Your business and Workskills – working together

Partnerships for work that work for all

Workskills works best when we work with you, the businesses and industries in our local area.  We look for win-wins in terms of helping your business find the right employees for your needs. There are numerous ways we can assist and lots of ways you can be involved as well.

And here’s just one example of how this works in reality:

Workskills and K&D Mitre 10

Speaking to Darren Reardon it’s hard to believe he’s been in the one job for twenty six years.  For a start he doesn’t look old enough!  But more than a quarter of a century with one company is exactly what he’s done. And it’s the only employer he’s ever worked for. There’s got to be a secret to that!

“Well, for a start it’s been an ever changing, evolving challenge.  It’s never the same and it never will be.  I’m lucky to work for an employer who feeds my need for constant change and that complements my competitive nature!” Darren was happy to relate.

K&D (or more formally Kemp and Denning Limited) are a local institution in the building trade and its associated products and services. They’ve been part of the Tasmanian landscape since 1902, not a bad innings in anyone’s language.

Darren began his career back in the 80’s working in their admin area, straight out of Matriculation College. But it wasn’t long before he was back in the classroom first at night school, then a University course, where he majored in Commerce and Marketing. He made progress through the ranks to eventually take on his current role as HR Manager for the business. With K&D employing well over 300 Tasmanians and with a sales last year of $91.7 million, they’re a major player in their market sector, as Darren well knows.

“That’s what keeps me going. The competition is tough, the economy isn’t great, and we need to be proactive, reactive, aggressive and progressive all at the same time,” he said, with a give-away grin that gives an insight into his own ‘play-to-win’ personality. So we now know what makes him fire up, but what are the downsides?

Darren summed it up quickly . . .

“In a word…compliance.  It’s a damn site harder than it ever was and the goal posts keep changing constantly.  It’s hard to keep up and it’s probably the least enjoyable part of what I do.” Here, here.

But what does Darren actually do in his wide ranging role?

“Well, I’m involved in industrial relations issues, workplace agreements and negotiations, training and development, health and safety matters, performance monitoring, but…thankfully I don’t get involved in hiring employees. That’s for the Store Managers to look after. I think I’ve got enough to keep me busy!”

Which brings us to the relationship Darren has with Workskills.

“I was ‘doorknocked’ back in 2006 and we’ve built up a strong rapport ever since.  I thought the service offering was unique and useful.  It’s remained so to this day. I was surprised to reflect recently on the fact we’ve had over 24 job placements to date through Workskills since that time.  And the outcomes have been surprisingly good. Beyond that Darren and Workskills share advice and information, with Workskills even assisted with redundancy issues and advice for a group of K&D employees when production of bricks and pavers ceased early in 2012. Darren is more than happy to deal exclusively with Workskills.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  It just works so well.” he said. Sharing common values and goals helps a lot.

Both companies enjoy special relationships with the communities they operate within.

“It’s a family culture here, said Darren. “If people don’t like it or can’t fit in they will no doubt move on but that’s rare. There’s a lot of people here, not just me, who had a very long tenure which the business.  They’re truly valued and that helps to keep us all loyal and committed.”

So although Darren has been with K&D for almost a quarter of their time in business, it’s unlikely he’ll be moving on anytime soon.

We can help with hiring, from screening potential recruits right through to post-placement support for you or your new employee for up to six months.

And there may be additional benefits available for you as well.