Hiring staff can be a real challenge for any business and the situation was exactly that at Pipe Hawk when we started recruiting in our own business in 2015. As the demand for our services started to grow and we quickly needed to find extra staff, we kept finding ourselves asking the same questions...
Are qualifications more important than experience?
Why did this person leave their last job?
Will this person fit into our existing team culture?
Can we trust this potential employee?
Will they be able to adapt and learn new skills?
Do they have leadership qualities to supervise other staff in the future?
Fast forward 5 years to 2020 and we have now grown our team to 20+ employees with teams operating in Queensland and Victoria. We have learnt some valuable recruitment lessons over the years but we now have a very clear direction of where the company is heading and what type of employees can help us get there.
Rather than write another blog focussing on a recent project we have been involved in, we have decided to step a little out of our comfort zone and share a little insight into the hiring qualities we look for when employing new team members. Our hope is that you will not only learn some new assessment considerations for hiring staff in your own business but hopefully it will paint a picture of what the Pipe Hawk team is like to work with if we are lucky enough to partner up with your own team on a future project.
In addition to experience, we focus heaviliy on the following 10 key personal qualities when hiring new staff:
1. Life Experiences
People have plenty of experiences outside of their working life that can benefit an employer. We often find that staff with outside interests such as travel, sport, hobbies etc. are a great indication that the person is going to be willing to work with others, get out of their comfort zone, and most importantly - learn new skills!
2. Empathy & Common Sense
If someone has concern for others and the ability to think about the consequences of their actions before doing, it will go a long way to achieving zero harm within a workplace. Whilst certain elements of job safety can be taught, such skills are of no use if that person does not already possess a sound level of common sense. We find that using a range of hypothetical questions/scenarios in an interview can go a long way to helping find the best candidate.
3. Emotional Intelligence
We tend to focus more on soft skills in interviews versus the traditional approach of reviewing experience, qualifications, and technical expertise, as those attributes can easily be cross-checked with their references post-interview. Instead, we like to find out why they want to work with us, how they feel they can help our team grow, and ultimately why they think we should give them a job. Asking such questions can help to identify the person's level of intelligence and determine whether they are genuinely serious about wanting to help our business.
4. The Right Personality
We believe that we can train anyone to do any job. Obviously, experience will help speed up the process, but our focus is always on finding a suitable candidate based on their personality first. Doing so will not only ensure that the person fits in with our existing culture, it will also prevent any disruptions/conflict occurring with other team members.
5. Ability To Innovate & Challenge The Norm
Pipe Hawk's entire business success has been based on our ability to provide clients with efficient and cost-effective solutions. Whilst technology plays a big part in this, we constantly encourage our team to be innovative in a way that delivers a positive impact to both the client and us. Furthermore, an employee should be willing to challenge the status quo and voice their ideas for the benefit of the company as a whole.
6. Potential For Creativity
We hire staff with the objective of keeping them long-term. Therefore, 'potential skills' can be just as important as 'existing skills' when selecting the right candidate. If the person displays primary indicators of potential such as the ability to deal with challenges, difficult feedback, or uncertain situations, they are likely to be a good fit. We also find that the more creative a team member is, the more influence they can have on other staff.
7. Fitting In
A candidate's experience is often less important to us than how well we think they will fit in with Pipe Hawk's culture. As soon as we were able to determine our own culture and values in the early days, assessing this quality became much easier. If the person is the right fit, we can easily provide the on-going training and support to help fill the experience gaps.
8. Be Willing To Learn
In an industry where technology is constantly evolving, we cannot afford to have staff who aren't willing to learn. When interviewing candidates, we will ask questions to determine if they are likely to possess discipline and determination, as both of these qualities are paramount to being able to make themselves better and contribute to the overall success of our business.
9. Leadership & Work Ethic
A leader and hard worker will always outperform someone who is simply a technical genius in our experience. We look for employees who are dedicated, smart and driven to succeed. Once we find candidates with these qualities, all we need to do is provide a platform for them to learn and become successful.
We can offer all the training and support in the world, but we can't teach someone to be truly motivated to work for us. Therefore, we try to identify as quickly as possible what the primary motivation for the person wanting to join our team is. It could be the opportunity for them to grow, the appeal of joining an industry leader like Pipe Hawk, or perhaps they simply want to join a company to experience the fun and enjoyable work culture on offer. Regardless of the reason, an employee with motivation in general is a big tick in the box for us as long as we can realistically deliver what they are looking for.
We hope the above information has provided some useful insights into how we operate at Pipe Hawk, but more importantly - we hope you can take some tips away to implement within your own recruitment strategies.
To find out more about existing job opportuities at Pipe Hawk, click here to visit our careers page.
|Posted in:Pipe Hawk Insights|
The Pipe Hawk WSAA trained operators have recently undergone training in WinCan Map, which is the latest interface to transfer large amounts of geographic data from any GIS to our pipe inspection software, WinCan VX. As the mapping software communicates directly with WinCan VX, it allows us to inspect large networks of sewer or stormwater pipes much more efficiently. It also allows us to create new, and correct existing, geographic data for our clients, and export maps in a variety of formats including Google Earth files.
|Posted in:Industry News|
Pipe Hawk are proud to announce that we have been successful on a major contract with Gold Coast City Council, delivering CCTV asset validation/assessment & manhole inspections using CleverScan technology for the next five years. For a company that was founded and developed on the Gold Coast, it's great to be able to secure a long-term contract close to home which draws on our network of local suppliers.
|Posted in:Industry News|
Pipe Hawk vehicles need their engines to be constantly running on site to power their CCTV camera systems. This could sometimes be for up to 10 hours per day. The challenge for us was to find a way to switch off these vehicles engines; reducing our emissions and noise but still, operate our camera system.
Our alternative power source solution has come in the way of solar energy. By utilising a custom made solar set up, we can now pull up onto a job site anywhere and switch off our vehicle. This has been a fantastic innovation and we look forward to introducing this technology across the fleet!
|Posted in:Industry News|
We all have stress in our lives; relationships, children, money, debt, and work. It is easy to be isolated and become emotionally unhealthy. Pipe Hawk has partnered with MIC on a mental health awareness campaign within the business.
Mates in construction (MIC) is a charity that was established in 2008, their purpose is to reduce the high level of suicides among Australian construction workers. The program is based on the simple idea that suicide is everyone's business and something that is not just left to the mental health professionals to reduce the suicide rate. Everyone working in or associated with the industry can play a part.
MIC has delivered awareness training to our Management Team and this is now being filtered through to our operators and offsides. This program is still ongoing. Pipe Hawk will continue awareness and mental health training to work towards creating a mentally healthy workspace for our employees, at all levels.
|Posted in:Industry News|
Pipe Hawk Utility Management are industry experts in CCTV pipe and conduit inspections, have formed a strategic partnership with Patriot Environmental who are experts in high pressure draining cleaning to offer "Drain Cleaning & CCTV Pipe Inspection" to industry. The partnership has already delivered both large scale and small projects across Australia.
The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is a $4.9 billion project funded by the Australian Government to provide 155 kilometres of four-lane divided road.
The project is split into various packages. Patriot and Pipe Hawk have had the pleasure of working for three major contractors, BGC Contracting, Golding Contractors and SEE Civil. Our main task was to undertake CCTV pipe condition assessments of all the new drainage infrastructure. Other industrial services have been used across the project; including drain cleaning and pipe patching/repairs.
|Posted in:Industry NewsProjects|
We always love to receive feedback from our industry partners and were absolutely thrilled to hear how well our team had performed whilst working on the Chandler Highway Upgrade in Melbourne with our partner Seymour Whyte. Here is some feedback we received from one of the site's project engineers...
Patriot Group's specialist division Pipehawk Utility Management, recently assisted Seymour Whyte Constructions on our Chandler Hwy Upgrade project in Melbourne (Victoria). After undertaking CCTV inspection of drainage lines installed below road pavements scheduled to be open to the public and a live road in couple of weeks, defects were noted on the completed product that were inaccessible. Once we submitted the content of the CCTV report to Patriot Group requesting a repair method along with advice, they were able to promptly provide a cost effective solution and quote the works in a timely manner.
Which followed onto swiftly mobilising to our Chandler Hwy Upgrade site in Alphington, Melbourne to undertake 2-3 weeks of drainage pipe patch repairs remotely (from above ground). Patriot Group demonstrated there specialist understanding in this niche area, and were able to provide necessary documentation for both technical and high risk works on request, to commence working on site both safely and accurately. Their 3 man crew led by Shaun & Dean cooperated at all times on site within what was a tight construction site, staging various activities to achieve the upcoming program milestone date that was Stage 2 completion.
There site team worked without fuss to get the job completed within our time constraints and were well supported by Patriot safety and operation managers with documentation, equipment and training requirements. Work was claimed for both fairly and accurate in line with the early quotation provided. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending and working with Patriot Group again for such technical works like these drainage pipe patch repairs in future.