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The First Event

posted by Lindsey Hobson 02/03/2020 0 comments

By Lindsey Leigh Hobson, Marketing Manager

I remember the first time I met Vanessa Fajnkind, the CEO of Brook Recruitment.

It was during my job interview,  for the Marketing Manager role, at Brook Recruitment.  I was being incredibly picky about my next role and had turned down multiple opportunities prior but Vanessa was different.

During that first 45 minutes together, she painted a picture of a beautiful group of clients, some of which she had worked with for many years.  She wanted to run events as a way to give back to them, to say thank you.

I was blown away that firstly this is something she wanted to do, but also that it was such a major focus to her that she brought it up in my first interview.  That’s when I decided, that it was Vanessa I wanted to work with.  I wanted to be a part of that story.

Seven months on and here we are, the first event, a VIP Business Breakfast run on Thursday 27th February and we couldn’t be more excited.

We were delighted to be able to host our first event at the Shaw Contract showroom – a client we’ve been working with for eight years now, building their Marketing, Sales, and Finance teams, assisting with their company growth.

We welcomed over 30 smiling faces, early in the morning, with a beautiful array of handmade chia puddings, mini croissants, and real barista-made coffee, fresh from the coffee cart. It was the first time I had met many of our clients and it was wonderful to put faces to names.

I was privileged to MC our first event and our speakers; Rhianon from Shaw Contract, Vanessa from Brook Recruitment and guest speaker, Heidi Smith, were truly inspiring.

Heidi is a workplace strategy expert and partner at Gray Puksand, a leading Australian architecture and integrated design practice. She shared her incredible story about how her career progressed, from her first humble design to the visionary behind the Shaw Contract showroom itself.

After the event, we received so many thank you emails and messages, with words of appreciation for the morning and to Heidi for sharing her inspirational story.

Vanessa, myself and the team at Brook Recruitment wish to say thank you to everyone who came and we are excited to welcome you all to our next event in May.

For more information on the next event, email me at

By Lindsey Leigh Hobson, Marketing Manager


3 steps to scale-up your career in 2020

posted by Suzi Sarkis 21/02/2020 0 comments

My name is Vanessa Fajnkind, and I am the CEO here at Brook Recruitment.

When I began my career as a recruitment consultant I never dreamed I would own my own agency. I often get asked if I knew I wanted to be a business owner – the truth is, I didn’t, I just knew I loved helping people find new opportunities and fulfilling their dreams. I kept working hard and learning as much as I could, and everything was like a domino effect — one opportunity to the next. This is the same advice that I give all our candidates. You just need to keep focused on trying to move your career in the direction you want. The role you’re in might not be your dream job, but it might be a great opportunity to learn and meet new people.

Here are a few tips to help move your career in the right direction:

Focus on impact

It’s so easy to get lost in your inbox and waste an entire day on responding and attending to small tasks. At the end of the day, you’re left feeling like you’ve achieved nothing. One of the best practices I use daily is to write down the the activity that will have the most impact and do that before I’ve even checked my inbox. I’ll be honest, this is sometimes very hard to accomplish, particularly when you have clients calling you before the work day has even begun, but I never loose sight of that goal and make sure I get to it before 11am. It’s all about actually doing the work that makes a difference for the business.

Never stop learning

Find out how you like to consume your information – it could be through Twitter, LinkedIn or receiving email alerts. Set up the appropriate channel to keep you up to date with business trends, technology and the competition. But learning is more that that – nourish your soul by contributing to things that make you happy like empowering other women in business, supporting people with disabilities to have fair work opportunities, whatever it is that makes your heart feel full at the end of the day.

It’s not work-life balance if you love it!

If you do what you love than your work won’t feel like a ‘job’. For entrepreneurs, success is found when you live and breathe your business. Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset can help shift your thinking into the realities of the working world – if you want to succeed you have to work hard. I’m not suggesting that you don’t see your family or friends or take care of your mind and body – but you need to accept that you need to work hard to scale-up your career but if you do what you love then it will bring you happiness.

So there you have it!

If you are ready to scale-up your career, check out our latest roles in the Career Hub.


The Secret Ingredient That Will Unite Your Team – Our 5 Tips To Get You Started

posted by Lindsey Hobson 08/10/2019 0 comments

We’ve all heard the sayings.

Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see”, “have the courage to be kind”, and “kindness costs nothing, but means everything.” Kindness is a word you may have heard a lot lately, and we believe it’s a word you need to be paying attention to. Especially in the workplace.

We believe kindness in the workplace could be the secret ingredient you’ve been searching for.

Company culture is a delicate balancing act. Too much of a results-driven focus can make it difficult for the softly-spoken to feel comfortable, while too many feel-good vibes can lead to less overall progress being made. And without an even balance between the two, and everything in between, your company’s culture can see-saw, attracting more of the same types of people and deterring diversity.

That’s where kindness comes in.

Kindness is a universally acknowledged trait that has the power to bring everyone together.

Uniting your team to work towards the common goals of the company can be one of the most powerful goals you ever achieve. Which makes everyone feel good because it feels great to be part of a team that’s achieving great things together. 

This, in turn, leads to happier employees, and we don’t need to tell you that happy employees are more productive, stay longer with your company, and even create more happy employees!

So how can you harness the secret powers of kindness in your workplace?

Sharing Your Knowledge

They say two minds are better then one, but what about a whole team of minds? We each have different strengths and skill sets, and when we work together we can definitely achieve more. So let your team know you are always happy to answer any questions they may have, and work together on projects and tasks where ever possible!

Mentoring A Team Member

Work can be overwhelming. We’ve all been there. Maybe you were new to a company and trying to find your feet, or learning a new skill set to expand your capabilities. What ever the reason, someone to guide you through that process can make a positive impact to your progress and your confidence. So why not be that person? Mentoring a fellow team member is a fantastic way to support the individual, the team and company as a whole.

Show Appreciation

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. Is someone working extra hard? Tell them you’ve noticed all their great work. Going to the kitchen? See if your neighbouring teammates need anything. See a co-worker with their arms full? Open the door for them, or offer to help carry a few things. 

Make Eye Contact and Smile

As little as it may seem, eye contact and a smile can completely turn someone’s day around for the better. Think of all those times you were walking down the street and someone caught your eye with a big smile. It’s contagious! Bring this into your workplace and spread it around.

Say Good Morning and Goodnight

Walking in for the day? Share some morning cheer with your team members and greet them with a cheery “Good Morning!”. Leaving for the night? Wish the team a great night. Simple forms of kindness like this can open up lines of communication with your team, and help to strengthen your relationships.

It’s the little things in life that matter, and kindness is the same. Kindness can be the secret ingredient that creates a harmonious company culture, balancing diversity and uniting your team to progress your company forward.


#PlacedByBrook: Concierge star Scott from Collins Square

posted by Lindsey Hobson 25/08/2019 0 comments

In May 2018, we featured Scott in a video as one of our Top Candidate.

We had a great response from companies wanting to meet him, and learn more about how a hard working, dedicated individual like Scott could benefit a company like theirs. In the end, Scott chose a fantastic role that aligns with his long term goals and the culture he wants to be apart of every day.

Over a year on, and Scott is kicking goals and loving life at Collins Square.

Below is Scott’s journey, straight from the man himself.

Tell me a little about your role at Collins Square?
As Concierge at Collins Square, I am the first point of contact for many of our major tenants. My role is to check-in guests to meetings, interviews and appointments. I also follow up with a variety of requests and perform reception duties including answering phone calls and making sure everyone has a great experience.

What does a typical day for you involve?
Checking in guests and making sure their experience is a good one. Answering phones and emails, dealing with inquiries. Every day is different and we are dealing with some of the major companies in Australia such as CBA and KPMG.

In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make a successful Concierge?
You definitely need to be a people person and love talking to people (which I do)! Outstanding customer service skills and the ability to think outside the box – and someone who is always ready for any enquiry that might come their way.

If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your career?
Never underestimate your abilities and be confident. In other words back yourself!

How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?
I loved working with the team at Brook! From Lucy to Adrianna to Vanessa they stopped at nothing until I got the job I wanted. It’s been months and they’re still checking in regularly to see how I am. The team at Brook care about every person they work with and that’s what makes them different and special.

Scott’s still happily employed by Collins Square.

If you have a role coming up and you want to ensure the candidate you choose is the right fit long term to help you on your business journey, then ask us how we can help on 03 9500 2797 or


4 tips to up your career game

posted by Christinap 16/08/2019 0 comments
Get your foot in the door

Once you’re in, it’s time to start showing off the knowledge and experience you have. Starting at the bottom is a great opportunity to grow your career within a company – your role may seem small right now, but it never hurts to think strategically with an eye on the future. A good example of this is a candidate we placed in an entry level reception and admin role who eventually worked her way up to becoming the Operations Manager.

Act on your industry passion

Focus in on what industry sector you are passionate about learn it well. Sticking to that sector will allow you to build invaluable industry specific knowledge and make you stand out to employers. We recently helped a Property Development client fill an EA role. They were more interested in finding someone with relevant industry experience rather than having the exact skills required – even considering candidates of a more junior level.

Make the company see the return

Companies are interested in finding and investing in clever, enthusiastic and driven candidates that can add value. Consider what added value you can bring to the company and your role. Upskilling in areas that might not be the focus of your role but can add value in other ways will help you get ahead and stand out – think client service skills, marketing, digital and public relations.

Evaluate your resume

A short, concise and clear CV will cut through the clutter and act as an effective marketing tool to help you land your dream job. Make sure you’re also consistent across your LinkedIn profile – it’s one of the first places a prospective employer will go to suss you out!

Don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!

Our guide to illegal interview questions

posted by Christinap 13/08/2019 0 comments

We know that an interview can be a daunting task, no matter how well prepared a candidate is. But did you know that there are some questions that a prospective employer can’t ask in an interview? Generally, questions that seek information beyond what is relevant to the role are not acceptable and employers are also not allowed to ask candidates to provide information about their age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality.

It is also unlawful to discriminate against or refuse to employ a prospective employee on the basis of their physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.  But it is important to note that there are limited occasions when discrimination may be allowed if it relates to the requirements of the position.

In addition, different treatment is sometimes legal (and necessary) to enable a particular group of people to achieve equality with others, including gender quotas in the workplace and measures to reduce the discrimination or under-representation of specific ethnic or cultural groups.

However, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against candidates on the basis of the attributes outlined above, and if they do, candidates may be able to take legal action against the company. We’ve highlighted 4 questions below that are illegal or potentially discriminatory and suggestions for what you can be asked instead:

1. How old are you?

Unless your age directly relates to the job requirements (such as requiring proof of age to work in a licensed venue or proof of license to drive a delivery van). However because these documents contain information regarding the employee’s age and other protected attributes, such a request may be discriminatory. An employer should ask for this information/documents after an offer of employment has been made (or make any offer contingent on the documents being provided).

2. How do you juggle work and looking after your children?

This may suggest that a candidate’s family responsibilities are relevant to the decision to employ them. The family status of a prospective employee should never be used to discriminate against them. A better question would be to ask if the candidate is able to commit to working the following hours, etc.

3. Are you currently working?

Again, it is illegal to discriminate against a candidate because they are employed, unemployed, or on benefits. However, sometimes this question could be a legitimate way to determine when an employee would be able to start in the role. In this case, it would be better framed as “what date are you able to start”

4. Have you had any past injuries/illnesses?

This question relates to a protected attribute (disability) so is also unlawful. Depending on the circumstances, however, this question could be relevant if it is specifically aimed at asking about an illness or injury that would directly relate to the ability to perform the inherent requirements of the role. This question could be better framed as “is there any reason you might not be able to complete the duties required for this role?”

For more information or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9500 2797 for a confidential chat.


6 tips to help new starters settle in

posted by Christinap 10/08/2019 0 comments


You’ve found your new employee to join your team. Remember that first impressions matter, and can help set the tone for the entire time your new team member works with you.

So here are our 6 tips to help your new starters settle into their new workplace with ease:

1.Prepare and induction checklist and plan

It helps to have a document that outlines the process for on-boarding new employees. Things like setting up their computer and email, showing them the bathrooms and emergency exits, explaining key software, etc. Some form of checklist that covers the basics of your employee induction process will be a great help in making your job easier and helping your new employee to feel confident in their first few days and weeks.

Don’t forget to include items such as:

  • Introducing them to their team leader/direct manager and team
  • Performance standards and expectations of new employees
  • Office/work times
  • Team roles and responsibilities
  • Organisational chart
  • Layout of office – including where people sit and their names/roles
, as well as bathrooms, kitchen, etc
  • Security issues and access to the office
  • Safety and OHS procedures
2. Make sure that their workspace is ready for them

It will help to make your new employee feel like their desk and work area is really their own, so ensure it is clean and tidy before they start. It is also a good idea to ensure that their computer and email address are working and that all of the necessary stationery has been ordered and is waiting for them.

3. Introduce them to the team

After your new employee has arrived, it is important to give them a tour of the office and introduce them to each member of the office individually as well as outlining what job role they perform. This will have a huge positive impact on how much your new employee will feel part of the team. It could also be a good idea to have them sit with other members of the team for a couple of hours per week so that they can have a better idea of what it is that everyone does on a day to day basis.

4. Schedule regular catch ups and encourage feedback

It is important for new staff to have regular one on ones in their first few weeks. They will be able to check in with you with any feedback they have on their first few days and it will make them feel a little less lost. These don’t need to be every day, but a quick 15-20 minute catch up every 3 or 4 days will help iron out any initial teething problems and ensure new employees are happy carrying out core responsibilities and settling in.

5. Assign a buddy

A buddy means your new employee has a go-to colleague for any initial questions about the company and the environment. Sometimes staff will feel more comfortable asking their buddy certain questions than senior management, particularly if management are busy. Giving them a mentor from the team that is not you means that they will always have someone to ask for help or advice if you are not around and will make their integration into the team easier.

6. Organise a social event

Organising a social event after work hours is a great way for new and current employees to get to know one another in a more relaxed environment and a great way to celebrate the new employee! A casual out of office lunch or after work drinks in their first couple of weeks will go a long way in welcoming the new employee in a relaxed environment.


10 steps to a better LinkedIn profile in 2019

posted by Christinap 28/05/2019 0 comments

LinkedIn continues to be a great way to network and connect. Now more than ever, your LinkedIn profile is your most important online job-seeking tool. Here are ten steps to ensure your profile is polished for 2019:

1. Write a killer headline and summary.

Make sure you describe what you do in under 120 characters in your headline. Be clear and informative, but also original and creative. Include relevant industry keywords (that will make you easier to find when people are searching for professionals in your field). And make sure to revisit your summary and revise it regularly to make sure it’s accurate and timely.

The summary section now also allows you to add images, videos, documents and links, so add relevant pieces that show off your best work.

Consider also offering a glimpse of your future goals, ideas and objectives, to give prospective employers a better insight to your career goals.

2. Nail your profile and background picture.

First impressions are everything! Use a high-quality, professional headshot (preferably 400×400 pixels). Also use a relevant background picture that speaks to your personal brand and conveys something meaningful about you. The ideal size for your background picture is 1584 x 396 pixels.

It’s also a good idea to make your profile visibility “Public.” When you change your profile picture visibility to “Public,” you make yourself easier to find via search engines or other networks.

3. Include only relevant workplace information.

Remember, you shouldn’t always list all your previous jobs—unless they’re relevant to your current job. Instead, focus on the workplaces and experiences that paint your professional credentials in a positive light.

Remember to update your current position, too. If you’ve received a promotion, won an award, published an article or are involved in an interesting project, it makes sense to update your profile accordingly.

4. Insert relevant skills.

Add whatever notable skills, certification or abilities you have, and ask your friends and colleagues to endorse you. Keep in mind: More is not more when it comes to LinkedIn Skills. It’s better to list fewer skills (and gain endorsements on those) than to list a wide array of unendorsed skills.

Update this section regularly—or at least whenever you learn a new skill. You should also delete skills that are no longer relevant to your career interests.

5. Add certificates.

Do you have any relevant certifications? Did you graduate from a course or receive any online training? Make sure to post them and elaborate.

6. Ask for recommendations.

Substantive, descriptive recommendations from former or current colleagues are perhaps the most persuasive piece of content you can have on your LinkedIn profile. Write recommendations for others freely, and be bold about asking for friends to return the favor.

You can find the buttons for requesting and writing a recommendation by going to your contact’s profile page and clicking the white “More …” button next to “Message.”

7. Publish articles.

If you’re looking for search visibility, LinkedIn isn’t necessarily the best place to add articles. However, publishing articles is a great way to show off your expertise.

Try to write a new article at least every three months, and cover topics that are hot in your industry. Pay attention to pictures and title length, too. Your title should not exceed 60 characters.

If you can think of specific people who might enjoy your article, tag them in the message as well. The organic reach of LinkedIn articles is quite low, so adding keywords and tagging people are good ways to increase your reach and help your article gain visibility.

8. Edit your URL.

When you created your LinkedIn profile, it had some ugly combination of letters, numbers, and backslashes. LinkedIn makes it easy to create a short URL with your name in it. Copy that URL into your email signature so that employers and recruiters can find you on LinkedIn quickly. This will also make you easier to find through search engines. In the upper-right corner of your profile, you’ll see “Edit public profile and URL.”

9. Optimise your profile’s search visibility.

Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn has an algorithm. There’s a lot you can do to make your profile more visible such as including relevant keywords in your headline, adding your city to your profile, inserting work samples, making sure your contact information is complete and joining relevant industry centric groups.

10. Spell check, spell check, spell check. Poor grammar and typos can make an impressive profile look embarrassing very quickly.


Rise of the Returnship: an untapped talent pool

posted by Christinap 19/03/2019 0 comments

Returning to work after an extended break, for instance, maternity leave, can be a real challenge for employees. Understandably, employee confidence can wane amidst the job market and pace of technology changing so rapidly. Women returning to work after a career break face multiple challenges such as balancing work and caring commitments, a loss of confidence and the need to update skills and knowledge.

Recognising that women returning to work after a career break are an untapped resource, many forward thinking Australian companies have started to target this pool of talented employees with “returnships”. This trend has seen great success and uptake in the UK and USA and no doubt savvy Australian companies will continue to follow suit in creating similar programs.

A returnship is a program to support professionals who are looking to restart their careers after a lengthy absence from the workforce. These programs aim to support women transitioning back into the workforce after a career break of two years or more and usually last for a few weeks to a few months. They usually target professionals in mid to higher levels than say an internship.

Throughout the program, staff are given additional training and mentoring to help bring their skills up to scratch and to slowly familiarise themselves to the pace of their new work environment. Some additional benefits of a returnship program include:

  • Growing the employees network
  • Learning new skills
  • Building their resume with relevant experience
  • Getting a foothold into a leading corporate organisation

We believe programs like returnships are the way of the future and will go a long way in ensuring your company remains competitive and attracts the best candidates in the market. Some of Australia’s biggest players in the finance and professional service sectors have gotten on board with offering formal returnship programs (including, Macquarie Group’s Returner Program and Deloitte’s Return to Work) and we have noticed a growing interest coming from some of our clients to look to offer something similar to tap into this highly skilled talent pool.

For more information or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9500 2797 for a confidential chat.


7 Ways To Start Off 2019 Right

posted by Christinap 06/01/2019 0 comments

A new year means an opportunity for a fresh start at work. What can you do to start the new year off right? Here’s our top tips you can implement now!

1. Set goals

Make a point to identify where you are now and where you want to be at this time next year. Start planning on how you can achieve you goals, whether they be small or large. Keep in mind: if you don’t know where you’re going, it will be tough to get there.

2. Reflect on your successes

Take the time to document and list out your accomplishments over the past year. And don’t forget to  update your resume and LinkedIn to reflect where you are at today.

3. List new skills you’ll need

You might need to think of potential new skills you’ll need to acquire to move ahead with your career plans. Now is a good time to form a strategy on how you can get them. Talk to your boss to determine if there are ways you can augment your current skills by participating in new projects.

4. Keep an eye on the future

The start of a new year is a good time to think about the outlook for your company and industry sector. Are there any opportunities on the horizon or potential issues to be aware of? Be realistic and honest and consider what action you should take if prospects aren’t promising.

5. Be flexible

It’s difficult to go very far at work if you aren’t flexible. Try your best to be open to new ideas and new ways to do things and make a goal to try to say “yes” more than “no” at work when it comes to suggestions from your colleagues and supervisors.

6. Network, network, network

You’ve heard that networking is the best way to get a job; take that advice and make a point to expand your circle of contacts. The more people who know, like and trust you and think you are good at what you do, the better the chance of you finding and landing new opportunities in the new year.

7. Break out of your rut

If you’ve been feeling that you are stuck in a career rut, now may be the perfect time to plan for a change. There’s no time like the present to start thinking about new opportunities and looking for your dream job.

If you’re looking for a new start to 2019, get in touch with with us today on 9500 2797 or email And don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!

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