Nadene Barretto is the founder of Eight Recruitment, a recruitment consultancy that has shifted away from the traditional format most of the industry adheres to.
She has pioneered an approach that enables the company to offer all the benefits of experienced, knowledgeable consultants, but without the costs of unnecessary infrastructure and overheads.
Part of Nadene’s success lies in her generosity of spirit. She believes you can’t deal with people’s futures without being a people person – and an important part of her philosophy lies in giving back to the community through sponsorship and participation.
- Tell us about the journey that led you to start your own business.
My journey to starting Eight Recruitment was twofold I guess. After 14 years in the industry I was very frustrated with the rigid structure of the business and also the fee structure of the recruitment industry with regards to servicing clients and candidate. I just felt like I was ripping a lot of people off working with the big recruitment organisations and I just knew there had to be a different way of doing it.
The second reason is being a Mum to three kids under three and being a wife to an amazing husband, I had to get the balance right of being a Mum and wife and staying in an industry that I loved and a career that I loved.
- Have you ever turned down a client or chosen not to work with someone?
I think at the beginning I tried to be everything to everyone and then I realised that wasn’t working but I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision not to work with a particular client. It was more the relationships that I gravitated to and have built on a particular set of clients who I am very loyal to.
So I don’t think I have actually said I refuse to deal with so and so – it’s just the relationships that I have built and gravitated to. In recruitment it is completely relationship based. So I think I am really big on getting the right person in the right culture, the right environment, the right employer .
- Did you always know you want to be an entrepreneur?
I don’t think so. I think probably after having my first child it kicked in and made me realise that whatever I decided to do had to work. I guess I have always been sales orientated and love dealing with people, am business development orientated which is part of being an entrepreneur I guess.
But it was more when I had my first child that I just knew there had to be something there for me and not to be employed anymore and go out and give it a go, and they kind of give you that kick that you need to give it a go.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
There are a few who inspire me. When I think of somebody who inspires me I think about what it is about them that inspires me. It is someone who can overcome adversity, someone who is a disruptor in their industry, someone who is a trailblazer and someone who gives back to the community in which they operate.
When I thought about that I thought the one person who is that for me is a lady called Dawn McLoughlin who overcame her own adversity as a young single Mum when starting her own recruitment agency, an amazing recruitment agency, that she sold later and now dedicates her time to giving back to the homeless youth of Newcastle. That is amazing and if I can following in those footsteps it would be great.