1 October 2020

PERSOLKELLY, a fresh face in recruitment

Today officially marks the start of a new era for many of us in the Australia and New Zealand recruitment industry.

I am proud to be a part of an amazing team leading the launch of a new white-collar recruitment brand into the Australian marketplace, PERSOLKELLY.

PERSOLKELLY brings together the legacy and experience of four organisations that shaped the staffing landscape over the past century and I’m proud to say (some would say it is fate) that I have worked with each through my own career journey:

  1. Kelly Services, who pioneered the modern temporary staffing industry globally in 1946
  2. SKILLED, who crafted the staffing industry in Australia in 1964 acquired by Programmed in 2015
  3. Programmed, the leading provider of operations and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand after being founded as a paint service company in 1951
  4. PERSOLKELLY, the largest workforce solutions provider in APAC

I’ve had several moments where I have reflected on some of the amazing people who have been before us, the founders and then the custodians of these businesses, as we become the proud and now inaugural custodians of the new era.

When I worked at SKILLED, I remember seeing photos in Reception of SKILLED’s founder Frank Hargrave – who described himself as ‘a bum electrician who worked hard’ having lunch with the likes of Bob Hawke and John Howard, and then later working under the leadership of his son Greg. I was always intrigued by our Kelly Services history which was founded by William Russell Kelly in Detroit Michigan, who was an accountant before starting Russell Kelly Office Service – where Kelly sent one of his regular employees to work in his customer’s office for the first time, the billing for that first day was $6.75!

Then Programmed, when upon joining I was surprised to learn were one of the top 10 largest Australian employers after starting out as Miles Paint Services founded in Victoria, and PERSOLKELLY, which was previously the combination of one of Japan’s largest recruitment firms PERSOL Holdings and Kelly Inc. What a rich history contributing to our new journey.

I’ve also been fortunate to work with some amazing executives and colleagues at all four of the above-mentioned organisations. While many people have moved in different directions, I am forever grateful for the experiences, lessons and memories that have shaped and prepared me for this exciting new journey.  

PERSOLKELLY brings together the legacy and experience of four organisations that shaped the staffing landscape over the past century.

In establishing our new PERSOLKELLY brand, our team members have applied fresh thinking and an innovative approach in preparing for our launch in this constantly changing world we are currently in. If someone had told me that in 2020, we would be merging two companies (Programmed and Kelly) and launching new brand during a pandemic – largely through remote working and two teams getting to know, trust and build relationships with one another from a distance – I wouldn’t have believed it was possible. Yet we’ve adapted and thrived and developed a great platform of character which will assist our culture, our growth and success.

This year we have focussed hard on strengthening our customer partnerships across Australia and New Zealand with our focus in STEM, Government, Professional Services, ICT, Management and Executive staffing, leveraging our learning and insights gained so that we can achieve more for our customers.

Similarly, the opportunities that our employees and candidates will have access to as a result of partnering with our business will be unmatched.

I firmly believe that the depth and breadth of our expertise, combined with our technology and capability and our partnership with Programmed, Australia’s leading provider of operations and maintenance services, creates opportunities at any scale.

I am really proud of and excited for our PERSOLKELLY team who are joining me on this new journey. Their combined history, experience and passion for putting people-first is phenomenal; no challenge is too great when you’re as ambitious and driven as this team.

We’ll achieve more, together and I look forward to connecting great employers with great people.

Welcome to PERSOLKELLY.

Kurt Gillam
Executive General Manager
PERSOLKELLY Australia

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