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The Savage Way: how Greg Savage became one of recruitment’s real influencers

If you’ve ever been on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance Greg Savage showed up in your feed. Whether it’s his Sixty Savage Secondsseries, or his own blog — for over 40 years, he has provided unique insight into the tumultuous world of recruiting. Now, he has delved into all of his knowledge into a new book: The Savage Truth. 

Jasper Spanjaart on October 14, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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The Savage Way: how Greg Savage became one of recruitment’s real influencers

Often times celebrities will write biography-type books in which they make a half-hearted attempt to be an authority on a different subject matter. We won’t go into specifics, but let’s just say it doesn’t always work. When it comes to Greg Savage, however, it’s an entirely different story. Savage has the portfolio to back up at least a 12-part series about everything he has accomplished in the world of recruiting. Luckily for us, his name is not JK Rowling. 

Business-savvy

After managing the London office of the United Kingdom’s largest accounting recruiter for two years in the early 1980s, Savage returned home to Australia to run the Sydney office of what is now known as the Hays Group. In the late 1980s, still based in Australia, Savage’s career really took off when he founded Recruitment Solutions. In rapid fashion the start-up grew into having eight offices, a workforce of 200 and annual sales that topped $60 million. 

Savage is currently the founder and shareholder of people2people, one of Australia’s leading recruitment companies, while also investing in businesses such as VideoMyJob and JobAdder.

With great business acumen, Savage later founded and subsequently sold several other businesses, including Firebrand Talent Search, which has now merged into Aquent. Savage never stopped investing and founding, however. He is currently the founder and shareholder of people2people, one of Australia’s leading recruitment companies, while also investing in businesses such as VideoMyJob and JobAdder. 

The Savage Truth

Now, Savage has combined all similar wisdoms that he learned in 40 years of being in recruiting into a new book, aptly-titled The Savage Truth. Widely regarded as a ‘must-read’ for next-generation leaders and lovers of business biographies, the book is split in two parts. The first half gives an honest and open account of Savage’s world — with a healthy amount of Aussie humour, while the second half consists of guidance and advice for his successors. 

Bouncebackability: the key to a successful recruiter

When you go to Greg Savage’s website, you’ll see video’s listed on pretty much every page you come across. I guarantee that when you click one of those video’s, you’ll be hooked within 20 seconds. The Sixty Savage Seconds, where Savage takes you through an observation, or a random thought in, well, 60 seconds, prove that like none other. Let’s take the one posted earlier this year, in the pre-pandemic era, in June of 2019. 

In roughly 67 seconds (we’ll excuse the additional 7 seconds), Savage talked about something that is now a requirement for most sectors in the post-pandemic era: resilience. “It’s highly-prized to be tough and show rigour in our business”, he said. “But it’s misunderstood. Being resilient isn’t about being macho and hiding our emotions. In fact, I’m all in favour of people kicking tables. It’s natural, it’s a tough job. But resilience isn’t about hiding your emotions; resilience is the ability to bounce back quickly.”

“It’s OK to feel bad for a moment, but in the next communication you have with a client, candidate or colleague, you can’t show your disappointment.”

Disappointments are inevitable in all walks of life, but that statement holds true particularly for recruiters who lost an awful lot of business in the past few months. Resilience, bouncebackability, is vital perhaps more than ever before. “We have massive disappointments. Three offers turned down in a day is tough for anyone to take. But it’s OK to feel bad for a moment, but in the next communication you have with a client, candidate or colleague, you can’t show your disappointment. You can’t carry it forward; woe is me for days one end. You’ve got to bounce back fast.”

A real influencer

From a sociology standpoint, the 21st century will go into the history books for a number of reasons. Forget about pandemics for a second; 22nd century anthropologists will likely have a field day when it comes to influencers in the 21st century. Studies will be based solely on the fact that some people were famous just because they were famous. With that long introduction out of the way, Greg Savage is anything but that. 

Real influence only occurs out of real, genuine passion for something.

Perhaps, as the aforementioned anthropologists will find, real influence only occurs out of real, genuine passion for something. Then when you combine that with years of experience working within that field, you’ve got yourself a real influencer. Then you still need someone who can actually convey a message; someone who can inspire you, who can relay a sense of empowerment for you to take away and use in your own career, and in your own life. 

And that’s exactly what Greg Savage is. 

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Editor-in-Chief and Writer at ToTalent.eu
Editor-in-Chief and writer for European Total Talent Acquisition platform ToTalent.eu.
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