Katrina Collier is on a mission to fix talent acquisition and candidate experience; often exacerbated by hybrid working. She is one of 2 people globally delivering design-thinking workshops specifically for recruitment, that swiftly help companies fix the real issues preventing successful hiring. She is also a Mentor, Author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, leader of The Collective, a global keynote speaker, and co-host of Hear The
Katrina is an Ambassador for Hope for Justice charity, and you’ll find her on LinkedIn and on Instagram & Twitter @KatrinaMCollier.
Onrec: How did you get started in recruitment?
I fell into it, obviously! In seriousness, when I relocated to London from Sydney, I saw an advert in The Metro for a trainee recruitment consultant and thought, ‘I can do that!’ and so I did. Initially in agency and then in-house, and then the last decade working for myself. These days as Author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, and as a speaker & facilitaor working with companes to fix recruitment and candidate experience.
Onrec: What exciting new trends are you noticing?
I am finally seeing TA leaders refocusing on human skills! Anyone who has read my book or followed me over the years has heard me say that there is too much focus on tools, tech and data. We are people recruiting people and it’s essential to develop human skills, like compassion, trust, influencing, and active listening, to win in a candidate driven market, which it still is.
Onrec: What do you think will be the next big thing in online recruitment?
A return to basics and, if I had my way, salaries on every job post. Imagine if we could get recruiters to do proper intakes and then use that information to write proper adverts and messages, with the salary. There’d be so much more ease in the whole process.
Onrec: Biggest challenges we face going in to 2023?
It doesn’t feel like a recession when I see companies still hiring but there is slowing in some areas and some companies making redundanices. So I’d love to see recruiters being more strategic and looking at internal mobility and retention, pipelining and so on.
Onrec: Where do you see the recruitment industry in 5 years?
Until we stop recruiting on someone’s ability to write a CV, I am not sure I see much change ahead. But I do see inhouse teams evolving rapidly, where permitted, into incredible talent functions that include more than just acquisition. They’re involved in talent intelligence, workforce planning, internal mobility and more.
Onrec: If you were not working in recruitment today, what would you do?
Finish writing my book, The Damage of Words, and see where that takes me. Which will likely be somewhere where I am still helping others.
Onrec: COVID hit the industry hard. How did you manage and adapt?
Ah the memories of March 2020, the month I lost my entire pipeline of work. So I stopped running events and in-person workshops, and instead created my mastermind (now The Collective) which is a group mentoring space for recruiters, and I took my design-thinking workshops & speaking online. I’ve kept some work online but the workshops are proving a hit in-person because teams have missed collaborating together in one room! Personally, I’d worked from home for over a decade so didn’t find that challenging, though I think I have become more introverted.
Onrec: Do you have any other plans to expand? And if so, where?
No, I’ve never wanted employees or to be part of a team.
Onrec: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Heal your childhood trauma sooner! I only started healing at 40 and it would have been amazing to have done so at 20 but it happened when it was meant to.
Onrec: Which business leader or other general public figure do you admire most today?
Comedian & Actor Celeste Barber because she is 100% herself and a role model for self-acceptance. She also almost accidentally raised A$51 million for the Australian bushfires. If more people would love and accept themselves as she does, the world would be a much kinder place.
Onrec: What do you enjoy outside of work?
As a business owner, do I have a life outside of work? Erm, many dog walks, I am a DIY Queen (seriously, it could be my job!), dinner with friends, meditating, and I just invested in a Hydrow Wave, maybe because The Thames is outside my window. I also love to travel but it has to be somewhere that’s off the beaten path and active, like climbing mountains (Kinbalu, Kilimanjaro etc) or trekking etc, i.e. I get bored on a beach or in a spa.
Onrec: What is your career low and how did you overcome it? And what is your career high?
Working with several nariccisitc bosses! Wow, did I attract those until I found self-love and learned to slap up a boundary. But their behaviour caught up with them, while I learned resilience and what I won’t accept.
There have been many career highs but being asked by Kogan Page to write a book, has to top them all. Then edition 1 of The Robot-Proof Recruiter being so well received across the world, that the publisher came back and asked for a second edition; that too blows my mind.
Onrec: If you were stuck on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you?
My good friend Sue Ingram because we would laugh a lot & work it all out, a solar-powered satellite phone because it’s 2022, and an unlimited supply of matches.
Onrec: Tell us a random fact
I am a HSS HSP, which is in itself a contradiction. A highly sensitive person usually avoids seeing new sensations but I am ok with it.
Onrec: If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?
Hmm, maybe a fox because they are intelligent, notice everything, quite canny, and are happy in their own company.
Onrec: Favourite film?
Onrec: What was the last gift you gave someone?
Erm, not my love language