Every time the Australian corporate recruiting agency Reo Group successfully places a candidate in a new position, they ring a bell.
Reo Group CEO – Stella Petrou Concha calls this a celebration of ‘a win’, but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, each time they find a good fit for a candidate it’s good for Reo Group, good for the client corporation, and good for the candidate, but there are other beneficiaries as well. Upon each placement, Reo Group also gives 50 days of access to technological education to children in aboriginal communities of Australia. So every time that bell rings, it also means that REO Group’s impact board gets immediately updated with another 50 hours.
This ritual represents their dedication to, as Stella calls it, ‘elevating human potential’. But it’s not just their giving activities that embody their philosophy, it’s also their very approach to the business of recruiting.
The ‘wild card’ – changing the recruiting game
When corporations begin their search for an ideal candidate, it’s almost like trying to find your perfect romantic match. You have a list of traits in your mind, based on past relationships, bad breakups, and probably more than a few broken hearts. This can make recruiting, much like love, quite an unforgiving process. And it’s a process that Stella says can unfairly leave out many capable candidates.
To help level the playing field a bit, Stella says that Reo Group always includes at least one ‘wild card’ candidate in its submission to a client. This wild card might not precisely or completely fit the profile requested for the position, and is meant to challenge clients to be more inclusive in their hiring. By taking a chance on a candidate that doesn’t necessarily fit the mold, clients not only have the chance to elevate that candidate’s potential but their own as an organization.
This modern vision, Stella points out, recognizes that businesses and corporations are best positioned to elevate people who have been traditionally marginalized. Besides, more and more people are beginning to choose to work with companies based on not just cost and value, but also on the responsibility of their practices. People want businesses to be working to make a positive impact on society at large, and they’re beginning to reward the ones that do.
Fueling the ‘dot com mob’
Stella laments that nearly three in four children in Australia’s remote areas lack access to education up to the 10th grade. This lack of opportunity means that, through no fault of their own, these children will most often be unqualified for many modern jobs – including the ones that Reo Group recruits for. If anyone needs their potential elevated, it’s these kids, so Reo Group’s favorite project is one that deals directly with the problem.
This project by Dot Com Mob (a Worthy Cause Partner of B1G1) sets up technological education centers in Australia’s most remote regions with the fewest scholastic opportunities. These innovative centers give children access to online and electronic educational resources, helping close the gap in their education. Not only is this cause a perfect fit for REO Group’s philosophy of elevating human potential, but the flexibility of the B1G1 movement and its giving model allows them to involve everyone in the organization.
Watch their ‘Elevate A Nation’ campaign video here.
Making a difference, one placement at a time
“Micro-giving allows giving to come all the way down to the shop floor,” Stella says.
The beauty of being able to give in small amounts is that everyone in the organization can be a part of it. And as Stella puts it, the giving doesn’t only exist when Reo as an enterprise is successful. It exists when the individuals within the organization are successful. And being able to celebrate every individual ‘win’ with the act of giving changes their culture too – from focusing on hitting a profit number to celebrating the impact each ‘win’ has on the team, the candidate they successfully placed, and on the aboriginal communities they support.
The whole team at Reo Group is bought in, and they all know what it means when they get that win.
The bell that carries hope
Many of us grew up will the sound of a school bell announcing the beginning and end of our daily classes, but those without educational opportunities may never hear that sound.
The bell rung by Reo Group when they get a ‘win’ has a sound that carries beyond the walls of their offices. It sounds across the country to all shores and the desolate reaches of the Outback. It is heard not only by the companies and employees that benefit from their services but also by the children that they support through educational programs.
By elevating the potential of those children, Reo hopes it won’t be long before those very same children become placement candidates themselves, coming full circle to ring another bell.