IPA: Enhancing the Australian Recruitment Sector

Since 1984, IPA has provided vital recruitment and labour hire services to SMEs and multinationals alike across Australia. Where others have faltered over the years, IPA has remained a consistent and highly regarded service that supports businesses across the country, fuelling growth and enhancing the lives of the people that they work with. We spoke with IPA’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Barbaro, to find out more about their ethos and commitment to everyday excellence.

The recruitment sector has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. Today, it is driven by technology as much as it is driven by local expertise, seeing reinvigoration and exponential growth. Yet, throughout all of this change and disruption, IPA has remained a constant stalwart, adapting, improving and evolving to remain at very forefront of a competitive industry. They have become – simply- the undisputable expert, experiencing unprecedented longevity in an industry which has often been defined by mergers and acquisitions.

To start, Paul takes a moment to comment on this enviable reputation: “We are one of the few labour hire companies who has not changed name or been absorbed by a multinational since inception, making us one of the most recognised recruitment companies in Australia with a solid brand.”

“Our core services are the provision of short term labour hire personnel to large and medium sized businesses in both blue-collar and white-collar roles, and permanent recruitment services. We also operate a separate business line devoted to diversifying workforces, where we support clients through sourcing candidates from diverse cohorts, including Indigenous
candidates, candidates with a disability, mature age candidates and candidates from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We also develop programs for clients targeting women in non-traditional roles.”

Perhaps one of the most distinguishable of IPA’s core tenets is their dedication to safety, which has, in turn, led to impressive testimonials and a burgeoning client base. “We comprehensively assess and induct our staff and work closely to ensure all workplace health and safety processes are in place so that we can uphold our core value of “all safe, all of the time.”

More than that, there can be no disagreement that IPA provide an utterly vital service in Australia’s greater employment sphere, ensuring that absences are covered, and peaks in production go by without issue. “IPA’s labour hire infrastructure sees us delivering upwards of 1,200 temporary staff to over 500 clients each week.” There can be little doubt then: IPA are in demand, and business is booming. This has only been fuelled by a greater global trend towards the ‘gig economy’ – the world of work is changing, and companies are understanding that they need to change alongside it. In this, IPA have been ahead of the curve – and the competition- for decades.

More important to the firm is the idea of improving the lives of the people they work with, as Paul discusses further: “Everything we do, we do to enhance the lives of people, be it our candidates, our clients or each other. Our focus is to be the best recruitment company, not the biggest. Our only measure is qualitative, and I believe we have put many initiatives in place to ensure we are constantly improving how we operate. If we are not enhancing the lives of people, we are not being effective and, quite simply, not doing our job. Ultimately, we invest heavily in our values, which underpins our core mission.”

IPA’s staff, equally, remain an integral part of the firm’s enduring success. “Our staff are our lifeblood. The quality of our staff, both our internal people and those we on-hire to our client partners, defines our business. People buy from people. No technology can replace that. Our diverse background, along with our extensive branch network, the strength of our financial performance, and the broad depth of our client base are key to attracting the best talent.”

Finally, the conversation turns to IPA’s future, as Paul explains how the firm aims to achieve their goal of becoming the best recruitment company in the country. “IPA will be the best recruitment company, as measured by clients and candidates, by 2020. By that, we have little interest in promoting our size, or our profits as a measure of success – we want the stories of our clients and candidates to inspire others, and to promote action in people’s professional lives. Whilst we are – of course – profit driven, and our management team do manage their own P&Ls, but we believe that the pillar of what we do lies in focusing on positive and meaningful outcomes for our candidates and clients. Get that right and the profit will take care of itself.”

In his closing comments, Paul discusses how IPA are investing in their technological infrastructure to better realise their mission to best service their clients. “Our technology initiatives are being overhauled at present and will represent “best practise” for each of the sectors we service. This will include new operating systems, better social media presence, and an interactive database for clients and candidates to communicate with one another in their search for talent. However, at the end of the day, IPA exists to enhance the lives of people, and we therefore believe that “human technology” remains the most advanced form of technology within our sector.”

Company: IPA Australia
Contact: Paul Barbaro, Chief Operating Officer
Address: Melbourne, Australia