruitment Agency.
I didn’t create ALRA with the intention of being the biggest agency out there (though I won’t say no if it’s in the cards for the future) but rather because I wanted to become the best for the clients / industries that I serviced.
This drove the creation of the beliefs that have now become the core of the company:
“Striving to be Number 1”
“The Best Experience You’ve Ever Had”
“You’re the Expert in your Profession, we’re the Experts in Recruitment”
“Do Something Extraordinary”
It’s one thing though to create a motto that works for you, but it’s quite another thing to be able to foster that belief in others and drive it through a business model. So, when I started writing this article, I asked my team members to tell me what these mantras mean to them.
To the ALRA Team this means creating:
- Creating the best possible outcomes for candidates and clients;
- Managing relationships and communication and not ignoring events that don’t suit your own purpose – being honest, even if it doesn’t result in a “fee”;
- Respectful relationships or ‘partnerships’ as we believe a business relationship should be equal on both sides;
- Internal processes that allow recruiters to enjoy their job and maintain a healthy lifestyle rather than experiencing KPIs that keep their noses to the grindstone;
- Living and breathing an atmosphere / culture that provides balance – success in and out of the office;
- Becoming more to those we provide a service for – not just a transaction.
For me, these ideals are embodied in our last – “Do Something Extraordinary”. These could be as simple as helping someone realise a career dream, finding the perfect candidate for a client in a day, buying a property, car or even just making someone having a really bad day smile. No matter what, I firmly believe that everyone should aspire to achieving something they deem amazing.
There’s still a lot I want to achieve. My company may have firmly progressed into SME territory with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canada but I know that with time, patience and foresight, we can continue to push the limits of what we believe is possible.
But for now, as I get ready to light the candles on my daughter’s 4th birthday cake this weekend and sit at the snow with the ALRA team celebrating my company’s birthday, I reflect. There have been ups and downs but I am thankful that I felt backed into a corner 4 years ago. I am thankful to the staff that have backed me and I am thankful to all the people, clients and candidates, that have been a part of the ALRA journey.
So Happy Birthday my sweet little girl and Happy Birthday ALRA.
Brett Clemenson, Director & CEO