Parkside Consulting, focusing on PC Lan/Wan staff recruitment, was established over two and a half years ago by Felix Borenstein. Based in Melbourne, with a new office in Sydney recently opened, Parkside Consulting consists of four consultants and three support staff in its Melbourne office, and two consultants in its Sydney office. Borenstein, managing director and founder of the company, spoke to Australian Reseller News' Helen Cousens about the philosophy behind his company, the recruitment industry, and the trends that he sees emerging in the PC industry.
ARN: Why did you establish Parkside Consulting?
FB: After 10 years in the PC Reseller/Systems Integrator/Vendor marketplace, I realised that whilst there were some very good IT recruiting companies, I didn't believe there was a company that specialised in the PC Lan/Wan recruitment marketplace. I also thought that most of the IT recruiters that were successful came from or concentrated in the more "traditional" mainframe arena. Because of their background, I didn't believe they really understood the PC Reseller/ Systems Integrator/Vendor marketplace.
ARN: What areas do your clients typically come from?
FB: Parkside Consulting calls itself the PC Lan/Wan staff recruitment specialist, and clearly this is where the majority of our work and our clients are.
Our clients come from all facets of this marketplace - international systems integrators; PC resellers/integrators; software development organisations; PC vendors; software vendors; PC industry distribution companies; major corporate/government bodies and even the more "traditional" mainframe/mid-range computer companies who are now developing systems integration skills. The only arena we don't cover is retail PC outlets.
ARN: What are some distinguishing characteristics of your company?
FB: One of the key strengths at Parkside Consulting is that all our senior consultants have worked on the other side of the fence (resellers, PC manufacturers, systems integrators). They have an extensive understanding of what it takes and what clients want from their recruiting organisation, having been put in the same pressure situations that our clients constantly find themselves in.
Also I believe we have a reputation for caring about our candidates. While it may sound corny, I know this from the feedback we regularly get; people know they get a fair hearing when they come to us and to the best of our ability we try to help them with career guidance.
ARN: What areas do you work in?
FB: Though we're industry specific in the PC Lan/Wan industry, we recruit right across the board for these organisations including sales & marketing, technical support and administration.
ARN: What levels of positions do you deal with: high, medium, low, or all?
FB: Again, we try to recruit right across the spectrum as to the level of seniority of the people we place. In the sales and marketing area we have recruited from market support representatives to senior sales people, sales managers and Australian general managers.
The technical area shows just as much diversity: we have recruited from graduate engineers up to an Australian technical director. In the administration area the same diversity is true - we have recruited receptionists and administration assistants through to national purchasing managers.
ARN: How are salaries moving at the moment?
FB: Like most things in life, salaries are subject to the forces of supply and demand. Positions that require extensive, up-to-date skills are on the move up. This can manifest itself across the spectrum of positions.
Experienced integration sales people, Notes developers, router/switching engineers, Windows NT engineers and Netware 4.x engineers are in great demand. To a large extent, therefore, companies need to sell themselves and need to review their remuneration packages to attract the "best" people.
ARN: What trends do you see happening?
FB: Generally, I believe that the PC industry has reached a level of maturity. Whilst several years ago it was expected for people to "move around", these days companies are showing their more "conservative" side and questioning candidate's medium and long term career moves more closely.
ARN: Do you work on the contract side of the business? How does it work, and what sort of relationship does it bring you into with both employers and employables?
FB: The contracting side of recruitment has experienced significant growth. I attribute this to several factors:
1. Unfair Dismissal Legislation - Companies are contracting technical resources for an initial three-month period: a sort of a trial test run.
2. Flexibility - An obvious reason, contracting allows the company to contract technical resources when they require extra resources.
3. Marketplace changes - We have all seen rapid changes in the marketplace - networking vendors that used to sell exclusively to the channel and provide pre- and post-technical support have come out of the closet and are selling directly. Clearly, some of the smaller resellers will be unable to justify a permanent resource but have the requirement to contract a project manager or pre-sales engineer for, say, three months to roll out a project.
Parkside Consulting -
The PC Lan/Wan staff recruitment specialistsMelbourne OfficeFelix Borenstein, managing director349 Moray St, South Melbourne 3205tel (03) 9690 1866 Fax (03) 9690 1434e-mail: email@example.comSydney OfficeDonna HigginsLevel 2, 111 Harrington St, Sydney 2000tel (02) 9247 1866 Fax (02) 9247 1933e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org