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Recruitment’s New Bottom Line

IPA are taking a reality check by asking ‘where’s the value in high volume recruitment?’. We are clear on the fundamentals of filling as many vacant roles as possible to generate workforce solutions and, in turn, revenue. We are equally clear that filling those roles means employment for IPA candidates. These outcomes determine our sustainability as Australia’s only national recruitment social enterprise committing 100% profits to community services. But is that our bottom line?

How does that address the recruitment industry’s reputation for ‘churn and burn’ highlighted in earlier Insights? How too does it impact labour market data showing ‘churn’ – turnover – is highest in jobs involving lower skill levels on lower income, many of which bore the brunt of extended lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions? ^

We could flip our bottom line scenario from one of filling – and re-filling – roles, to one of placing and retaining more people in employment. That’s still a high-volume business model, but with a higher value proposition.

What value, you ask? Social value.

Our placed candidates tell us whether and how IPA has positively impacted them. Across both temporary and permanent placements, IPA’s candidates report to us their levels of job satisfaction and safety. It’s part of a new, more detailed talent check-in that tells us whether a candidate would choose to continue at the same workplace and helps benchmark our clients on measures of decent work: financial security, workplace conduct and inclusion, workplace safety and work competence.

The responses demonstrate our success in matching quality candidates to quality work:

  • They rate IPA clients above 4 out of 5 on average across safety, inclusion and competency development
  • 84% would choose to continue at their current placement
  • 90% say IPA made a positive contribution to their ability to stay in employment
  • 98% say their ability to manage changes to their employment situation has stabilised or improved since coming to IPA

Anonymity helps alert us to clients – host employers – who present a ‘churn’ risk by not meeting workforce expectations. The check-ins also highlight which of IPA’s clients are leading on these measures.

Generating social value is what we mean by ‘getting real’ about our bottom line. The more effective IPA are at helping improve candidate wellbeing and supporting workforce participation, the greater our profits to community services. As a unique multi-million dollar social enterprise in a highly-competitive market, our sustainability depends on it.

^ Australian Bureau of Statistics, Participation, Job search and Mobility, February 2022

Alison Carter is the IPA Social Impact Manager. As a certified social enterprise, IPA Personnel reinvests 100% of profits to services operated by parent entity, genU, including those supporting people with disability and promoting community inclusion. You can access genU’s 2022 Annual Report here. The Australian Government publishes ‘Job openings and replacement rates’ data at

We’re the only national recruitment agency committing profits to community services.