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Meet Dan Nuroo, RBC Activist Down Under, “Say Something Dan!”

Posted on September 14, 2009
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We continue our series on active, RecruitingBlogs Community members with a spotlight on Dan Nuroo, Recruitment Manager at DWAS.

I first had the pleasure of meeting Dan Nuroo at The Austral-Asian Talent Conference in May, 2008 in Sydney. I was on a talent panel and shared a presentation with Kevin Wheeler. Dan was one of the audience members and it has been a thrill to see his involvement as a blogger and activist bear fruit within the Community.

Dan has been specializing over the past 12 years in the IT Recruitment field. The first 6 within agencies (including his own) and since July 2002 as the Recruitment Manager at DWS an ASX listed national software and solutions, consulting company. His areas of expertise include Management, Sales, ad writing, searching, and strategic recruitment.

Q&A with Dan Nuroo

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Dan: I’ve been married to Simone (who I met first year Uni) for over 10 years and we have been blessed with 2 gorgeous kids Zachary (now 5) and Talia (now 2), and our loyal Cat Jasper, who has allowed us the honor of looking after him for most of those 10 years,

I love my football (Australian Rules Football) and cricket, well any sport really. I was an avid participant in my youth, but seem to have grown out of it! My son, recently caught the footy and cricket bug and I just finished one of the most rewarding winters of my life, by volunteering to Coach the kids at my son’s Auskick Centre, 20 or so 6 year olds or younger. I cannot put into words the amount of joy that gives me.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?

Dan: I started in this game back in 1997. I started as a Recruiter after responding to an Advertisement in the paper (remember them) for an HR Coordinator, I think they took a bit of artistic license with the term. I had grand ambitions of being an HR Generalist or something like that. This role was actually a Resourcer/Data Entry person, or general “GoFer” for the office. My company then won a large tender to get on a PSA with IBM GSA, where I became the core Resourcer for that team. As luck or misfortune would have it, 6 months into this, 5 out of the 6 people in the team left to start up on their own, leaving me holding the baby as it were. After a bit (OK a lot) of in-fighting the client became mine, and I started running the account as a 23/24 year old. This was purely IT Recruiting.

I looked after this account for close to 5 years and made some incredible friends whilst doing so, some of my clients here actually came to my wedding!

In 2002 I took a risk and moved to a company trying to build itself into an IT Recruitment Company (not the smartest thing I have ever done, as the IT Bubble bursting was still pretty fresh) and after 8 weeks and a redundancy, I set up my own company for a little while.

My wife and I had begun discussing starting a family, working for myself I could not look her in the eye or look in the mirror and confidently state what I would earn for the next month. SO I decided to move internally. Luckily enough for me, my targeted search was successful as my timing had been perfect, as the target was looking at the same time I was.

I joined DWS Advanced Business Solutions in July 2002 as their first In-house Recruiter. We have been able to grow the company from 110 permanent staff to over 500 now and I have grown the Recruitment team to a team of 4 which operates across the Nation. All the Recruitment for my company comes from my team, we rarely use third parties.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Dan: The whole team leaving me on my own was pretty big, made me grow up and learn to handle stress I had not encountered before. However, discovering sites such as ERE.Net and changed my professional life. There are other weird people out there like me who love this industry. I felt at home.

Also ranking right up there was my attendance at the Australasian Talent Conference in 2008. I had not been to anything like that before (and was quite stunned I got the budget to go!). I got to meet legends I’d read about like, Kevin Wheeler, Shally Streckel, Dave Mendoza (not sucking up because this is his interview) Heather Hamilton and Rob McIntosh to name but a few. Oh I was inspired from this event, I’d never been in such company.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Dan: Not specifically, I have lots of people I lean on or consistently read. My readings from those two sites mentioned above help me question myself, my beliefs and my view of my profession.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your job

Dan: I am the National Recruitment Manager (part of the National Management Executive) at DWS Advanced Business Solutions, responsible for all the Recruitment which occurs in my company. I have a team of 3 delivering some very demanding results. My jobs is to deal with all the day to day Recruitment issues, educate the executive as to our market and outlook, to placate and deliver to the business the talent they want (hopefully) when they want it, within a Quality Framework.

Six Degrees: (A) What other companies’ recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Dan: I love the creative stuff. I love hearing stories of what corporations have done to attract people. Rob McIntosh gave an example of a company that posted ipods to targeted people, with a message at the start of it as to why they were targeted and why they should join their company.

(B) In what aspects are they superior?

Dan: Creativity, and more importantly, they actually did it, not just spoke about it. They delivered something

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Dan: General outsourcing/off-shoring is taking hold more and more especially in the IT industry. Most Development seems to be heading off shore, which will change the way my company looks and how my focus in Recruitment will change to more analysis and Project Management people.

It will be interesting to see how our styles of companies survive these economic times, when there have been a few casualties already, like Satyam. I feel lucky that my company is in a pretty good place financially.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:

Dan: I’d love to do more in this arena. I have recently been asked to increase involvement with the Australian Computer Society, presenting to Business Analysts of late as to what I look for when hiring them, and then last week even sitting in on Graduate presentations as a type of Simon Cowell character.

I started an Australian Recruiters on and am actively involved with the guys at RBC, which started my blogging.

Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche?

Dan: The months between September and April were tough for an internal recruiter here with a team. Trying to keep us relevant and thus employed was a challenge. Especially when we had industry analysts asking my CEO why he still had us. We kept ourselves relevant by getting ALL the recruitment done, with great efficiency (and bragged about our successes) and by secondly looking outside our sphere and becoming the champions of Enterprise 2.0. We found other ways of adding value to our company. And now, the pressure is on from the business again to hire. Thankfully. Managing the perception from the business, candidates and my own sanity tended to keep me busy too.

Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities.

Dan: In the last 18 months to 2 years I have really upped my involvement in the web2.0 communities. I have actively grown my Network, have pushed myself, and my company fairly hard on Twitter and talked my company into building a fan page.

I try new things, like a cartoon I built for advertising our roles, the key is to get involved. You actually do get back what you put in. It amazes me as to the amount people share.

Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?

Dan: Firstly, don’t try to sell all the time. Respect your audience and trust in your message and the value people will see in it. Secondly, don’t think the technology will do it all for you. You still have to work a network, people contact is key, face to face or voice to voice are more important than having 4000 friends on facebook. Thirdly, don’t get sucked into trying to use everything that gets put in front of you. Not everything will work. Learn what works for you and dump the rest.

Finally, I do not enter and thus cannot win 100 million Euros even if the email looks really authentic.

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Dan: I wrote somewhere once I want to be a General in the War for Talent. Still trying to define that now that there seems to be a détente.

I’d actually like to help other Recruiters reach their success and believe in the industry and their profession. I feel a lot of disrespect for this industry in the world, which I believe some of its participants (ie recruiters) buy into. I am working on myself so as to be able get that message out there, by constantly crafting and honing my ideas and running them by people I respect and who’s judgeship I trust.


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