Candle man's career reaches new Pinnacle

'People don't quit jobs. They quit managers,' says Auckland-based recruiter Ross Turner of Pinnacle.

“People don’t quit jobs. They quit managers,” says Auckland-based recruiter Ross Turner of Pinnacle.

For him, an article in Computerworld last week on firms keeping their staff (see Re-recruitment: Keep your people from walking out) stole his thunder.

Turner says organisations must realise the importance of retention as the cost of replacing staff is horrendous.

It is also a cost few firms seem to fully realise and few act on it.

However, that has presented the former head of Auckland’s Candle office with his latest business opportunity: setting up Pinnacle Recruitment, which has quietly built up its business since September.

“There would not be need for the multitude of receruitment firms [60 in Auckland] operating in the IT sector if managers did their jobs with more thought,” he says.

A US survey shows while all firms have policies to attract staff, just over half have polices to keep them.

“Retention is a fundamental strategy to avoid costly turnover of staff,” says Turner.

Not only is there the cost of replacing them, either in terms of management time or agency commissions, but also bringing them up to speed and, more importantly, having departing staff take business elsewhere.

Turner says Pinnacle emphasises not only recruiting but also persuading recruits to hang around.

Pinnacle can also be an independent ear in exit interviews, so firms discover why people really leave, instead of departing staff telling what the company wants to hear.

The agency also offers “climate surveys” so companies can assess how staff morale in time to stop them leaving.

Pinnacle also carries out psychometric and other tests to ensure clients are appropriate for particular jobs, and vice versa, to reduce the risks to employers. It also looks at career planning, company mentoring and establishing career paths.

“I cannot really knock the big companies but the pure nature of their business they are in precludes them from doing what we are doing,” he says.

Pinnacle has four other staff: Sally Jackson from Morgan and Banks, Maxine Daniels from Wilson White, Becky Bradshow of technical writers Multidoc (now Multisystems) and his wife Christine, formerly of Madison.

Turner, an electrical engineering graduate, started in IT in the early 70s selling semi-conductors for Texas Instruments. He worked his way through Prime Computers, Reed Data Products, Wang, Apple and, in the early 90s, was general manager of sales at Telecom.

He moved into recruitment in 1995, setting up his own boutique company, Turner Consultants, which merged with the Doughty Group, which later became Candle. A desire to go back into business saw him resign from Candle last July.

He claims “a good relationship” with the firm.

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