Gail Whipper is Managing Director of Whipper Recruitment an organisation she founded because she wanted to follow her heart and create a company that gave clients and candidates a truly personal experience.
Gail’s personality is natural and a little quirky but her care and dedication to delivering a great service to all is what has led to great success in the industry.
Her mantra is that no-one is to leave their office feeling bad, and is something that is genuine and lived.
- Could you tell us a little about your career path?
I often say that I have been in recruiting since three days before God and it’s still a passion of mine.
I started in the 70s and worked for Centacom and went overseas and worked for Alfred Marks in London – the biggest agency in England at the time. I was there for six years and won a few prizes and it was a very good job and then I came back home and I worked for Alfred Marks in Sydney and managed their office.
Then I came – like we all do – back to Newcastle. I did a lot of projects for various agencies and then I started my own agency Richardson Whipper Recruitment, then after about four or five years I started Whipper Recruitment and we are now in our eleventh year and it has gone very fast.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
My diary is a moving target but there are two key things I do. On a Monday morning we will have a short catch up meeting and then on Wednesday we all gather together and talk about what’s happening, what’s happened, what’s going to happen and really sort out the business and talk about the business and talk about how we feel in the business and new processes and fixing processes and our goals.
They are the main things that I really diarise, other than that anything can happen.
- What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
I think at the moment, especially in the Hunter, it’s been a hard time. There are a lot of people out of work now and I think for leaders it is really important to retain your confidence. Be consistent and really engage your staff and show them that you’re happy, the glass is always half full, because if you don’t think like that your staff don’t follow you and you start to lose them and honestly you just work harder. I think it is a big challenge – just retain your confidence, remain calm, move forward and don’t forget to be awesome!
- How do you define the difference between a Manager and a Leader?
So much has been written about managing and leading and the differences. Just in a nutshell for me a manager is someone who gets the task done and makes sure everyone is happy doing the task and everything is coming in on time and within deadline.
They also lead a little bit too, but with a leader that is a different story and I have an example which sounds a bit strange but as you said quirky is in my nature.
Many years ago when I was teaching 20 year olds at TAFE and we were talking about leadership and I was saying who is a great leader, and they were saying the Queen, my football coach, my dad, the Prime Minister, whoever! I looked at them and they were all pretty switched on, sort of hippy, and I said what about Mickey Mouse? They just looked at me like what is she on about now? She is a complete idiot! So I said, well you think about it. Mickey Mouse is a great influencer, people follow him, he is inspiring and creative, you are always happy when you’re around this person, he is consistent and very good values. He is a leader. Then they all thought, oh OK, we get it, and it was one way of getting the qualities out and I think it transfers even business. I am not saying Mickey Mouse (I don’t like the shoes he wears for a start) – that’s my answer.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
Hard to pinpoint one person. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to come across several people who are just giving it a go. They are innovative, creative and putting their neck on the line and they have just got that enthusiasm and that is what I love the most.
You can say a whole lot of people that we know but for me the people that I admire the most in Newcastle are the ones that are just having a go.